The anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory actions of 1,25(OH)₂D₃

Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Aug;25(4):593-604. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2011.05.001.


Various epidemiological studies have shown an aetiological link between vitamin D deficiency and cancer incidence. The active metabolite of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃ [1,25(OH)₂D₃], has potent anti-cancer activities both in vitro and in vivo. These anti-cancer effects are attained by regulating the transcription of numerous genes that are involved in different pathways to reduce tumorigenesis and are dependent on the cancer cell type. Besides reducing cell growth and inducing apoptosis, 1,25(OH)₂D₃ also inhibits angiogenesis and metastasis. Moreover, its potency to inhibit inflammation also contributes to its anti-tumoral activity. Here, we report the different ways in which 1,25(OH)₂D₃ interferes with the malignant processes that are activated in cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / metabolism
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcitriol / metabolism
  • Calcitriol / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Calcitriol