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Posted by on Jul 11, 2018 in Leukemia | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the link between low vitamin D levels and inflammation of the mouth (oral mucositis) in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with methotrexate (Rasuvo). Researchers found that vitamin D deficiency occurs commonly in these patients.

Some background

Vitamin D is an important mineral for the body to absorb calcium which keeps bones healthy and strong. Many children with ALL may be at an increased risk of having low vitamin D levels, due to reduced exposure to sunlight and impaired diet. 

Methotrexate is a powerful drug used in many conditions such as ALL. It is associated with side effects, however, including mouth inflammation. The results of previous research are mixed on whether there is an association between vitamin D deficiency and mouth inflammation.

Methods & findings

Ninety-nine children with ALL had vitamin D levels measured before starting a high-dose of methotrexate. Of these, 81 patients had their vitamin D levels measured after stopping methotrexate treatment. 

Vitamin D levels were low in 33% and very low in 8% of patients before starting treatment. Levels were also lower in children older than age 4 compared to children between the ages of 1 and 4. Vitamin D levels 

Methotrexate treatment caused inflammation of the mouth in 23% of patients. A decrease in vitamin D levels was seen in patients who developed severe inflammation of the mouth.

The bottom line

The study concluded that low vitamin D levels occur in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia who develop inflammation of the mouth after methotrexate treatment.

The fine print

The study did not include factors such as nutrition and vitamin D supplements. This could be included in future studies for more accurate results.

This study did not determine that low vitamin D levels were a cause of mouth inflammation. Instead, it only noted an association between the two.

What’s next?

Always discuss vitamin D supplementation (or any type of supplementation) with your doctor before beginning.

Published By :

Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer

Date :

Jun 19, 2018

Original Title :

A decrease in vitamin D levels is associated with methotrexate-induced oral mucositis in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

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