Nicotinamide for skin cancer chemoprevention: effects of nicotinamide on melanoma in vitro and in vivo†
Nicotinamide (NAM), an amide form of vitamin B3, replenishes cellular energy after ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure, thereby enhancing DNA repair and reducing UVR's immunosuppressive effects. NAM reduces actinic keratoses and new keratinocyte cancers in high risk individuals, but its effects on melanoma are unknown. Melanomas arising on NAM or placebo within the ONTRAC skin cancer chemoprevention trial (Oral Nicotinamide To Reduce Actinic Cancer) were examined by immunohistochemistry. The effects of NAM (50 μM, 5 mM and 20 mM) on the viability, proliferation and invasiveness of four human melanoma cell lines and on the viability and proliferation of two human melanocyte lines, with and without UV irradiation were also investigated. 50 μM NAM did not affect viability, proliferation or invasion of melanoma or melanocyte cell lines, whereas concentrations too high to be achievable in vivo reduced viability and proliferation. Nicotinamide did not enhance melanoma viability, proliferation or invasiveness in vitro, providing additional confidence in its safety for use in clinical trials in high risk patients. Peritumoral and tumour infiltrating CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes were significantly increased in melanomas arising on NAM compared to those arising on placebo. Given the chemopreventive activity of nicotinamide against keratinocyte cancers, its DNA repair enhancing effects in melanocytes and now its potential enhancement of tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes and lack of adverse effects on melanoma cell growth and proliferation, clinical trials of nicotinamide for melanoma chemoprevention are now indicated.