Vitamin D Supplementation Significantly Improves Colorectal Cancer Survival

Dawn O'Shea

September 23, 2020

Research from the University of Edinburgh suggests vitamin D supplementation improves survival for patients with colorectal cancer (CRC).

The team searched PubMed and Web of Science for randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of vitamin D supplementation reporting CRC mortality. RCTs with high risk of bias were excluded from the analysis.

Seven RCTs (n=957 CRC cases) were identified. Three trials included patients with CRC at outset, and four population trials reported survival in incident cases. Two RCTs were excluded from meta-analysis.

Although trials varied in inclusion criteria, intervention dose and outcomes, meta-analysis found a 30 per cent reduction in adverse CRC outcomes with supplementation (HR, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.48-0.93).

The effect on survival was consistently observed in sub-group analyses both in trials specifically including CRC patients and in population trials reporting outcomes in incident CRC cases.

A beneficial effect on progression-free survival was seen in trials of CRC patients (HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.36-0.94), with suggestive effect in incident CRC cases from population trials (CRC-specific survival: HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.39-1.13).

No heterogeneity or publication bias was noted.

This is the first systematic review with meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials to examine the effect of vitamin D supplementation on survival outcomes in patients with CRC.

The meta-analysis demonstrates a clinically meaningful benefit of vitamin D supplementation on CRC survival outcomes.

Vaughan-Shaw PG, Buijs LF, Blackmur JP, Theodoratou E, Zgaga L, Din FVN, Farrington SM, Dunlop MG. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on survival in patients with colorectal cancer: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Br J Cancer. 2020 Sep 15 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1038/s41416-020-01060-8. PMID: 32929196 View full text

This article originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.

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