Nicotinamide for skin cancer chemoprevention

Australas J Dermatol. 2017 Aug;58(3):174-180. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12631. Epub 2017 Mar 20.


Nicotinamide (vitamin B3 ) has a range of photoprotective effects in vitro and in vivo; it enhances DNA repair, reduces UV radiation-induced suppression of skin immune responses, modulates inflammatory cytokine production and skin barrier function and restores cellular energy levels after UV exposure. Pharmacological doses of nicotinamide have been shown to reduce actinic keratoses and nonmelanoma skin cancer incidence in high-risk individuals, making this a nontoxic and accessible option for skin cancer chemoprevention in this population.

Keywords: basal cell carcinoma; melanoma; niacinamide; squamous cell carcinoma; vitamin B3.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell / prevention & control*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / prevention & control*
  • DNA Repair / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / drug effects
  • Immune Tolerance / radiation effects
  • Keratosis, Actinic / drug therapy
  • Melanoma / prevention & control*
  • Niacinamide / pharmacology
  • Niacinamide / therapeutic use*
  • Organ Transplantation
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects
  • Vitamin B Complex / pharmacology
  • Vitamin B Complex / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Niacinamide