Melanoma - Reducing the Air Plane Flight Risk

Studies have shown a significant increase in melanoma skin cancer risk associated with flying. Cabin crew, including flight attendants and pilots, show a dramatic increase in malignant melanoma cases, twice the incidence of the general population.(1,2) Furthermore, it is suggested that the dramatic rise in melanoma cases in the general public parallel the increased air travel over the last several decades.(3) Explanations point to increased exposure to UV and cosmic radiation during air travel.



  • SULFORAPHANE (Glucoraphanin) - The most malignant forms of melanoma are aggressive melanoma stem cells, which maintain enhanced survivability and migration. Sulforaphane has been found to suppress these malignant properties, including a reduction of tumor formation, by targeting the gene expression which expresses these properties.(4,5).
  • ANDROGRAPHOLIDE - Further melanoma tumor suppression is also enabled by increasing expression of anti-tumor proteins. In experiments using andrographolide, a natural herbal extract, andrographolide "significantly inhibited melanoma tumor growth and metastasis by inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis".(6)
  • PTEROSTILBENE | CURCUMIN | APIGENIN | LUTEOLIN - Other natural ingredients which may have a protective effect against melanoma skin cancer include pterostilbene (7), curcumin (8), Apigenin (9), Luteolin (10) as demonstrated in lab studies.


(Sulforaphane - precursor glucoraphanin | Andrographolide | Pterostilbene | Curcumin | Apigenin | Luteolin)



(1) Saniorenzo M, et al. The risk of melanoma in airline pilots and cabin crew: a meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Jan

(2) Yong LC, et al. Mortality among a cohort of U.S. commercial airline cockpit crew. Am J Ind Med. 2014 Aug

(3) Arbesman H. Hypothesis: Is frequent, commercial jet travel by the general public a risk factor for developing cutaneous melanoma? F1000Res. 2015 Aug

(4)  Adhikary G, et al. Survival of skin cancer stem cells requires the Ezh2 polycomb group protein. Carcinogensis. 2015 Jul.

(5) Fisher ML, et al. The Ezh2 polycomb group protein drives an aggressive phenotype in melanoma cancer stem cells and is a target of diet derived sulforaphane. Mol Carcinog. 2015 Dec 23.

(6) Zhang QQ, et al. Andrographolide inhibits melanoma tumor growth by inactivating the TLR4/NF-κB signaling pathway. Melanoma Res. 2014 Dec

(7) Benlloch M, et al. Pterostilbene Decreases the Antioxidant Defenses of Aggressive Cancer Cells in Vivo: a Physiological Glucocorticoids- and Nrf2-Dependent Mechanism. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2015 Dec 9.

(8) Zhao G, et al. Curcumin induces autophagy, inhibits proliferation and invasion by downregulating AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in human melanoma cells. Oncol Rep. 2016 Feb.

(9) Hasnet MA, et al. Apigenin Attenuates Melanoma Cell Migration by Inducing Anoikis through Integrin and Focal Adhesion Kinase Inhibition. Molecules 2015 Nov.

(10) Ruan JS, et al. Luteolin reduces the invasive potential of malignant melanoma cells by targeting β3 integrin and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2012 Oct;

Anne Paige
Anne Paige