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28-06-2016 | Oncology | News | Article

News in brief

Vitamin D sufficiency linked to better pancreatic cancer survival

medwireNews: Survival is improved in pancreatic cancer patients with sufficient versus deficient plasma levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], as assessed prior to diagnosis.

These findings indicate that “prediagnostic plasma 25(OH)D is a prognostic factor in patients with pancreatic cancer”, say researchers whose study population was drawn from five prospective US cohorts, including the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study.

Among 493 patients diagnosed between 1984 and 2008, those with sufficient (≥30 ng/mL) and relatively insufficient (20 to <30 ng/mL) 25(OH)D levels had a significant 34% and 21% reduced risk of death, respectively, relative to participants who were vitamin D deficient (<20 ng/mL).

The results “remained largely unchanged” after adjusting for various confounders, such as time between blood draw and diagnosis, history of diabetes and body mass index, the team reports in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology.

Researcher Brian Wolpin (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and colleagues conclude: “When considering these findings together with previously reported preclinical data in pancreatic cancer models, agonists of the vitamin D receptor are a potentially attractive therapeutic approach for investigation in this highly lethal malignancy.”

By Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2016