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Mayo Clinic Study Finds Vitamin D Associated with Survival in Lymphoma Patients

February 19, 2010

A new study has found that the amount of vitamin D in patients being treated for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma was strongly associated with cancer progression and overall survival. The results were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology in New Orleans.

These are some of the strongest findings yet between vitamin D and cancer outcome, says the studys lead investigator, Matthew Drake, M.D., Ph.D., an endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. 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.

The researchers study of 374 newly diagnosed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients found that 50 percent had deficient vitamin D levels based on the commonly used clinical value of total serum 25(OH)D less than 25 ng/mL. 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.

In this video, Dr. Drake as well as study co-authors Thomas Witzigm M.D. and Robert Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D discuss the research.

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