Vitamin D may help fight colorectal cancer in combination with chemo

Vitamin D may help fight colorectal cancer in combination with chemo

PanARMENIAN.Net - A new study concludes that high doses of vitamin D may help hinder the growth of advanced colorectal cancer in combination with chemotherapy, Medical News Today reports.

A clinical trial called SUNSHINE has found that large doses of vitamin D could significantly slow down the progression of metastatic colorectal cancer.

Dr. Kimmie Ng, director of clinical research at Dana-Farber's Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center in Boston, MA, says that the results of the trial are promising and could lead to new treatment possibilities in the future.

In the SUNSHINE trial, the results of which featured in the journal JAMA, the researchers recruited 139 people with previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancer and split them into two groups — high-dose vitamin D and low-dose vitamin D.

The high-dose group took 8,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D each day for 14 days, before switching to 4,000 IU a day. The low-dose group took 400 IU each day for the entire duration of the study. Both groups also received standard chemotherapy during the trial.

The researchers observed that disease progression in the participants in the high-dose group stopped for an average of about 13 months, while those in the low-dose group experienced a delay in progression of close to 11 months.

Also, they discovered that the participants in the high-dose group were less likely to experience disease progression or death during a 22.9-month follow-up period.

"The results of our trial suggest an improved outcome for patients who received vitamin D supplementation, and we look forward to launching a larger trial to confirm these exciting and provocative findings," noted Dr. Charles Fuchs, senior author of the study and director of the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, CT.

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