Pancreatic cancerIntroduction

 The evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer is strong.

Several different epidemiological approaches have been used to study whether solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) and vitamin D reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Ecological studies (populations defined geographically) have often found an inverse correlation between solar UVB and incidence or death from pancreatic cancer.

Some observational studies have found an inverse correlation between a vitamin D index based on oral intake and solar UVB irradiance and incidence of pancreatic cancer while other observational studies found increased risk of PC at higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels.

It is argued that ecological studies provide more reliable and accurate information on the effects of vitamin D on pancreatic cancer risk since they integrate the effect of UVB and vitamin D over the entire lifetime while observational studies look only a few years in later life.

It appears that maintaining serum 25(OH)D levels above 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) might reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 25-35%.

Pancreatic cancer is a relatively frequent cancer with very poor prognosis once it is discovered. Thus, if vitamin D plays a role in reducing risk, it would be very important in terms of saving lives.

The evidence that vitamin D reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer is strong.

Page last edited: 01 July 2011