Inhibitory effects of sodium salicylate and acetylsalicylic acid on UVB-induced mouse skin carcinogenesis

Warner B. Bair, Nancy Hart, Janine Einspahr, Guangming Liu, Zigang Dong, David Alberts, G. Tim Bowden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We conducted an in vivo carcinogenesis experiment to determine the efficacy of topical aspirin and sodium salicylate (NAS) in preventing UVB-induced nonmelanoma skin cancer. Hairless SKH-1 mice were randomly divided into eight treatment groups. They were treated topically with either 40 or 10 μmol aspirin or NAS three times weekly before 9 kJ/m2 UVB irradiation. The experiment was carried out over 25 weeks. Both dose levels of NAS significantly inhibited (P < 0.05) the rate of tumor formation when compared with vehicle control. The 40 μmol dose of aspirin significantly inhibited the rate of tumor formation (P < 0.05), whereas the 10 μmol dose had no inhibitory effect when compared with the vehicle control. To investigate the mechanism of this inhibition, we studied UVB-induced thymine dimer formation in the epidermis of the mouse skin. We found that NAS inhibited UVB-induced thymine dimer formation (P = 0.0001), whereas aspirin did not. Therefore, we conclude that NAS prevents UVB-induced tumor growth and formation through a sunscreen effect; whereas, the moderate inhibition of aspirin may be because of a molecular event, such as the inhibition of various UVB signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1652
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


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