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BMC Med Genet. 2013 Feb 16;14:26. doi: 10.1186/1471-2350-14-26.

Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and vitamin D receptor variants in melanoma patients from the Mediterranean area of Barcelona.



Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (Vitamin D) insufficiency and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on its receptor, Vitamin D receptor (VDR), have been reported to be involved in melanoma susceptibility in populations mostly from northern countries.


To investigate 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and VDR SNPs in melanoma patients from sunny area of Barcelona, two studies were carried out. The first study evaluated the levels of Vitamin D at time of melanoma diagnosis and the second one analyzed the association between VDR genetic variants and risk of having a high nevus number, the strongest phenotypic risk factor for melanoma.


The levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 in 81 melanoma patients at diagnosis were measured. In a second group of melanoma patients, including 150 with low and 113 with high nevus number, 11 VDR SNPs were analyzed for their association with nevus number.


In the first study, 68% of patients had insufficient levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (<25 ng/ml). Autumn-winter months and fair phototype were associated with 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 insufficiency; after multivariate analysis, season of sampling remained the only independent predictor of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels. In the second study, VDR variant rs2189480 (P = 0.006) was associated with risk of high nevus number whereas rs2239179 (P = 0.044) and rs7975128 (P = 0.0005) were protective against high nevus number. After Bonferroni adjustment only rs7975128 remained significant. In stratified analysis, SNP rs7975128 was found protective against multiple melanomas (P = 0.021).


This study showed that even in Barcelona, a sunny Mediterranean area, 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were sub-optimal in the majority of melanoma patients at diagnosis. The involvement of VDR in nevi and, in turn, in melanoma susceptibility has also been suggested. Larger studies are needed to confirm our findings.

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