Vitamin D deficiency and prognostics among patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma

J Transl Med. 2013 Sep 8;11:206. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-11-206.

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among patients with cancer has been previously reported. Because vitamin D is fat soluble, patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma may have an especially high risk of vitamin D deficiency in association with ongoing and varying degrees of malabsorption. However, little is known about the correlation between vitamin D status and prognosis in these patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of vitamin D status in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma who were treated at Siteman Cancer Center. Patients' demographic information, clinical staging at the time of vitamin D assessment, vitamin D levels, and survival data were collected. Vitamin D deficiency was defined as a serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) level of less than 20 ng/mL, and vitamin D insufficiency was defined as a 25(OH)D level of between 20 ng/mL and 30 ng/mL.

Results: Between December 2007 and June 2011, 178 patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma had their vitamin D levels checked at the time of initial visit at this center. Of these 178 patients, 87 (49%) had vitamin D deficiency, and 44 (25%) had vitamin D insufficiency. The median 25(OH)D level was significantly lower among nonwhite patients and among patients with stage I and II disease. A 25(OH)D level of less than 20 ng/mL was found to be associated with poor prognosis (p = 0.0019) in patients with stage III and IV disease.

Conclusions: Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency were prevalent among patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The vitamin D level appears to be prognostic for patients with advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and its effects should be further examined in a prospective study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / complications*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / blood
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / complications*

Substances

  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D

Supplementary concepts

  • Pancreatic Carcinoma