Recent evidence has given us an additional tool in the fight against skin cancer. Dermatologists from the department of dermatology in the University of Sydney have shown a significant reduction in the rate of skin cancer when individuals at risk of skin cancer were treated with Nicotinamide.

Where is nicotinamide found?

Nicotinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 which is naturally present in small quantities in yeast, lean meats, fish, nuts and legumes. It is also often added to cereals and other foods.

How does nicotinamide work?

The broad clinical effects of nicotinamide may be explained by its role as:

  • a cellular energy precursor

  • a modulator of inflammatory cytokines

  • an inhibitor of the nuclear enzyme poly(adenosine diphosphate-ribose [ADP]) polymerase [PARP], which plays a significant role in DNA repair, maintenance of genomic stability, and cellular response to injury including inflammation and apoptosis (cell death).

How should we use it?

In the study, benefits were gained when individuals were treated with 500g twice daily. No significant side effects were noted. It is important that Nicotinamide is not replaced with Niacin, another form of Vitamin B3, as this tends to cause flushing.

Nicotinamide is available as a supplement which comes in 500mg tablets.

Ask one of the team at SKIN if you have further questions about Nicotinamide and its prevention of skin cancer.

Health bill passed will prevent melanoma

Great news that the Health Amendment Bill passed its third reading. This means sunbeds are restricted to those over the age of 18. There is a clear link between melanoma and sunbed use, so this bill will prevent unnecessary UV exposure in our youth, and prevent development of melanoma and skin cancers.

Read more here

Meeting of International Experts

Dr Tallon has just finished presenting at the American Society for MOHs Surgery meeting in California. The meeting included presentations from the melanoma and dermoscopy experts Dr Riegel and Dr Marghoob. Data was presented on a new 31 gene profiling Castle non invasive test for melanomas which can provide information to predict the melanoma's behaviour. 

NZ leads world with melanoma incidence

Dr Tallon supported the publication of recent research showing NZ now has the highest rates of melanoma in the world. His media release comments are outlined below as reported in the NZ herald.


Dr Ben Tallon, speaking on behalf of Melanoma New Zealand and MelNet, a network of professionals working together to reduce the incidence and impact of melanoma in New Zealand, says the Government needs to "get serious" about preventing skin cancer, with a serious commitment to funding prevention strategies.

"The study found that, while Australia's melanoma rates have been declining since 2005, our rates are still increasing and are not expected to start falling until about 2017. The Government is now facing big health bills as increasing numbers of people develop invasive melanoma," he said.

"This study should be a wake-up call. Skin cancer prevention initiatives are highly cost effective and an important public health investment.

"It's an investment the New Zealand Government must make."

The Government is also under pressure to fund melanoma drug Keytruda in New Zealand.

Labour wants Pharmac to be given funds to commit to new drugs like Keytruda -- which is funded in other countries including Australia and, for a set period while the drug's effectiveness is still being tested.




• Melanoma rates in New Zealand increased from about 26 cases per 100,000 people in 1982 to about 50 cases per 100,000 people in 2011. 

• Australia's melanoma rates peaked at about 49 cases per 100,000 people in 2005 and declined to about 48 cases per 100,000 people in 2011. 

• Researchers predict that New Zealand's melanoma rates will start to decline from next year and reach about 46 cases per 100,000 people by 2031. 

• Australia's rates are expected to keep falling to about 41 cases per 100,000 people by 2031. 

• Rates in the UK, Sweden, Norway and the Caucasian population of the United States are predicted to keep increasing until at least 2022.