Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Folate and Risk of Cutaneous Melanoma in Women

Cancer Epidemiol; 2018 Aug; Dhana, Ten, Li, et al

There is some evidence that higher intake of folate from food only was associated with a modest increased risk of cutaneous melanoma. This according to a recent study that sought to examine the associations between intake of 1-carbon metabolism nutrients and cutaneous melanoma risk in 2 large prospective cohorts (75,311 white women and 48,523 white men). Nutrient intake was assessed repeatedly by food frequency questionnaires and self-reported supplement use. Researchers found:

  • Over 24–26 years of follow-up, 1,328 melanoma cases (648 men and 680 women) were documented.
  • Higher intake of folate from food only, but not total folate, was associated with increased melanoma risk (pooled HR for top vs bottom quintile: 1.36).
  • The association was significant in men, but attenuated in women.
  • Higher intake of vitamins B6 and B12, choline, betaine, and methionine were not associated with melanoma risk, although there was modest increasing trend of risk for vitamin B6 from food only (pooled HR for top vs bottom quintile: 1.18).


Dhana A, Yen H, Li T, Holmes MD, Qureshi AA, Cho E. Intake of folate and other nutrients related to one-carbon metabolism and risk of cutaneous melanoma among US women and men. Cancer Epidemiol. 2018;55:176-183. doi:10.1016/j.canep.2018.06.006.