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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007 Mar;103(3-5):757-62.

Selective vitamin D receptor modulators and their effects on colorectal tumor growth.

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Vitamin D, Skin and Bone Research Laboratories, Endocrine Section, Department of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics, Boston University Medical Center, 715 Albany Street, M-1013, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)], is an endocrine hormone whose classic role is the maintenance of calcium homeostasis. It is well documented that 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) also has anti-tumor effects on a number of cancers and cancer cell lines including breast, colorectal, gastric, liver, ovarian, prostate, and non-melanoma skin cancers. Included in the anti-tumor activities of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) are its ability to cause antiproliferation, prodifferentation and decrease angiogenesis. Furthermore, through regulation of the plaminogen activator (PA) system and a class of proteolytic enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) reduces the invasive spread of tumor cells. Because of the calcemic limitations of using 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) as a therapy, we have tested the effects of a novel Gemini vitamin D analogue, Deuterated Gemini (DG), on mouse colorectal cancer. We demonstrated that DG is more potent in reducing tumor volume and mass, compared to control and 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). DG significantly prevented (100% reduction, p<0.05) the invasive spread of colorectal tumor cells into the surrounding muscle, and had no effect on serum calcium levels. Thus, DG acts as a selective vitamin D receptor modulator (SVDRM) by enhancing select anti-tumor characteristic 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) activities, without inducing hypercalcemia. Thus, DG shows promise in the development of colorectal cancer therapies.

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