Anti-tumor effects of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 and vitamin D analogs

Curr Pharm Des. 2000 May;6(7):717-32. doi: 10.2174/1381612003400498.


The role of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25-(OH)2D3) as a regulator of cell growth and differentiation is well recognized. Currently, 1, 25-(OH)2D3 and vitamin D analogs are being evaluated for their therapeutic potential in the treatment of hyperproliferative disorders like cancer. In the present review, we will discuss several processes that might be involved in 1,25-(OH)2D3- and vitamin D analog-mediated suppression of cancer cell growth. The effects on tumor cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, metastases, and parathyroid hormone-related peptide secretion will be highlighted. In addition, combination therapy with other tumor effec tive drugs will be addressed. Furtermore, we will focus on the potential drawbacks and the possible side effects of vitamin D compounds in the treatment of cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Calcitriol / adverse effects
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology*
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Humans
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Telomerase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / pharmacology


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Growth Substances
  • PTHLH protein, human
  • Parathyroid Hormone-Related Protein
  • Proteins
  • Vitamin D
  • Telomerase
  • Calcitriol