Study’s findings suggest that maintaining normal vitamin D levels may benefit patients.
New research indicates that for patients with advanced skin cancer, it may be important to maintain normal vitamin D levels when receiving immunotherapy medications called immune checkpoint inhibitors. The findings are published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.
Vitamin D has many effects on the body, including regulation of the immune system. To see whether levels of vitamin D might impact the effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitors, investigators analyzed the blood of 200 patients with advanced melanoma both before and every 12 weeks during immunotherapy treatment.
A favorable response rate to immune checkpoint inhibitors was observed in 56.0% of patients in the group with normal baseline vitamin D levels or normal levels obtained with vitamin D supplementation, compared with 36.2% in the group with low vitamin D levels without supplementation. Progression‐free survival—the time from treatment initiation until cancer progression—in these groups was 11.25 and 5.75 months, respectively.
“Of course, vitamin D is not itself an anti-cancer drug, but its normal serum level is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system, including the response that anti-cancer drugs like immune checkpoint inhibitors affect,” said lead author Łukasz Galus, MD, of Poznan University of Medical Sciences, in Poland. “In our opinion, after appropriately randomized confirmation of our results, the assessment of vitamin D levels and its supplementation could be considered in the management of melanoma.”
NOTE: The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. A free abstract of this article will be available via the CANCER Newsroom upon online publication. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout, email@example.com
“Vitamin D supplementation increases objective response rate and prolongs progression‐free time in patients with advanced melanoma undergoing anti‐PD1 therapy.” Łukasz Galus, Michał Michalak, Mateusz Lorenz, Renata Stoińska‐Swiniarek, Daria Tusień Małecka,Agnieszka Galus, Tomasz Kolenda, and Jacek Mackiewicz. CANCER; Published Online: April 24, 2023 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.34718).
URL Upon Publication: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/cncr.34718
Author Contact: Agnieszka Galus, co-author of the study, at firstname.lastname@example.org or +48 609 766 781.
About the Journal
CANCER is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from worldwide sources for all oncologic specialties. The objective of CANCER is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of information among oncologic disciplines concerned with the etiology, course, and treatment of human cancer. CANCER is published on behalf of the American Cancer Society by Wiley and can be accessed online. Follow us on Twitter @JournalCancer.
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Vitamin D supplementation increases objective response rate and prolongs progression-free time in advanced melanoma patients undergoing anti-PD1 therapy
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