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Vol. 223, No. 1, 2011
Issue release date: October 2011

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.
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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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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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