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December 1997

Is Phototherapy in Neonates a Risk Factor for Malignant Melanoma Development?A Preliminary Case-Control Study

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Dermatology, Karolinska Institutet, Danderyd Hospital, Danderyd, Sweden.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(12):1185-1187. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170490011002

Objective:  To determine whether phototherapy of the newborn's sensitive skin could be a risk factor for malignant melanoma.

Design:  Retrospective study from 1973 to 1992.

Setting:  The Swedish Medical Birth Registry and the Swedish Cancer Registry.

Patients:  Thirty cases of childhood malignant melanoma and 120 matched controls.

Intervention:  None.

Main Outcome Measures:  Data in birth and cancer reports and from death certificates in Sweden.

Results:  None of the patients with childhood malignant melanoma had received phototherapy, in comparison with 11 of the controls. This difference was not significant (P=.08; Fisher exact test).

Conclusion:  This preliminary report shows no significant risk of developing childhood malignant melanoma after phototherapy of the skin in neonates with hyperbilirubinemia. However, the median follow-up time was only 18 years.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151:1185-1187