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High Vitamin D Levels and Survival Rate


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High Vitamin D Levels Linked to Improved Lung Cancer Survival

NEW YORK FEB 14, 2007 (Reuters Health) - As circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) increase, survival in patients with early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) improves, new research shows.

In an earlier study, Dr. Wei Zhou, from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues showed that surgery in the summertime coupled with higher vitamin D intake seemed to improve survival in NSCLC patients. The focus of the present study was to investigate the role of vitamin D further by assessing the impact of circulating 25(OH)D levels on NSCLC survival.

The study, reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology for February 10, involved 447 patients with early-stage NSCLC. During a median follow-up period of 72 months, 161 recurrences and 234 deaths were recorded.

Patients in the highest serum 25(OH)D quartile (at least 21.6 ng/mL) were 26% less likely to die during follow-up than were those in the lowest quartile (<10.2 ng/mL). Further analysis showed that a significant reduction in mortality, 55%, was only seen in patients with stage IB-IIB disease, not in those with IA disease (p = 0.002).

High 25(OH)D levels were also linked to improved recurrence-free survival in patients with stage IB-IIB disease, but the association fell short of statistical significance.

High 25(OH)D levels combined with high vitamin D intake reduced the risk of death by 36% relative to low levels and intake (p = 0.06).

"This is the first study demonstrating the circulating 25(OH)D levels and the joint effects with vitamin D intake are associated with improved survival in patients with early-stage NSCLC, suggesting the importance of vitamin D in NSCLC prognosis," Dr. Zhou's team concludes. "The results need to be confirmed in other independent studies and in randomized clinical trials."


J Clin Oncol 2007;25:479-485.

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