Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) has a high and increasing incidence all over the world. Solar radiation is the main aetiology for humans. Although most research into photocarcinogenesis uses UVB as a source of radiation, UVA is also carcinogenic in long term. Pomegranate (PGE) and cocoa (CE) extracts have been used for medicinal purposes for time immemorial. Recently, it has been claimed that some of their properties may be an effective preventative measure against photocarcinogenesis and photoaging, but to date in vivo models have not been tested using RUVA, the objective of the present work. A lower incidence of lesions was observed in SKH-1 mice treated with PGE (p<0.001), and lower incidence of invasive squamous carcinoma in both treatment groups (p<0.001 for PGE and p<0.05 for CE); the PGE group also showed a lower level of cell proliferation than the control group (p<0.001). Significantly greater p53 alteration was observed in the control group than the treatment groups (p<0.001 for PGE and p = 0.05 for CE). No significant differences were found in relation to TIMP-1 and MMP-9. Taken together, the results suggest that oral feeding of PGE and CE to SKH-1 mice affords substantial protection against the adverse effects of RUVA, especially PGE.
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