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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018 Nov;172(1):179-190. doi: 10.1007/s10549-018-4896-6. Epub 2018 Jul 23.

De novo vitamin D supplement use post-diagnosis is associated with breast cancer survival.

Author information

1
Population Health Sciences Division, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland. jamiemadden@rcsi.ie.
2
Population Health Sciences Division, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.
3
Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Experimental laboratory data have indicated a protective effect of vitamin D on breast cancer progression, while epidemiological evidence is growing. Using pharmacy claims data, this study investigates the association between vitamin D supplement use initiated after a breast cancer diagnosis and associated mortality.

METHODS:

Women aged 50-80 years with a record of invasive breast cancer were identified on the National Cancer Registry Ireland database (n = 5417). Initiation of de novo vitamin D post-diagnosis was identified from linked national prescription data (n = 2581, 49%). Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate adjusted HRs (95% CIs) for breast cancer-specific mortality.

RESULTS:

There was a 20% reduction in breast cancer-specific mortality in de novo vitamin D users (modelled as a time-varying variable) compared to non-users (HR 0.80; 95% CI 0.64-0.99, p = 0.048) and the reduction was greater at 49% (HR 0.51; 95% CI 0.34-0.74, p < 0.001), if vitamin D was initiated soon after the breast cancer diagnosis (within 6 months).

CONCLUSIONS:

In this large national breast cancer cohort, de novo vitamin D use post-diagnosis was found to be associated with a reduction in breast cancer-specific mortality. Vitamin D, therefore, has the potential as a non-toxic and inexpensive agent to improve survival in breast cancer patients. Findings support the need for RCTs exploring the effect of vitamin D supplementation on breast cancer survival.

KEYWORDS:

Breast cancer mortality; Prognosis; Supplement use; Vitamin D

PMID:
30039288
DOI:
10.1007/s10549-018-4896-6

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