Biomarkers in Melanoma and Non-melanoma Skin Cancer Prevention and Risk Stratification

Skin Cancer

Trager MH, et al. Exp Dermatol 2020 - Review.


The rates of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) have been increasing over the last twenty years in the U.S., and this has been attributed to increased ultraviolet radiation exposure (UVR). Given these rising rates, preventative measures have become increasingly important to reduce the incidence and promote early detection of these cancers. Skin cancer prevention remains a challenging task to accomplish mainly due to the lack of reliable and sensitive methods to provide objective risk

information that can educate and motivate individuals to avoid sunburn. Currently, minimal erythema dose (MED) is used as a marker of UVR. However, it is not an ideal marker because significant cancer-related molecular damage can occur after UVR exposure that cannot be detected by MED. Thus, over the recent years there has been significant interest in development of biomarkers indicative of exposure to UVR to improve early detection of cutaneous malignancies. Here, we will discuss emerging biomarkers for melanoma and NMSC that can help with risk stratification and targeted prevention and treatment.