No association between circulating concentrations of vitamin D and risk of lung cancer: an analysis in 20 prospective studies in the Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium (LC3)

Ann Oncol. 2018 Jun 1;29(6):1468-1475. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdy104.


Background: There is observational evidence suggesting that high vitamin D concentrations may protect against lung cancer. To investigate this hypothesis in detail, we measured circulating vitamin D concentrations in prediagnostic blood from 20 cohorts participating in the Lung Cancer Cohort Consortium (LC3).

Patients and methods: The study included 5313 lung cancer cases and 5313 controls. Blood samples for the cases were collected, on average, 5 years before lung cancer diagnosis. Controls were individually matched to the cases by cohort, sex, age, race/ethnicity, date of blood collection, and smoking status in five categories. Liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry was used to separately analyze 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 [25(OH)D2] and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 [25(OH)D3] and their concentrations were combined to give an overall measure of 25(OH)D. We used conditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for 25(OH)D as both continuous and categorical variables.

Results: Overall, no apparent association between 25(OH)D and risk of lung cancer was observed (multivariable adjusted OR for a doubling in concentration: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.91, 1.06). Similarly, we found no clear evidence of interaction by cohort, sex, age, smoking status, or histology.

Conclusion: This study did not support an association between vitamin D concentrations and lung cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / blood
  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / blood*
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Large Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / blood
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / epidemiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / blood
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / blood
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / blood
  • Small Cell Lung Carcinoma / epidemiology*
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / physiopathology*
  • Vitamins / blood
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin D