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Nutrition: The future of melanoma prevention?

Lana X. Tong, Lorraine C. Young

Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, In Press, March 2014

Editors' comments: Dr. James Larkin
Tong and Young review the role of nutrition in the treatment and prevention of melanoma and report some interesting data. Caution is however needed in this area and rigorous prospective clinical trials are needed to define the role of dietary manipulation in prevention and treatment of melanoma and other cancers in humans.

Background

Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, having a high metastatic potential and afflicting all age groups. The need for successful preventative measures is particularly urgent as metastatic melanoma is largely incurable. The beneficial role of nutrition and other natural compounds in the prevention and treatment of melanoma has been clearly demonstrated in the past, and is an exciting source for potential therapies in the future.

Objective

We sought to review updates in the current literature regarding new developments in the relationship between nutrition and melanoma risk and treatment.

Methods

Articles in the public domain regarding the impact of diet, grape seed proanthocyanidins, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, lycopene, and fig latex on melanoma were included.

Results

Grape seed proanthocyanidins, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, lycopene, and fig latex have demonstrated clear anticancer effects toward melanoma. The roles of selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin E, however, have been more controversial.