Skip to comments.Mayo Clinic and collaborators find vitamin D levels associated with survival in lymphoma patients
Posted on 12/05/2009 2:16:13 PM PST by decimon
ROCHESTER, Minn. A new study has found that the amount of vitamin D (http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2008-mchi/4904.html) in patients being treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (http://www.mayoclinic.org/non-hodgkins-lymphoma/)was strongly associated with cancer progression and overall survival. The results will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (http://www.hematology.org/) in New Orleans.
"These are some of the strongest findings yet between vitamin D and cancer outcome," says the study's lead investigator, Matthew Drake, M.D., Ph.D., (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/13726218.html) an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. "While these findings are very provocative, they are preliminary and need to be validated in other studies. However, they raise the issue of whether vitamin D supplementation might aid in treatment for this malignancy, and thus should stimulate much more research."
The researchers' study of 374 newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients found that 50 percent had deficient vitamin D levels based on the commonly used clinical value of total serum 25(OH)D less than 25 ng/mL. Patients with deficient vitamin D levels had a 1.5-fold greater risk of disease progression and a twofold greater risk of dying, compared to patients with optimal vitamin D levels after accounting for other patient factors associated with worse outcomes.
The study was conducted by a team of researchers from Mayo Clinic and the University of Iowa. These researchers participate in the University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE), (http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/mayo/research/hematologic_malignancies/spore_lymphoma.cfm) which is funded by the National Cancer Institute. The 374 patients were enrolled in an epidemiologic study designed to identify predictors of outcomes in lymphoma. Since this was not a clinical trial, patient management and treatments were not assigned, but rather followed standard of care for clinical practice.
The findings support the growing association between vitamin D and cancer risk and outcomes, and suggest that vitamin D supplements might help even those patients already diagnosed with some forms of cancer, says Dr. Drake. "The exact roles that vitamin D might play in the initiation or progression of cancer is unknown, but we do know that the vitamin plays a role in regulation of cell growth and death, among other processes important in limiting cancer," he says.
The findings also reinforce research in other fields that suggest vitamin D is important to general health, Dr. Drake says. "It is fairly easy to maintain vitamin D levels through inexpensive daily supplements or 15 minutes in the sun three times a week in the summer, so that levels can be stored inside body fat," he says. Many physicians recommend 800-1,200 International Units (IU) daily, he adds.
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone obtained from sunlight and converted by the skin into its active form. It also can come from food (naturally or fortified as in milk) or from supplements. It is known best for its role of increasing the flow of calcium into the blood. Because of that role, vitamin D deficiency has long been known to be a major risk factor for bone loss and bone fractures, particularly in elderly people whose skin is less efficient at converting sunlight into vitamin D. But recent research has found that many people suffer from the deficiency, and investigators are actively looking at whether low vitamin D promotes poorer health in general.
Cancer researchers have discovered that vitamin D regulates a number of genes in various cancers, including prostate, colon and breast cancers. Recent studies have suggested that vitamin D deficiency may play a role in causing certain cancers as well as impacting the outcome once someone is diagnosed with cancer.
Researchers looked at vitamin D levels in lymphoma patients because of the observation, culled from U.S. mortality maps issued by the National Cancer Institute, that both incidence and mortality rates of this cancer increase the farther north a person lives in the United States, where sunlight is limited in the winter. Also, several recent reports have concluded that vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor outcomes in other cancers, including breast, colon and head and neck cancer. This is the first study to look at lymphoma outcome.
VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Matthew Drake describing the research are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog (http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2009/12/02/vitamin-d-associated-with-survival-in-lymphoma-patients/). These materials are also subject to embargo, but may be accessed in advance by journalist for incorporation into stories. The password for this post is: drake12.
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Mayo Hematologic Malignancies Lymphoma Fund.
Other members of the Mayo research team include Ivana Micallef, M.D.; Thomas Habermann, M.D. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10013571.html) William Macon, M.D.; (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/13410423.html), Joseph Colgan, M.D.; (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10187073.html); Matthew Maurer; Cristine Allmer; Susan Slager, Ph.D.; Thomas Witzig, M.D., (http://www.mayoclinic.org/bio/10031316.html) and James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D. Additional researchers include Brian Link, M.D., and George Weiner, M.D., both from the University of Iowa, Iowa City; Jennifer Kelly, Ph.D., University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.; and Daniel Nikcevich, M.D., St. Mary's Duluth Clinic, Duluth, Minn.
To request an appointment at Mayo Clinic, please call 480-422-1490 for the Arizona campus, 904-494-6484 for the Florida campus, or 507-216-4573 for the Minnesota campus.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz., and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.
I didn’t see a DOSAGE AMOUNT! HOW MUCH???
Be outside as much as you can.
You should take 3000-5000 units of D3 every day to prevent MANY illnesses, including the flu. No way can 15 mins in the sun do it.
Research it and start taking it, EVERYONE. They are finding more and more that coming DOWN with things is a Vitamin D3 deficiency. We are all exposed to the bugs going around, and you have a far less chance of getting them if you do these things:
1. Take a daily high-quality multi (you can't find this at your local drugstore - got to Whole Foods or online). Organic or at least made in the USA is best.
2. In addition, take Vitamin D3 - 3000-5000 units a day. Start with 3000 and add another 1000 when you are either exposed or start feeling sick.
3. The second you feel like you might be coming down with something, take zinc. Take 3 lozenges a day for a couple days. You can support Rush by taking Zicam, but any zinc lozenges will do.
4. Get 9 to 10 hours of sleep a night (naps count), especially if you are feeling sick. Not as important as the first 3, but it can take you over the top in fighting something off!
By following this, I have avoided many things including H1N1 when I've been exposed as much as one could possibly be exposed, twice. (Sleeping with a little child who has it, having him cough in my face repeatedly, etc)
See my post 6.
Vitamin D ping
Now, that's just TMI. lol
Bless the good parents of the world!
No way can 15 mins in the sun do it.
The sun won't do it. Here, from the NIH, is my now boilerplate response:
"Sun exposure Most people meet their vitamin D needs through exposure to sunlight [5,31]. Ultraviolet (UV) B radiation with a wavelength of 290-315 nanometers penetrates uncovered skin and converts cutaneous 7-dehydrocholesterol to previtamin D3, which in turn becomes vitamin D3 [9,32,33]. Season, geographic latitude, time of day, cloud cover, smog, skin melanin content, and sunscreen are among the factors that affect UV radiation exposure and vitamin D synthesis . The UV energy above 42 degrees north latitude (a line approximately between the northern border of California and Boston) is insufficient for cutaneous vitamin D synthesis from November through February ; in far northern latitudes, this reduced intensity lasts for up to 6 months. In the United States, latitudes below 34 degrees north (a line between Los Angeles and Columbia, South Carolina) allow for cutaneous production of vitamin D throughout the year ."
This requires some thought. Even in the southern states there must be some months when little vitamin D can be made from sunlight.
Yet another reason to be glad I live in Florida.
Now, if we can just get rid of Gov Crist.
In Florida you can make vitamin D from sunlight if: you are outdoors, it's not a cloudy day, it's the middle of the day, you are not in the shade, you are not behind glass, you have good skin exposure without sunblocker on you...
Dark skin or suntan reduces the amount of D you can make from sunlight. So does being older.
BOILERPLATE?? FOR WHO, EINSTEIN??
I live in CHICAGO! Does the sunlight coming into your house help?
I meant that I'm the sort of PITA that keeps repeating the same.
I live in CHICAGO! Does the sunlight coming into your house help?
The serious answer is that it does not help. Not you or your cat, if you have one. The glass blocks the UVB that makes the vitamin D.
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