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Anticancer Res. 2006 Jul-Aug;26(4A):2515-24.

Vitamin D and cancer.

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Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratory, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


The correlation between decreased morbidity and mortality of cancer and exposure to sunlight is known. The many biological functions of vitamin D that contribute to cancer prevention have only recently begun to be appreciated. Once activated 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D3] functions as a potent inhibitor of normal and cancer cellular proliferation. Vitamin D deficiency in mice led to a 60% increase in colon tumor growth, compared to vitamin D-sufficient mice. The ligand binding domain of the Vitamin D receptor was shown to accommodate a class of 1,25(OH)2D3-analogs that possess an additional side-arm. These novel Gemini analogs were evaluated in vitro and in vivo. Select Gemini analogs were 100 times or more effective in inhibiting colon tumor growth in mice, compared to their parent compound. Correcting vitamin D deficiency may decrease the risk of developing colon cancer, while the novel Gemini 1,25(OH)2D3-analogs have the potential for therapeutic application in human colon cancer.

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