Vitamin D as Cancer Therapy: 2 New Trials Give Hope (JAMA)

A physician and advisor to Doc's Corner brought an important article to our attention and provided this brief summary based on an editorial published in JAMA on April 09, 2019.

The latest vitamin D trials in JAMA did not produce statistically significant reductions in mortality despite moderate supplementation of Vit.D. There were some positive trends perhaps and clearly those with higher baseline D levels had better outcomes with or without supplements. But that might be a better commentary on baseline D being partly reflective of overall health and then longer-term health outcomes. Alternatively one could suggest that to demonstrate better outcomes one would need to supplement more D than 2000 units and ensure that D, in fact, reached more optimal levels.

The discussion was based on results published from the SUNSHINE and AMATERASU trials.

The editorial highlights that, "these clinical trials provided new information regarding the potential use of Vitamin D among patients with colorectal cancer and other luminal gastrointestinal malignancies." The editorial recommends confirmatory trials to evaluate these preliminary findings, with longer follow-up for better survival estimates in addition to the inclusion of biological measurements to clarify underlying mechanisms.


Barry EL, Passarelli MN, Baron JA. Vitamin D as Cancer Therapy? Insights From 2 New TrialsJAMA.2019;321(14):1354–1355. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.2589



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