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Review: vitamin D and breast cancer research

Posted on: February 16, 2012   by  John Cannell, MD


Scientists have now published more than 700 scientific papers on vitamin D and breast cancer. More to the point, 37 clinical trials on the topic are now currently registered, all looking to answer two questions: Does vitamin D help prevent breast cancer, and two, does vitamin D have any treatment effect in established breast cancer?

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8 Responses to Review: vitamin D and breast cancer research

  1. [email protected]

    Yes, there are many great papers on vitamin D reducing the probability of getting cancer.
    During the past year we are seeing papers postulating HOW vitamin D does the magic
    Blog post at Vitamin DWiki: http://www.vitamindwiki.com/tiki-view_blog_post.php?postId=61
    My favorite: vitamin D might repair the DNA

  2. [email protected]

    Perhaps I don’t remember correctly. Shouldn’t posts be free accessible after a given time? (six months?) O course I can access them but I would like to be able to link to them.

    • Brant Cebulla

      Serdna, thanks for the feedback. We have thought about something like this but are still trying to build our member base for the time being and keeping things closed. Another challenge is implementing such a system, as their are some technological barriers in developing such a feature.

      Also keep in mind that some blogs are open access and we definitely encourage members to share those open access papers. Currently, the only way to know if a blog is open access is by logging out and seeing which blogs are still view-able in-full. We have some ideas how to make this more usable, but feedback in this regard is welcome, too.

      Cheers, Brant

  3. [email protected]

    Ok! It seems that technology is in the way sometimes. Thanks for answering.

  4. Rita and Misty

    Dr. Cannell, I’m sorry that I missed this piece back on February 16th; but, I am certainly glad to read it now.

    Like so many of your articles, it holds more (and more) truth as time goes on…and although you wrote the above blog back in February, with the recent news about Angelina Jolie’s decision for a double-mastectomy, your words of wisdom seem and common sense seem additionally appropriate today.

    Readers here know that I choose to keep my 25(OH)D level at the higher end of optimal. I make this decision, in part, because I do hope that it will keep me from developing breast cancer.

    I have already had two benign tumors removed: one at age 28 and one at age 36. I am 48 currently. Who knows what the future holds? I choose not to dwell on such things. But, rather, I do my best to keep as healthy as possible.

    This is a personal decision I have made based on the research I have done. I am not a health care professional (though I do wish I were), nor am I a scientific researcher. I am someone who simply tries to keep informed, and apply a bit of sanity to my life.

    I understand full well that we have yet to find a cure for death. I strive to live my life as healthy and productive as possible.

    And keeping an optimal 25(OH) D plays an important role for me in this aspect.

    I recently posted some information on vitamin d with respect to the BRCA gene on another VDC posting. I hope readers are okay with me posting it here as well:


    As taken from the above link:

    The Fix
    If lowering the levels of 53BP1 allows BRCA1 deficient cells to thrive and do their worst, increasing the levels of the protein offers a promising strategy for treatment of breast tumors.

    So, how to do this? In previous research, Gonzalo’s team showed that vitamin D inhibits CTSL-mediated degradation of 53BP1 in non-tumor cells, as efficiently as specific CTSL inhibitors. This time, they found that treatment of BRCA1-deficient tumor cells with vitamin D restores high levels of 53BP1, which results in increased genomic instability and reduced proliferation. Importantly, their evidence suggests that vitamin D treatment might restore the sensitivity to PARP inhibitors in patients who become resistant. Thus, a combination of vitamin D and PARP inhibitors could represent a novel therapeutic strategy for breast cancers with poor prognosis.

    So, with this chain of events, Gonzalo and colleagues demonstrated a pathway by which triple-negative breast cancers proliferate: BRCA1-deficient cells activate CTSL which minimizes levels of 53BP1 to overcome genomic instability and growth arrest.

  5. IAW

    Thanks for all your hard work Rita! I missed the first posting!

  6. Rita and Misty

    @ IAW, I appreciate your kind words…glad the information is useful to you! 🙂

    @Sernda, I sent you an email at your gmail address.

  7. [email protected]

    Amazing D3 so powerful….thank you D-council………you have helped me learn the truth. I pass this info to all who want to hear. My wife makes it a point when you go to party’s do not bring up vitamin D3. Nobody wants to hear you preach. So I don’t. Then the topic is brought up by others. Interesting they all start to take notes. I have been thanked by members of the Local YMCA for helping them feel better after taking D3. And for educating doctors who don’t have time to read the medical journals.

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