Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Serum 25-hydroxy Vitamin D Levels, Joint Pain, and Fatigue in Women Starting Adjuvant Letrozole Treatment for Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jan;119(1):111-8. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0495-x. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Abstract

Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency may contribute to musculoskeletal symptoms and bone loss observed in women taking aromatase inhibitors (AIs). This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin D levels in women initiating adjuvant letrozole for breast cancer and to determine whether supplementation with 50,000 IU of vitamin D3 weekly could reduce musculoskeletal symptoms and fatigue in women who have suboptimal vitamin D levels. Sixty women about to begin an adjuvant AI were enrolled. Baseline 25OHD levels were obtained, and women completed symptom questionnaires. They were then started on letrozole, along with standard dose calcium and vitamin D. Four weeks later, women with baseline 25OHD levels </=40 ng/ml started additional vitamin D3 supplementation at 50,000 IU per week for 12 weeks. 25OHD levels were re-assessed at 4, 10, and 16 weeks; the questionnaires were repeated at weeks 4 and 16. At baseline, 63% of women exhibited vitamin D deficiency (<20 ng/ml) or insufficiency (20-31 ng/ml). 25OHD levels >40 ng/ml were achieved in all 42 subjects who received 12 weeks of supplementation with 50,000 IU vitamin D3 weekly, with no adverse effects. After 16 weeks of letrozole, more women with 25OHD levels >66 ng/ml (median level) reported no disability from joint pain than did women with levels <66 ng/ml (52 vs. 19%; P = 0.026). Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are prevalent in post-menopausal women initiating adjuvant AI. Vitamin D3 supplementation with 50,000 IU per week is safe, significantly increases 25OHD levels, and may reduce disability from AI-induced arthralgias.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Aromatase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Arthralgia / drug therapy
  • Arthralgia / prevention & control
  • Arthralgia / therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Fatigue / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Letrozole
  • Middle Aged
  • Nitriles / therapeutic use*
  • Postmenopause
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triazoles / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / drug therapy

Substances

  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Aromatase Inhibitors
  • Nitriles
  • Triazoles
  • Vitamin D
  • Letrozole
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D