Is UV an etiological factor of acral melanoma?

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Abstract

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major environmental risk factor for melanoma, particularly among Caucasians. However, studies have generated conflicting results on the role of UV exposure in the development of acral melanoma, the most prevalent subtype of melanoma in non-Caucasians. In this review, we analyzed studies that have examined the relationship between acral melanoma and UV and show that acral melanoma has specific epidemiological and genetic characteristics, with a lower frequency or absence of UV-induced features. Therefore, we postulate that UV is probably not involved in the etiology of acral melanoma. However, further epidemiological and laboratory studies are required to fully address this controversial issue, which may lead to a better understanding of the pathogenesis and prevention of acral melanoma.

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