The authors refute arguments recently presented in a number of publications, including two reports from the EU and the World Health Organization (WHO). The results of the studies conducted by Reichrath et al. have recently been published in two articles in the scientific journal Anticancer Research (Vol. 38).
Can artificial UV radiation cause malignant melanoma in humans? In light of the observed increase in skin cancer rates, this question is one that has been and continues to be addressed in numerous studies. An international team of researchers, coordinated by the Homburg dermatologist Jörg Reichrath, has conducted a thorough search of the scientific databases MEDLINE and ISI Web of Science for relevant studies and subjected the results to a systematic meta-analysis (1). Although the team found an association of a slightly increased melanoma risk when comparing ‘ever’ versus ‘never’ sunbed users, they identified significant shortcomings in the scientific studies they included in their meta-analysis. Many of the earlier published results were based on observational studies with poor quality data that fail to support causation. ‘When you assess subgroups of study participants, it becomes apparent that other factors may well be playing a role,’ explains Professor Reichrath. ‘For example, solarium use
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