August 20, 2008

Beiersdorf Raises Concerns Over New Cancer Study on Mice

Consumer products company Beiersdorf has raised concerns over a new study which concludes that moisturizing cream may promote skin cancer in mice.

A study conducted by the State University of New Jersey was published in the US which concludes that moisturizing cream may promote skin cancer in mice. The mice were exposed to UVB radiation and subsequently Dermabase cream, Dermovan, Vanicream, and Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream were applied. These mice showed a higher number of tumors than mice treated with a placebo solution.

According to the company, the study does not comply with scientifically accepted or validated methods as outlined in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development guidelines. These standards are commonly used in the investigation of toxicological questions and are accepted and required by the international scientific community.

The company further says that the title of the study "Tumorigenic effect of some commonly used moisturizing creams " is in itself misleading because no cancer-inducing damage was initiated by the application of the tested cosmetic products. The observed damage resulted from prior UV-B exposure.

To translate results from animal testing to humans, the differences between the species must be considered. Additionally, the mice in this study were not normal mice, but rather from a special mouse line, highly susceptible to developing tumors when exposed to UVB, the company added.

Ina Hadshiew, head of clinic of photodermatology and photobiology, department of dermatology at the University Hospital Hamburg Eppendorf, said: "To establish whether these moisturizers do have any tumor promoting activity as speculated, they should be examined as such in healthy skin. Also, there is no indication how this carcinogenic effect might by brought about. The speculation that 'a tumor-promoting type of mechanism that causes inflammation and proliferation in DNA-damaged skin,' may be involved seems more than vague."