Distinguishing Myth from Fact: Photocarcinogenesis and Phototherapy

Katherine G. Thompson, Noori Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Ultraviolet (UV) radiation contributes to the development of skin cancer through direct and indirect DNA damage, production of reactive oxygen species, and local immunomodulation. The association between UV radiation and skin cancer has raised concern for the risk of carcinogenesis following phototherapy. The photocarcinogenic impact of psoralen and UVA radiation (PUVA) has been extensively studied, whereas limited safety studies exist for other phototherapy modalities, such as broadband and narrowband UVB and UVA1. Because of the as of yet unclear risk, patients who have undergone any type of phototherapy should be followed for age-appropriate skin cancer screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-35
Number of pages11
JournalDermatologic clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Broadband UVB
  • Narrowband UVB
  • PUVA
  • Photocarcinogenesis
  • Phototherapy
  • Skin cancer
  • UVA1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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