Sleep apnoea 'predicts skin cancer risk'

The aggressiveness of melanoma skin cancer can be predicted by the severity of sleep-disordered breathing, a study suggests.

Low oxygen levels in the blood are thought to accelerate malignant melanoma growth (DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY)
Low oxygen levels in the blood are thought to accelerate malignant melanoma growth (DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY)

Researchers in Spain found that skin cancer patients with more severe sleep apnoea had faster melanoma growth rates.

The findings will be presented on Wednesday at the European Respiratory Society Annual Congress 2013 in Barcelona.

Studies in mice have suggested that low oxygen levels in the blood, which are often present in the respiratory disorder, may encourage tumour growth. This study is the first to investigate the link in humans.

Researchers investigated 56 patients with cutaneous malignant melanoma. They measured the growth of melanoma tumours and three measures of sleep apnoea severity.

Six out of 10 patients (60.7%) had sleep apnoea and one in seven (14.3%) had severe disorder. After adjusting for other factors, researchers found tumour growth rates and depth of invasion increased as oxygen desaturation levels rose.

Lead author Dr Francisco Campos-Rodriguez from the Hospital de Valme in Seville, Spain said if the results were confirmed in a larger study, 'this would have important clinical implications, particularly as sleep apnoea can be easily treated and this could open up new therapeutic possibilities for people with both conditions'.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Pension tax solution for judges shows government could do more for doctors, says BMA

Pension tax solution for judges shows government could do more for doctors, says BMA

Government plans to 'effectively exempt judges from pension tax' show the government...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

Second-phase COVID-19 vaccine rollout maintains prioritisation by age

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has published advice on...

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

PCNs paid £70m for first-wave COVID-19 jab campaign as NHS plots next phase of rollout

Primary care network (PCN) COVID-19 vaccination sites have been paid £70m this month...

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP personally calling at-risk patients to boost COVID-19 vaccine uptake

London GP Dr Farzana Hussain is personally telephoning scores of patients who have...

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Half of patients with possible cancer symptoms avoided contacting GP in first wave

Almost half of people who experienced potential cancer symptoms in the first wave...