Vitamin D may be the reason why some women have better outcomes in the treatment of breast cancer, new research says.
Researchers initially wanted to see if the common bone medication, Zometa, in combination with chemotherapy could lead to better outcomes for women with breast cancer. So they enrolled 3,360 participants to see if it impacted outcomes.
The researchers, led by Robert Coleman, MD, found that bone medication and bone turnover markers made little difference in the treatment of breast cancer and the risk of recurrence.
However, for those participants who had higher vitamin D levels to start the trial (over 30 ng/ml), the researchers noticed that they had a reduced chance of cancer re-occurrence in their bone (p=.025).
Coleman states that further research should be conducted to fully validate the results. In the meantime, clinicians “should be measuring vitamin D, replenishing it appropriately, (but) whether vitamin D as an intervention will change outcome, I don’t know.”