What is the long term safety of Narrowband UVB (NB-UVB) treatment?

What is the long term safety of Narrowband UVB (NB-UVB) treatment?


I’m Noeline Nadarajah and I’m a PhD student researching the mutation burden of narrowband UVB, under the supervision of Professor Eugene Healy, Professor John Holloway and Dr Mat Rose-Zerilli at the University of Southampton. Narrowband UVB is a form of “artificial sunlight” which is used widely by dermatologists
to treat people with psoriasis. Although UV is a helpful treatment for psoriasis,
it is known that UV can cause skin cancer. At present, we do not know how many courses
of narrowband UVB a person with psoriasis can receive over their lifetime without being
at significant risk of developing skin cancer. Our project proposes to estimate the long-term
safety of narrowband UVB treatment by looking at the effect of narrowband UVB on genes in our skin cells. All the cells in the body, including our skin
cells, contain genes that we are born with. These genes contain the instructions for how
a cell behaves. When the skin is exposed to UV, this can cause
changes to some of these genes. These changes are called mutations. When a cell divides
these mutations are passed on to its daughter cells. Over time these daughter cells and their descendants may eventually accumulate thousands of mutations which may cause the skin cells to become abnormal and form skin cancers. In this study we plan to use a technology called Next Generation Sequencing which will identify genes carrying mutations after a course of narrowband UVB treatment. The results of this study will enable dermatologists and people with psoriasis to identify how much or how little damage narrowband UVB does to our skin cells and in turn, this will enable us to identify how many safe courses of narrowband UVB a person can receive in their lifetime.

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