DAYTON, OH —Geriatric patients are the primary victims of nonmelanoma skin cancer, according to a new study pointing out that only 20% of them are diagnosed in patients younger than 60.

Part of the reason, according to an article in Archives of Dermatological Research, is that geriatric skin responds to procarcinogenic ultraviolet B radiation (UVB) in a way that permits the establishment of tumor cells.1

A study team from Wright State University in Dayton, OH, and the Dayton VAMC, Dayton, reported that they are researching innovative ways to reduce aging-associated nonmelanoma skin cancer USA.

The article mentioned recent studies suggesting wounding of geriatric skin with fractionated resurfacing lasers and dermabrasion upregulates fibroblast production of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). That appears to normalize the procarcinogenic acute UVB response involving the proliferation of basal keratinocytes while still harboring unrepaired DNA damage, according to the authors.

The authors said their research tested the ability of wounding with a commercially available microneedling device to upregulate IGF-1 levels and normalize the geriatric UVB response. To do that, they treated geriatric volunteers with a microneedling device on buttock skin and then, three months later, tested the IGF-1 levels and UVB responses tested in wounded vs. control skin.

Researchers determined that, in those patients, wounding via microneedling upregulated IGF-1 and resulted in lower levels of basal keratinocytes proliferating with unrepaired DNA damage.

“The ability of microneedling to protect against the formation of UVB-damaged proliferating keratinocytes indicates the potential of this wounding modality to reduce aging-associated non-melanoma skin cancer,” the authors concluded.

1.Travers JB, Kemp MG, Weir NM, et al. Wounding with a microneedling device corrects the inappropriate ultraviolet B radiation response in geriatric skin. Arch Dermatol Res. 2020;312(1):1–4. doi:10.1007/s00403-019-02001-z