Molecular mechanisms of flavonoids in melanin synthesis and the potential for the prevention and treatment of melanoma.
BACKGROUND Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, having a high metastatic potential and afflicting all age groups. The need for successful preventative measures is particularly urgent as metastatic melanoma is largely incurable. The beneficial role of nutrition and other natural compounds in the prevention and treatment of melanoma has been clearly demonstrated in the past, and is an exciting source for potential therapies in the future. OBJECTIVE We sought to review updates in the current literature regarding new developments in the relationship between nutrition and melanoma risk and treatment. METHODS Articles in the public domain regarding the impact of diet, grape seed proanthocyanidins, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, lycopene, and fig latex on melanoma were included. RESULTS Grape seed proanthocyanidins, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, resveratrol, rosmarinic acid, lycopene, and fig latex have demonstrated clear anticancer effects toward melanoma. The roles of selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin E, however, have been more controversial. LIMITATIONS None. CONCLUSIONS The role of natural compounds in the future of melanoma prevention and treatment is promising and one that is worthy of further exploration.