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Nutr Cancer. 2015;67(3):424-30. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2015.998838. Epub 2015 Feb 3.

Serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D and survival in advanced colorectal cancer: a retrospective analysis.

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a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Integrative Medicine Service , New York , New York , USA.


Higher serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels are associated with decreased colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence. In this retrospective study of Stage IV CRC patients, we evaluate whether 25(OH)D levels at diagnosis correlate with survival. Stored sera from carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) measurements obtained between February 2005 and March 2006 were screened. The first 250 patients with CEA ± 30 days of Stage IV CRC diagnosis were included. Serum 25(OH)D levels were determined and categorized as adequate ≥ 30 ng/mL, or deficient <30 ng/mL. Multivariable Cox regression models controlling for albumin and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status were used to investigate whether higher 25(OH)D levels were associated with prolonged survival. A total of 207 patients (83%) were vitamin D-deficient (median = 21 ng/mL), with deficiencies significantly more likely among non-Hispanic black patients (P = 0.009). Higher levels were associated with prolonged survival in categorical variable analysis: adequate vs. deficient, hazard ratio = 0.61, 95% confidence interval = 0.38-0.98, P = 0.041. A majority of newly diagnosed Stage IV CRC patients are vitamin D-deficient. Our data suggest that higher 25(OH)D levels are associated with better overall survival. Clinical trials to determine whether aggressive vitamin D repletion would improve outcomes for vitamin D-deficient CRC patients are warranted.

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