In a nutshell
This study looked at the effect of vitamin D supplements at preventing relapse in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The authors concluded that vitamin D supplements might have the potential for improving survival in patients with early-stage lung adenocarcinoma.
Current therapy for early-stage NSCLC involves surgery followed by chemotherapy. Relapse rates are high, however. There is evidence that good vitamin D levels are associated with better survival in patients with early-stage NSCLC. While vitamin D is obtained naturally in the body from sunlight and diet, it can also be obtained by supplements. It is unclear if vitamin D supplements can improve outcomes for these patients.
Methods & findings
The trial included 144 patients with NSCLC. They were randomly assigned to be treated with vitamin D supplements (72 patients) or placebo (a substance with no effect on the body; 72 patients). The average follow-up period was 3.3 years. The authors examined relapse-free survival (RFS, time from beginning trial to relapse or death) and overall survival (OS, time from beginning trial until death).
Overall, there was no difference in 5-year RFS and OS between both groups.
However, patients with early-stage adenocarcinoma had a 77% better RFS and an 87% better OS when treated with vitamin D supplements compared to patients in the placebo group.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that vitamin D supplements may improve survival of patients with early-stage adenocarcinoma with low vitamin D levels.
The fine print
The number of patients in the trial was very low. Most of these patients were early stage and there is therefore very little information regarding late stage NSCLC.
Published By :
Clinical Cancer Research
Jul 18, 2018