Background/aims: Emerging evidence in the literature suggests a positive association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], a standard indicator of vitamin D status, and survival in certain types of cancer. We investigated this relationship in newly diagnosed stage IV prostate cancer patients.
Methods: A consecutive cohort of 125 newly diagnosed stage IV prostate cancer patients underwent a baseline serum 25(OH)D evaluation prior to receiving any treatment at our institution between January 2008 and December 2011. We used the vitamin D categories of "deficient (<20 ng/ml)", "insufficient (20 to 32 ng/ml)", and "sufficient (>32 ng/ml)". Cox regression was used to evaluate the prognostic significance of serum 25(OH)D after adjusting for relevant confounders.
Results: Mean age at diagnosis was 60 years. Of the 125 patients, 32 (25.6%) were deficient, 49 (39.2%) were insufficient and 44 (35.2%) were sufficient in vitamin D at the time of diagnosis. The median survival in deficient, insufficient and sufficient cohorts was 47.8, 44.0 and 52.6 months respectively (p = 0.60). On univariate analysis, four variables demonstrated a statistically significant association with survival: nutritional status, bone metastasis, corrected serum calcium and serum albumin (p<0.05 for all). On multivariate analysis, five variables demonstrated statistically significant associations with survival: hospital location, age, bone metastasis, serum albumin and corrected serum calcium (p<0.05 for all). Serum vitamin D status was not significant on either univariate or multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: Contrary to previously published research, we found no significant association between pre-treatment serum 25(OH)D and survival in newly diagnosed stage IV prostate cancer patients. The lack of a significant association between serum vitamin D and survival in our study could perhaps be due to the fact that the disease was far too advanced in our patients for vitamin D levels to have any impact on prognosis.