Clinical trials involving vitamin D analogs in prostate cancer

Cancer J. 2005 Sep-Oct;11(5):362-73. doi: 10.1097/00130404-200509000-00002.


Vitamin D shows significant potential as a therapy for prostate cancer. However, its use in clinical trials has been hampered by its induction of hypercalcemia at serum concentrations required to suppress cancer cell proliferation. This has spurred the development of less calcemic analogs of vitamin D. In this article, we review the clinical trials and consider the future directions of the use of vitamin D and its analogs in the treatment or chemoprevention of prostate cancer. First, we summarize the epidemiological evidence leading to the hypothesis that vitamin D has anticancer activity. We then review the clinical trials using vitamin D analogs that involve patients with prostate cancer and conclude with a brief overview of our planned study with vitamin D5, [1alpha(OH)D5], which will begin shortly. Data for this review were identified by searches of PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Biosis, and references from relevant articles, using the search terms "vitamin D," "prostate cancer," "chemoprevention" and "vitamin D analog." Abstracts from recent international meetings were also reviewed but were only included when they were the only known reference to the clinical trial or the research mentioned. Only papers published in English were included.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*


  • 1-hydroxyvitamin D5
  • Hydroxycholecalciferols
  • Vitamin D