Strong Association with Vitamin D Level & Lymphoma Progression & Survival

“The findings support the growing association between vitamin D and cancer risk and outcomes, and suggest that vitamin D supplements might help even those patients already diagnosed with some forms of cancer.”  Matthew Drake, MD, PhD

The quote above I found on an article related to vitamin D deficiency and its relationship to cancer and cancer progression from ProHealth.   More & more information is continually being revealed on how dangerous vitamin D deficiency is.  According to this recent ProHealth article:

A new study has found that the amount of vitamin D in patients being treated for diffuse large B-cell (non-Hodgkins) lymphoma was strongly associated with cancer progression and overall survival.

“These are some of the strongest findings yet between vitamin D and cancer outcome,” says the study’s lead investigator, Matthew Drake, MD, PhD, an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “While these findings are very provocative, they are preliminary and need to be validated in other studies. However, they raise the issue of whether vitamin D supplementation might aid in treatment for this malignancy, and thus should stimulate much more research.”

If you would like to view a You Tube video summary of this video, please click here to watch Mayo Clinic Study Finds Vitamin D Associated with Survival in Lymphoma PatientsThe study was conducted by researchers at the Mayo Clinic & the University of Iowa, who participate in SPORE – University of Iowa/Mayo Clinic Lymphoma Specialized Program of Research Excellence – that is funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Out of the 374 study participants who were newly diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, 50% were deficient in vitamin D levels based on the commonly used clinical value of total serum 25(OH)D less than 25 ng/mL.  This study was not a clinical trial, but an epidemiologic study designed to identify predictors of outcomes in lymphoma.  Because this was not a clinical trial, patient management and treatments were not assigned.   The standard care for clinical practice was followed in this study.

Patients with deficient vitamin D levels had a 1.5-fold greater risk of disease progression and a twofold greater risk of dying, compared to patients with optimal vitamin D levels after accounting for other patient factors associated with worse outcomes.

The findings of this study support the growing association between vitamin D levels, risk of cancer and outcomes.  The findings also suggest that vitamin D supplements might even possibly help the patients currently diagnosed with some forms of cancer, according to Dr. Drake.  He also said that:

“The exact roles that vitamin D might play in the initiation or progression of cancer is unknown, but we do know that the vitamin plays a role in regulation of cell growth and death, among other processes important in limiting cancer.”

There have also been studies done that suggest vitamin D deficiency may play a role in causing certain types of cancer and the outcome may also be affected once someone is diagnosed with cancer.  Reports have also discovered that vitamin D deficiency is associated with poor outcomes in these cancers:  breast, colon, head & neck.


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  1. When i’m thinking about it, it’s really a big trouble if we don’t have enough vitamin D. So, thanks a lot for this article.

  2. I have just been diagnosed with a vitamin d defiency. I’m glad that now I have a reason for my fatigue. As you can see you can have all kinds of problems from the lack of this vitamin. My advice to people is to have their dr give them a blood test for this. Thank goodness mine did.

  3. I’ve been on ergocalciferol since Sept of 2009, and I still am Vitamin D deficient. What should I do next?

  4. I just had all my blood tests taken and everything cane back fine except I am Vitamin D deficient. I have been for a long time but not this bad. I have been taking 2000 MGS 3 times a day. The Dr. has now changed it to 50,000 once a week. I do go out in the sun when we have some in western Oregon. In fact last night I sat in the sun watching a soccer game for over an hour.I am tired all the time but I think that is about the only symtom I have. Oh yes I also take meds for depression. Would vitamin D be a reason I c cry very easily/ Thank you for the info.


  5. There are few foods in nature that can provide us with Vitamin D. These include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tuna, and fish liver oils. Other than that, we may have to take fortified foods as well as supplements so that we have enough Vitamin D in our daily diet.

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