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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Jul;129(7):1611-3. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.99.

UVB and caffeine: inhibiting the DNA damage response to protect against the adverse effects of UVB.

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  • 1Human DNA Damage Response Disorders Group, Genome Damage & Stability Centre, University of Sussex, East Sussex, UK.


The incidence of sunlight-induced skin cancer is increasing. Mouse studies indicate that caffeine, administered orally or topically, promotes apoptosis of UVB-irradiated keratinocytes. In this issue, Heffernan and colleagues identify the pathway targeted by caffeine and suggest that inhibition of this DNA damage response may offer a viable therapeutic option for nonmelanoma skin cancer. This potentially represents an important protective or therapeutic option from the most unlikely of sources: your daily coffee.

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