Context: Circulating levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] may affect the prognosis of cancer patients; however, the epidemiological results are not consistent.
Objective: To perform a meta-analysis of all published studies to assess the associations of circulating 25(OH)D levels measured at or near the time of diagnosis and outcomes for cancer patients.
Data sources: Searches of the PubMed and MEDLINE databases were performed and updated to December 2013.
Study selection: Studies reporting an association between circulating 25(OH)D levels at or near the time of diagnosis and outcomes for the patients were included.
Data extraction: Data extraction was performed independently by two authors, and conflicts were resolved by a third investigator.
Data synthesis: Included in the meta-analysis were 25 studies with 17 332 cases. Significant associations between circulating 25(OH)D levels at or near the time of diagnosis and the outcomes for cancer patients were found. The pooled hazard ratio for the highest vs the lowest quartile of circulating 25(OH)D levels was 0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.33-0.91) for overall survival of colorectal cancer patients, 0.63 (95% CI = 0.51-0.77) for breast cancer patients, and 0.48 (95% CI = 0.36-0.64) for lymphoma patients. Higher 25(OH)D levels were significantly associated with reduced cancer-specific mortality for patients with colorectal cancer (P = .005) and lymphoma (P < .001) and improved disease-free survival for patients with breast cancer (P < .001) or lymphoma (P < .05). A 10-nmol/L increment in circulating 25(OH)D levels conferred a hazard ratio of 0.96 (95% CI = 0.95-0.97) for overall survival of the cancer patients.
Conclusions: The results indicate that cancer patients with higher circulating 25(OH)D levels at or near the time of diagnosis have better outcomes.