The evidence is increasing that higher serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels reduce the risk of many types of cancer. Ecological and observational studies yield the strongest evidence, with support from studies of mechanisms. A key question is identifying the relation between serum 25(OH)D level and cancer incidence. Meta-analyses of such studies is a reasonable approach to determine the serum 25(OH)D level-cancer incidence relation. This paper reports new meta-analyses for breast and colorectal cancers. Currently, the journal literature offers seven prospective breast cancer and ten prospective colorectal cancer studies that can be used. The data for these studies graphed and compared. Data from some of the studies were multiplied by factors to bring all the studies into reasonable agreement with a tentative dose-response relation. The data were fit with a variety of functions; the best fits were nonlinear functions that tended to asymptotically reach a lower odds ratio at higher serum 25(OH)D levels. These analyses estimated that the 50% reduction in incidence occurs for a value of 78 nmol/L compared with the value at 24 nmol/L for breast cancer, and a value of 60 nmol/L compared with the value at 15 nmol/L for colorectal cancer. Although these results are reasonable, some concern exists that a single serum 25(OH)D level, measured years prior to diagnosis of cancer, does not adequately represent the serum levels for the entire period before diagnosis. Future prospective studies should include more serum 25(OH)D level measurements during the study course.
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