Epidemiological studies indicate that sunlight exposure and vitamin D are each associated with a lower risk of colon cancer. The few controlled supplementation trials testing vitamin D in humans reported to date show conflicting results. We have used two genetic models of familial colon cancer, the Apc(Pirc/+) (Pirc) rat and the Apc(Min/+) (Min) mouse, to investigate the effect of 25-hydroxyvitamin D(3) [25(OH)D(3)] and two analogs of vitamin D hormone on colonic tumors. Longitudinal endoscopic monitoring allowed us to test the efficacy of these compounds in preventing newly arising colonic tumors and in affecting established colonic tumors. 25(OH)D(3) and two analogs of vitamin D hormone each failed to reduce tumor multiplicities or alter the growth patterns of colonic tumors in the Pirc rat or the Min mouse.
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