SPF 30 Sunscreens Delay Melanoma Incidence in Preclinical Model

Application of sun protection factor 30 sunscreen prior to exposure to ultraviolet-B light delayed melanoma onset in a mouse model of the disease, according to data from a team at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute. This data suggest that the mouse model can be used to identify new, more effective melanoma-preventing agents, according to principal investigator Christin Burd, PhD, who presented her team’s initial findings at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2016 in April.

“Over the past 40 years, the melanoma incidence rate has consistently increased in the United States,” said Dr. Burd, an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics and the Department of Molecular Virology, Immunology & Medical Genetics at The OSUCCC - James. “Sunscreens are known to prevent skin from burning when exposed to UV sunlight, which is a major risk factor for melanoma. However, it has not been possible to test whether sunscreens prevent melanoma, because these are generally manufactured as cosmetics and tested in human volunteers or synthetic skin models.”

Dr. Burd and team developed a mouse model to allow for testing the ability of sunscreen to prevent sunburns and to prevent melanoma. Burd and colleagues previously reported in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the AACR, the development of this mouse melanoma model. These genetically engineered mice spontaneously develop melanoma about 26 weeks after the chemical 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4OHT) is applied to the skin.

In this new study, the researchers found that if they exposed the genetically engineered mice to a single dose of UVB light one day after applying 4OHT to the skin, melanomas appeared much more rapidly, and there were many more tumors and melanoma-free survival was reduced by 80 percent, to about five weeks.

The researchers used the mouse model to test the ability of a number of sunscreens labeled SPF30 to prevent melanoma. The sunscreens, which contained a range of UV-blocking agents, were applied to the mice prior to exposure to the UVB light. They findings showed that all the sunscreens delayed melanoma onset and reduced tumor incidence.

The OSUCCC – James team will continue research aimed at isolating which specific sunscreen ingredients provide the strongest protection against melanoma development. They hope this information could be used to develop smarter sunscreens that are both safe to use and proven effective in reducing skin cancer risk.

This study was funded by Pelotonia, a grassroots cycling event based in Columbus, Ohio, which has raised more than $106 million for cancer research at Ohio State.

Men’s Skin Cancer Knowledge Lags Behind Women’s

According to a 2016 American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) survey:

  • Only 56 percent of men know that there’s no such thing as a healthy tan, compared to 76 percent of women. 
  • Just 54 percent of men know that getting a base tan is not a healthy way to protect your skin from the sun, compared to 70 percent of women.
  • Only 56 percent of men know that skin cancer can occur on areas of the skin not typically exposed to the sun, compared to 65 percent of women.

“It’s important for both men and women to protect their skin from harmful ultraviolet rays and regularly examine their entire body, including hard-to-see areas, for signs of skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Abel Torres, MD, JD, FAAD, president of the AAD. “While our survey results indicate that men don’t know as much about skin cancer prevention and detection as women, men over 50 have a higher risk of developing melanoma, so it’s especially important for them to be vigilant about protecting and monitoring their skin.”

In recognition of Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month in May and, the AAD launched the “Looking Good in 2016” campaign, which encourages people to make a habit of sun protection—seeking shade, wearing protective clothing, and using a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher—and performing regular skin self-exams.

Survey Reveals Only 18 Percent of Outdoor Workers Always Wear Sunscreen at Work

A new survey commissioned by Deb Group, and conducted online by Harris Poll among US adults ages 18 and older who work outdoors at least half the time, was done to determine how often outdoor workers wear sunscreen at work. The study found that only 18 percent of outdoor workers always wear sunscreen at work.

“There are very real dangers associated with sun exposure that are often overlooked in the workplace,” said Isabelle Faivre, Vice President of Marketing, Deb North America. “Outdoor workers are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer and other ailments related to increased sun exposure. Organizations should educate outdoor workers on proper sun protection and provide sunscreen for use daily.”

The study found that 58 percent of outdoor workers say they always or sometimes see a need to wear sunscreen at work. However, 71 percent of outdoor workers say their employers don’t provide sunscreen to them for use at work. Perhaps that is why 59 percent of outdoor workers always or sometimes bring their own sunscreen to work.

Deb Group is proactively campaigning to raise awareness of the risks associated with prolonged UV exposure to those who spend a significant amount of time outside as part of their job. Deb has a collection of educational materials for managers and employees to implement an effective sun safety program. It offers a range of UV Protection creams. To learn more, visit info.debgroup.com/sun-home-us.

Melanoma Foundation of New England Expands Free Sunscreen Program

The Melanoma Foundation of New England will continue with the sunscreen dispenser program it started last year and expand it to other states. Beginning in May 2016, the foundation will issue free sunscreen dispensers to 54 locations across 12 states, for a total of 190 dispensers.

While priority was given to spots in New England, according to a Boston.com report, the dispensers will be installed in municipalities, individual businesses, and tourist attractions in states ranging from Nevada to South Carolina. Each dispenser contains about 670 applications worth of SPF 30, and the new locations were picked through a request for proposals process this past January as part of the foundation’s Practice Safe Skin program. n