Vitamin D status is associated with disease-free survival and overall survival time in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Aug;268(8):1201-1204. doi: 10.1007/s00405-010-1481-y. Epub 2011 Jan 8.


Considerable clinical and experimental data suggest that vitamin D plays a role in pathogenesis and progression of cancer; nevertheless clinical data for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are not available. The aim of our study was to associate tumor and clinical characteristics with status of vitamin D [25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D)]. 88 patients with newly diagnosed squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were included in the study. A blood draw was taken at the time of diagnosis. The observation period lasted from 2006 until 2010.

Results: When compared to a cohort from an epidemiological study, serum levels of 25(OH)D were significantly reduced in patients with HNSCC. We furthermore found disease-free survival, as well as overall survival times to be significantly associated with 25(OH)D levels. In conclusion, results from our study suggest an influence of vitamin D status on cancer incidence, as well as on mortality of HNSCC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / blood
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Vitamin D / blood*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Vitamin D