UV exposure from sun-tanning units has long been linked to skin cancer, but their use may also enhance the risk of uveal melanoma, a recent study published online in the Canadian Journal of Ophthalmology reports.

The investigation consisted of a literature review of several online databases from 1966 to 2019. It included a total of five studies that enrolled 1,753 uveal melanoma cases and 3,399 controls. Following the analysis, researchers noted a positive association between sun lamp use and uveal melanoma (odds ratio = 2.15).

However, meta-regression that evaluated the studies’ similarities didn’t find a statistically significant association between publication year, site latitude, melanoma tissue location (specifically inclusion of iris tumors) or control type (population vs. clinic).

Advancements in the treatment of uveal melanoma have not improved survival, and, as such, identifying modifiable risk factors is critical to improving outcomes, the researchers said in their paper on the study.

Weis E, Aghazadeh H, Roelofs K, Agi J. Sunlamp use is a risk factor for uveal melanoma: a meta-analysis. Can J Ophthalmol. April 8, 2021. [Epub ahead of print].