Content » Vol 84, Issue 5

Letter to the Editor

NoEvidence for Increased Skin Cancer Risk in Psoriasis Patients Treatedwith Broadband or Narrowband UVB Phototherapy: A First RetrospectiveStudy

DOI: 10.1080/00015550410026948


Phototherapyof skin diseases such as psoriasis is an effective and safe treatmentmodality. However, increasing the risk of skin cancer by phototherapyis a serious concern. An increased skin cancer risk occurs afterprolonged photochemotherapy (PUVA). In contrast, the role of broadbandUVB or narrowband UVB therapy in skin carcinogenesis of humans withpsoriasis is less clear. Therefore, we investigated the incidence ofskin tumours in a total of 195 psoriasis patients, receiving broadband (n=69) or narrowband (n=126)UVB from 1994 to 2000 with follow-up until 2003. Data were raised fromthe regional interdisciplinary cancer centre of the University ofTuebingen, Germany and compared with the tumour incidences given forthe German population. In this study, with 80% statistical power todetect a 6-7-fold increase in skin cancer with broadband UVB and 83%power to detect a 5-6-fold increase with narrow band UVB at p=0.05,only one patient developed skin cancer - an in situ melanoma. Thetumour occurred within the same year that phototherapy was initiated.Thus, the present study does not provide evidence for an increased skincancer risk for patients treated with either broadband or narrowbandUVB phototherapy

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