News from the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting: Common Vitamin May Lower the Risk of Skin Cancer

May 14, 2015
Amber Bauer, ASCO staff

More than four million people in the United States are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer each year. Despite warnings about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun, skin cancer is continuing to increase worldwide. A study that will be presented at this year’s ASCO Annual Meeting shows that taking a form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide may provide added protection against non-melanoma skin cancers.

Nicotinamide, not to be confused with another form of vitamin B3 called nicotinic acid, is a low-cost vitamin supplement that can be bought at supermarkets and health food stores.

“It is very exciting to see that something that is simple to use, well tolerated, and not very expensive could lead to benefit in terms of [skin cancer] prevention,” said Patricia A. Ganz, MD, Director of Cancer Prevention and Control Research at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and member of ASCO’s Cancer Communications Committee.

Dr. Ganz discusses this study in more detail in the following podcast, as well as explaining what this research means for people at risk for skin cancer.

This is a prerecorded audio podcast, and it can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer. A transcript of this podcast is also available. For more information, visit the Cancer.Net podcast page.

Results from three other studies were announced during an ASCO press conference yesterday.