Tanning bed use, risk of melanoma and opportunity for prevention with sulforaphane

L. Joseph Su, Shelbie Stahr, Susan A. Kadlubar, Tung Chin Chiang, Henry K. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The use of indoor tanning beds for cosmetic purposes has been very popular among the Caucasian population in the US. It is estimated that almost one in three Caucasian women aged 16 to 25 years use indoor tanning devices each year. Indoor tanning beds produce concentrated UV-A and UV-B rays and can be more harmful than the natural rays of the sun. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified UV-emitting tanning devices as group 1 carcinogens in 2009. UV exposure from sunlight and indoor tanning bed has been linked to the risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Although the incidence rate of melanoma is higher among men than women, melanoma is more common among women among those aged 50 years or younger, which can be, at least partially, attributed to the use of indoor tanning beds. Recently, it has been reported that volunteers subjected to UV light and treated with sulforaphane showed a decrease in the development of skin erythema. Sulforaphane is a natural compound that is present abundantly in broccoli and broccoli sprouts. Commercially available sulforaphane supplements have been demonstrated to be safe and lack of toxicity. Data indicates that sulforaphane has anti-cancerous activity via a reduction of glutathione levels, which is regulated by nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2). The knowledge gained so far may present a unique opportunity for chemoprevention trials examining the efficacy of sulforaphane in melanoma prevention. Well-planned and well-characterized trials examining molecular pathways could also further our understanding of the carcinogenic mechanisms for melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S944-S950
JournalTranslational Cancer Research
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer prevention
  • Melanoma
  • Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2)
  • Sulforaphane
  • Tanning bed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Tanning bed use, risk of melanoma and opportunity for prevention with sulforaphane'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this