Longwave ultraviolet radiation and promotion of skin cancer

Cancer Cells. 1991 Jan;3(1):8-12.


Exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is recognized as an important cause of skin cancer. The carcinogenic effects of UV radiation have been attributed almost entirely to wavelengths in the mid-range (UVB, 290-320 nm). However, the development of potent UVB sunscreens has allowed individuals to increase the length of time that they spend sunbathing and, as a consequence, they may be exposed to massive doses of longwave UV radiation (UVA, 320-400 nm). There is now much evidence to suggest that UVA acts to promote tumors that have been initiated by UVB. This review considers possible mechanisms by which UVA promotes tumorigenesis. Evidence is presented which suggests that UVA acts through modulation of protein kinase C.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Damage
  • Humans
  • Skin Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*