High level of circulating vitamin D during neoadjuvant therapy may lower risk of metastatic progression in high-risk rectal cancer
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Cancer. 2019, 19 (1), 1-9. 10.1186/s12885-019-5724-z
Background: Following curative-intent neoadjuvant therapy in locally advanced rectal cancer, metastatic progression is still dominant. We investigated if patients’ circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels were associated with outcome. Methods: Serum 25(OH)D concentration was assessed by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in samples collected from 84 patients at baseline, completion of the neoadjuvant therapy, and treatment evaluation before surgery, and analyzed with respect to season, disease presentation, and treatment effects. Results: In the cohort of patients residing at latitude 58–62°N, baseline 25(OH)D differed significantly over the seasons, with highest measures (mean of 71.2±5.6nmol/L) in summer and lowest (48.7±4.5nmol/L) in spring, and changed over the three-month neoadjuvant period till response evaluation solely owing to season. The patient subgroup with slightly reduced performance status, anemia, and T4 disease that did not respond to the neoadjuvant therapy (ypT4 cases), had significantly lower baseline 25(OH)D (below 50nmol/L) than T4 cases with response (ypT0–3) and T2–3 cases (above 60nmol/L). Compared to the T4 patients with levels above 50nmol/L, regarded as sufficient for a healthy bone status, those presenting levels below had significantly heightened risk of disease progression (mainly metastasis) and death, with hazard ratio of 3 and 17, respectively, on adjustment for age, sex, body mass index, and season. Conclusion: Rectal cancer T4 cases had high risk of metastatic progression and death if circulating 25(OH)D levels were insufficient but obtained short-term and long-term outcome to neoadjuvant treatment no worse than patients with T2–3 disease when 25(OH)D was sufficient. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00278694; registration date: 16 January 2006, retrospective to enrollment of the first 10 patients of the current report.