Non-Hodgkin lymphomaTreatment

A recent study found increased survival Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) rate for those with higher serum 25(OH)D levels at time of diagnosis:

Patients and methods: We tested the hypothesis that circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels are predictive of event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) in a prospective cohort of 983 newly diagnosed patients with NHL. 25(OH)D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)(2)D] levels were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.

Results: Mean age at diagnosis was 62 years (range, 19 to 94 years); 44% of patients had insufficient 25(OH)D levels (1

However, there is a caveat in treating those with NHL with vitamin D: risk of hypercalcemia.

About 15% of those diagnosed with NHL develop hypecalcemia, which can lead to metastasis of the cancer to the bones2 3 4. As elevated 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D] level is also a risk factor for hypercalcemia5 and higher 25(OH)D levels can lead to higher 1,25(OH)2D levels6, those diagnosed with NHL and treated with vitamin D should have their serum 1,25(OH)2D and calcium levels checked.

Page last edited: 03 May 2011


  1. Drake, M. T. Maurer, M. J. Link, B. K. Habermann, T. M. Ansell, S. M. Micallef, I. N. Kelly, J. L. Macon, W. R. Nowakowski, G. S. Inwards, D. J. Johnston, P. B. Singh, R. J. Allmer, C. Slager, S. L. Weiner, G. J. Witzig, T. E. Cerhan, J. R. Vitamin D insufficiency and prognosis in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. J Clin Oncol. 2010 Sep 20; 28 (27): 4191-8.
  2. Lumachi, F. Brunello, A. Roma, A. Basso, U. Cancer-induced hypercalcemia. Anticancer Res. 2009 May; 29 (5): 1551-5.
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  4. Seymour, J. F. Gagel, R. F. Hagemeister, F. B. Dimopoulos, M. A. Cabanillas, F. Calcitriol production in hypercalcemic and normocalcemic patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Ann Intern Med. 1994 Nov 1; 121 (9): 633-40.
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  6. Need, A. G. Horowitz, M. Morris, H. A. Nordin, B. C. Vitamin D status: effects on parathyroid hormone and 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 Jun; 71 (6): 1577-81.