Sonja Pensato, Fabrizio Alebardi, Milvia Amadei, Enrico Gelosa, Massimo Zappella, Giuseppe Di Fede, Paolo Lissoni
Cancer progression tends to be associated with a deficiency in vitamin D blood levels. Vitamin has been proven to inhibit cancer cell proliferation. However, the in vivo antitumor activity of vitamin D needs to be still confirmed, since its inhibitory effect on cancer cell proliferation could be vanify by its suppressive activity on the antitumor immunity, due to the stimulatory effect of vitamin D on regulatory T lymphocytes (T reg), which counteracts the antitumor immune response. On these bases, a preliminary study was performed to measure 25 (OH) vitamin D serum levels in relation to the antitumor immune status of cancer patients with early or metastatic diseases. The study included 50 patients suffering from non-metastatic (n=27), or metastatic solid neoplasms (n=23). In each patient, serum levels of vitamin (OH) D, lymphocyte and monocyte counts, lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), TH1 (CD4) and T reg (CD4+CD25+) cells. Abnormally low values of vitamin D were seen in 26/50 (52%) patients, namely in the metastatic ones. Lymphocytopenia occurred in 10/50 (20%) patients. Lymphocyte count, LMR mean values, TH1 number, and TH1-to-T reg ratio were higher in patients with normal vitamin D levels, whereas monocyte and T reg cell counts were higher in patients with low vitamin D concentrations, but none of these differences was statistically significant. The results of this preliminary study may justify vitamin D correction of cancer progression-related vitamin D deficiency, but not its use as an anticancer agent, which will require to be established through longitudinal studies, by monitoring vitamin D levels in relation to the immune status of cancer patients and the clinical course of their neoplastic disease.
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