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October 1995

Evidence That Sunscreens Prevent UV Radiation-Induced Immunosuppression in Humans: Sunscreens Have Their Day in the Sun

Author Affiliations

Department of Dermatology Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, MA 02114

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(10):1201-1204. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690220109022

IT has been known for over two decades that induction of malignant skin tumors in rodents by midrange UV radiation (UVB radiation, 280 to 320 nm) involves not only an oncogenic event within the epidermis but also specific immunologic changes that serve to prevent or inhibit a vigorous immune response against the incipient tumor by the host immune system.1 Ultraviolet B—induced tumors in mice are highly immunogenic and fail to grow when transplanted to syngeneic recipients.2-4 Indeed, the transplanted tumors are destroyed and immunologic memory against the transplanted tumor can be detected. This observation led to a series of studies aimed at understanding why these immunogenic tumors grow in the primary host.

UV RADIATION INDUCES SPECIFIC IMMUNOLOGIC CHANGES IN MICE  Experiments performed in the 1970s by Kripke2,3 and Roberts et al4 demonstrated that prolonged and repetitive exposure to UVB radiation results not only in the appearance

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