(HealthDay News) — For cancer patients, increased levels of circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) at or near the time of diagnosis are associated with improved outcomes, according to a review published online April 29 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Mian Li, Ph.D., from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of all relevant published studies. The authors sought to examine the correlations of circulating 25(OH)D levels measured at or near the time of diagnosis with outcomes for cancer patients. Twenty-five studies involving 17,332 cases were included in the meta-analysis.

The researchers observed significant correlations between circulating 25(OH)D at or near the time of diagnosis and outcomes for cancer patients. For the highest versus the lowest quartile of circulating 25(OH)D, the pooled hazard ratio was 0.55 for overall survival for colorectal cancer patients, 0.63 for breast cancer patients, and 0.48 for lymphoma patients. For patients with colorectal cancer and lymphoma, higher 25(OH)D levels were associated with reduced cancer-specific mortality (P = 0.005 and P < 0.001, respectively). Higher 25(OH)D levels correlated with significantly improved disease-free survival for patients with breast cancer or lymphoma (P < 0.001 and 0.05, respectively). For cancer patients, an increment of 10 nmol/L in circulating 25(OH)D correlated with a 4 percent reduction in all-cause mortality (pooled hazard ratio, 0.96; P < 0.001) when 25(OH)D levels were in the range of 40 to 70 nmol/L compared to those with <19 nmol/L.

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“The results indicate that cancer patients with higher circulating 25(OH)D levels at or near the time of diagnosis have better outcomes,” the authors write.

One author was partially supported by the Sanofi Aventis-Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences scholarship program.

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