Objective: Vitamin D and its receptor (VDR) involve in multiple cellular processes and play an important role in the initiation and progression of malignancy. Thus we hypothesized that plasma vitamin D levels and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in VDR may be of prognostic significance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: We examined plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels in 87 patients diagnosed with NSCLC using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and genotyped seven potentially functional SNPs in VDR in 568 NSCLC patients on Illumina Golden Gate platform.
Results: Patients with higher plasma 25(OH)D levels had worse survival than patients with lower ones (P for trend = 0.048). The SNPs of rs1544410 and rs739837 were independently associated with NSCLC survival (adjusted HR = 1.61, 95% CIs = 1.06-2.45 for rs739837 AA vs AC/CC and adjusted HR = 1.51, 95% CIs = 1.06-2.16 for rs1544410 AG/AA vs GG). A joint effect was observed between rs1544410 and rs739837 and the risk of death elevated as the number of unfavourable genotypes patients carried increased (P for trend = 0.003). There were no significant associations between VDR polymorphisms and plasma 25(OH)D levels.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that plasma 25(OH)D levels and genetic variants of VDR may serve as prognostic markers for NSCLC in this Chinese population.
Keywords: Chinese population; Non-small cell lung cancer; Prognosis; Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms.