There are several studies reporting that those with higher serum 25(OH)D levels at time of cancer diagnosis have better survival rates than those with lower 25(OH)D levels.
The first type of cancer for which an increased survival rate with respect to serum 25(OH)D levels is lung cancer:
After a median follow-up time was 72 months (range, 0.2 to 141), with 161 recurrences and 234 deaths, for overall survival, the adjusted hazard ratio (AHR) was 0.74 (95% CI, 0.50 to 1.10; Ptrend = 0.07) for the highest versus lowest quartile of 25(OH)D levels. Stratified by stage, a strong association was observed among stage IB-IIB patients (AHR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.82; Ptrend = 0.002), but not among stage IA patients (AHR, 1.10; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.96; Ptrend = 0.53)1.
Higher serum 25(OH)D levels were associated with higher survival rates after breast cancer diagnosis2. Those with >30 ng/mL had a 17% 12-year all-cause mortality rate, while those with <15 ng/mL had a 34% 12-year mortality rate.
Survival after diagnosis of colorectal cancer is higher for those with higher serum 25(OH)D levels: “Compared with levels in the lowest quintile, participants with predicted 25(OH)D levels in the highest quintile had an adjusted HR of 0.50 (95% CI, 0.26-0.95) for cancer-specific mortality and 0.62 (95% CI, 0.42-0.93) for overall mortality3“.
For melanoma: “In the cohort (prospective) study, higher 25(25)D(3) levels were associated with lower Breslow thickness at diagnosis (P = .0002) and were independently protective of relapse and death: the hazard ratio for relapse-free survival (RFS) was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.64 to 0.96; P = 0.01) for a 20 nmol/L increase in serum level4.”
Thus, there is now evidence for six types of cancer, breast, colorectal, lung, prostate cancer, melanoma and NHL that higher serum 25(OH)D levels at time of diagnosis are correlated with improved survival rates. These and other studies suggest that those diagnosed with cancer should have their serum 25(OH)D levels tested, then be given supplements to raise their serum levels to perhaps 70-80 ng/mL7, starting with high doses at first to rapidly raise levels, then lower doses to maintain those levels. Such doses and levels should do no harm8.
Page last edited: 04 May 2011
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- Drake, M. T. Maurer, M. J. Link, B. K. Habermann, T. M. Ansell, S. M. Micallef, I. N. Kelly, J. L. Macon, W. R. Nowakowski, G. S. Inwards, D. J. Johnston, P. B. Singh, R. J. Allmer, C. Slager, S. L. Weiner, G. J. Witzig, T. E. Cerhan, J. R. Vitamin D insufficiency and prognosis in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Sep 20; 28 (27): 4191-8.
- Grant, W. B. An ecological study of cancer incidence and mortality rates in France with respect to latitude, an index for vitamin D production. Deramato-Endocrinology. 2010 Apr; 2 (2): 62-67.
- Hathcock, J. N. Shao, A. Vieth, R. Heaney, R. Risk assessment for vitamin D. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jan; 85 (1): 6-18.