A new study has found that patients with breast cancer who have sufficient levels of vitamin D have better outcomes in the long term. Prof. Song Yao, who is the lead author of the study, suggests that maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D at the time of diagnosis and even after treatment may benefit breast cancer patients.
The study’s results, which were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s virtual annual meeting, included findings that show that Black women had the lowest levels of vitamin D, which may explain why they had poorer outcomes after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health breast cancer researcher Dr. Alice Police stated that vitamin D could be found in various foods such as egg yolks, liver, and red meat as well as oily fish, including herring, sardines and salmon. She added that this was an opportunity to improve breast cancer outcomes for all women but particularly Black women.
For their study, the researchers recruited an estimated 4,000 patients who were followed for a median of about a decade and had their levels of vitamin D measured. The patients were classified into three levels; those with sufficient vitamin D, which equated to 30 or more nanograms per ml in blood tests; those with insufficient vitamin D, which ranged between 20 to 29 ng/ml; and those who were vitamin D deficient, which was anything below 20 ng/ml.
The researchers found that during the follow-up, women who had adequate levels of vitamin D had roughly 20% lower chances of succumbing to breast cancer and about 30% lower chances of dying on a general scale, in comparison with those who were vitamin D deficient. In addition to this, the researchers discovered that the link between the outcomes of breast cancer and levels of vitamin D was almost identical, regardless of the status of the tumor’s estrogen receptor. They found the link to be stronger among women who had been diagnosed with advanced breast cancers and those in lower weight brackets.
In a news release, Yao noted that the findings from the study offered strong evidence for maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in patients with breast cancer and especially among patients with advanced-stage disease and Black women. Yao is an oncology professor at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Department of Cancer Prevention and Control.
It should be noted that these findings haven’t yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal and should therefore be considered preliminary.
These findings that vitamin D could play a pivotal role in the treatment of breast cancer make a case for personalizing cancer treatment in the way that entities such as Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) specialize in.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Predictive Oncology (NASDAQ: POAI) are available in the company’s newsroom at http://ibn.fm/POAI
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