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Vol. 223, No. 1, 2011
Issue release date: October 2011
Dermatology 2011;223:36–44

Effects of Vitamin Treatment or Supplements with Purported Antioxidant Properties on Skin Cancer Prevention: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Chang Y.J. · Myung S.-K. · Chung S.T. · Kim Y. · Lee E.-H. · Jeon Y.-J. · Park C.-H. · Seo H.G. · Huh B.Y.
aFamily Medicine Clinic and Center for Cancer Prevention and Detection, bCancer Information and Education Branch, National Cancer Control Institute, and cCancer Epidemiology Branch, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang, dDepartment of Family Medicine, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, eLeaders Dermatology Clinic and fHealth Screening Center, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Seoul, and gDepartment of Family Medicine, Inje University Haeundae-Paik Hospital, Busan, Republic of Korea

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Aims: To investigate the effect of vitamin treatment or supplements with purported antioxidant properties on the primary and secondary prevention of skin cancer using a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methods: We searched PubMed, Embase and the Cochrane Library in June 2009. Among 398 articles searched, 11 articles on 10 RCTs were included in the final analysis. Results: In a fixed-effects meta-analysis of all 10 trials, vitamin treatment or supplements with purported antioxidant properties were found to have no preventive effect on skin cancer [relative risk (RR) = 0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.94–1.03]. Similar findings were observed in a subgroup meta-analysis of 10 studies on both primary prevention trials (RR = 0.98; 95% CI = 0.93–1.03) and secondary prevention trials (RR = 0.97; 95% CI = 0.83–1.13). Further, subgroup meta-analyses revealed no preventive effect on cancer by type of antioxidant, type of cancer and the methodological quality of the studies. Conclusion: The current meta-analysis of RCTs indicated that there is no clinical evidence to support an overall primary and secondary preventive effect of vitamin treatment or supplements with purported antioxidant properties on skin cancer. The effect of vitamin supplements on skin cancer should not be overemphasized.

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