Background: Results from large epidemiologic studies on the association between vitamin D and gastric cancer are controversial. Vitamin D significantly promotes apoptosis in the undifferentiated gastric cancer cell, but the prognostic effects of its levels are unknown.
Methods: 197 gastric carcinoma patients who received treatment in the cancer centre of Sun Yat-sen University from January 2002 to January 2006 were involved in the study. The stored blood drawn before any treatment was assayed for 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels. The clinicopathologic data were collected to examine the prognostic effects of vitamin D.
Results: The mean vitamin D levels of the 197 gastric patients was 49.85 ± 23.68 nmol/L, among whom 114(57.9%) were deficient in Vitamin D(< 50 nmol/L), 67(34%) were insufficient (50-75 nmol/L) and 16(8.1%) were sufficient (> 75 nmol/L). Clinical stage (P = 0.004) and lymph node metastasis classification (P = 0.009) were inversely associated with vitamin D levels. The patients with high vitamin D levels group (≥ 50 nmol/L) had a higher overall survival compared with the low vitamin D levels group (< 50 nmol/L)(P = 0.018). Multivariate analysis indicated that vitamin D levels were an independent prognostic factor of gastric cancer (P = 0.019).
Conclusions: Vitamin D deficiency may be associated with poor prognosis in gastric cancer.