Conversations among survivors and evidence in the literature suggests that there is a positive association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D

[25(OH)D] (vitamin D3) and survival in certain types of cancer, including advanced prostate cancer.

Researchers from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America investigated the relationship between survival advantage and vitamin D3 levels in newly diagnosed stage IV prostate cancer survivors.

In their study they looked at 54 men who were treated at their institution and who were newly diagnosed stage IV prostate cancer. The subject survivors underwent the establishment of a baseline of their serum vitamin D3 levels prior to receiving any treatment during the periods of Jan 2008 and Dec 2010.

They defined vitamin D insufficiency as serum levels of <=32 ng/ml. They defines patient survival as the time between date of first patient visit and date of death from any cause/date of last contact. They performed a Cox regression to evaluate the prognostic significance of serum vitamin D3 levels after adjusting for age, prostate specific antigen (PSA) and functional status.The mean age at diagnosis was 59.6 years. During a median follow-up of 23.6 months, 16 deaths occurred. The mean serum vitamin D3 level was 30.1 ng/ml, among whom 38 (70.4%) were insufficient in vitamin D (<=32 ng/ml).1- Mean overall survival was 49.4 months (95% CI: 38.1-60.7). 2- Mean survival was 32.6 months and 62.4 months for men in <=32 ng/ml and >32 ng/ml groups respectively (p = 0.02).
3- On univariate analysis, men with levels >32 ng/ml had a significantly lower risk of mortality compared to those with levels <=32 ng/ml (HR=0.19; 95% CI: 0.04-0.87; p=0.03). 4- On multivariate analysis controlling for age, performance status and PSA, men with levels >32 ng/ml demonstrated significantly lower mortality (HR=0.13; 95% CI: 0.02-1.0; p=0.05) compared to those with levels <=32 ng/ml.The data indicates that higher circulating levels of serum 25(OH)D were positively associated with survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer.These results should be confirmed in additional larger clinical trials, however, given the high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in prostate cancer and the fact that this insufficiency is easily correctable by supplementation, men should have early and continuing vitamin D assessment and intervention for a potential impact on their survival.Citation:
J Clin Oncol 31, 2013 (suppl; abstr 5036)
Pankaj G. Vashi, Digant Gupta, Kristen Trukova, Gwendolyn M Lambert, Carolyn Lammersfeld; Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Zion, IL; Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Schaumburg, IL

Joel T. Nowak, M.A., M.S.W.