Melanoma pp 51-62 | Cite as

Ultraviolet Radiation and Melanoma

  • Thomas M. RüngerEmail author
Reference work entry


There is overwhelming epidemiologic, animal model, and molecular evidence that ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a major pathogenic factor in the development of the most common subtypes of melanoma. Both UVB and UVA induce pyrimidine dimer DNA photoproducts, possibly through different mechanisms, induce mutations (mostly the C → T UV-signature mutation), and contribute to melanoma formation. There is no conclusive evidence that oxidative DNA base modifications play a significant role in melanomagenesis. Sun seeking and artificial tanning are most likely to blame for the steady increases of melanoma incidence over the past decades. Photoprotection can reduce melanoma risk. Education of the public about the dangers of UVR exposure from natural and artificial sources and about effective measures of photoprotection with the goal to modify behavior and to reduce UVR exposure is the best strategy to reverse the increases in melanoma incidence.


Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) UVA UVB C → T mutation UV-signature mutation DNA photoproduct 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • David E. Fisher
    • 1
  • Nick Hayward
    • 2
  • David C. Whiteman
    • 3
  • Keith T. Flaherty
    • 4
  • F. Stephen Hodi
    • 5
    • 6
  • Hensin Tsao
    • 7
    • 8
  • Glenn Merlino
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Harvard/MGH Cutaneous Biology Research Center, and Melanoma Program, MGH Cancer CenterMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.QIMR Berghofer Medical Research InstituteHerstonAustralia
  3. 3.QIMR Berghofer Medical Research InstituteHerstonAustralia
  4. 4.Henri and Belinda Termeer Center for Targeted TherapiesMGH Cancer CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.FraminghamUSA
  6. 6.Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's HospitalDana-Farber Cancer InstituteBostonUSA
  7. 7.AuburndaleUSA
  8. 8.Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and TechnologyCambridgeUSA
  9. 9.Center for Cancer ResearchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA

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