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.
Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.