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Carcinogenesis. 2009 Jul;30(7):1170-80. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgp103. Epub 2009 Apr 29.

Review and meta-analysis on vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and cancer risk.

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Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, European Institute of Oncology, Via Ripamonti 435, Milan, Italy.


It was suggested that vitamin D levels influence cancer development. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is a crucial mediator for the cellular effects of vitamin D. Results from previous studies on the association of VDR polymorphisms with different cancer types are somewhat contradictory, and the role of VDR in the etiology of cancer is still equivocal. We therefore performed a meta-analysis on the association between the two most studied VDR polymorphisms (FokI and BsmI) and any cancer site. Up to January 2009, we identified 67 independent studies. We used random-effects models to provide summary odds ratio (SOR) for VDR polymorphisms and cancer. We tested homogeneity of effects across studies and publication bias and explored between-study heterogeneity. When comparing FokI ff with FF carriers, we found a significant increase in skin cancer [SOR; 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 1.30; 1.04-1.61] and breast cancer (SOR; 95%CI: 1.14; 1.03-1.27) risk. For the same genotype comparison, we found a significantly higher risk of cancer when we pooled estimates from cancer sites possibly associated with vitamin D levels (prostate, breast, skin, ovary, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and colorectal). A significant reduction in prostate cancer risk was observed for carriers of BsmI Bb compared with bb genotype (SOR; 95%CI: 0.83; 0.69-0.99). In Caucasian populations, both Bb and BB carriers had a significant reduced risk of cancer at any site. In conclusion, this meta-analysis showed that VDR FokI and BsmI polymorphisms might modulate the risk of cancer of breast, skin and prostate and possibly affect cancer risk at any site in Caucasians.

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