A Three-Year Randomized Trial in Patients with Dysplastic Naevi Treated with Oral Beta-carotene
Christiane Bayerl, Beate Schwarz, Ernst G. Jung
Ultraviolet irradiation provokes the development of new melanocytic naevi, or changes in existing naevi, leading to repeated surgery of atypical naevi and becoming a continual burden for individuals with many of these lesions. To determine the influence of long-term medication with the radical scavenger ?-carotene on newly developing atypical naevi, a single-centre, randomized, placebo-controlled study, prospective over 3 years, was started double-blind in 62 patients with numerous clinically atypical naevi. Beta-carotene (25 mg) was given twice daily for 36 months in the treatment group (n =30) and saccharose capsules as placebo in the control group (n =32). The total number of newly developed naevi in the ?-carotene group (n =18) was 68 versus 88 in the placebo group (n =21) (not significant). Of 12 different locations on the human body evaluated separately, only in two, the lower arm (p =0.03) and the feet (p =0.03), was there a difference for the ?-carotene group in the quantification of naevi. Overall, it is concluded that ?-carotene does not reduce the development of new naevi in patients with numerous atypical naevi.