Vitamin D Level Associated With Melanoma Outcome Independent of C-Reactive Protein Level


Key Points

  • Lower vitamin D level was associated with an increased CRP level in patients with melanoma.
  • However, the association of lower vitamin D level with poorer outcome persisted after adjustment for CRP level and other variables.

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Fang et al found that lower vitamin D levels were associated with poorer outcome in patients with melanoma independent of C-reactive protein (CRP) levels.

Study Details

The study involved data from 1,042 prospectively observed patients with melanoma. The median vitamin D level was 25.0 ng/mL. The median follow-up was 7.1 years.

Independent Association

Lower vitamin D level was associated with blood draw during fall/winter months (P < .001), older age (P = .001), increased CRP level (P < .001), increased tumor thickness (P < .001), tumor ulceration (P = .0105), and advanced melanoma stage (P = .0024). In a univariate analysis, lower vitamin D level was associated with poorer overall (P < .001), melanoma-specific (P = .0025), and disease-free survival (P = .0466). In a multivariate analysis including CRP level, lower vitamin D level remained significantly associated with poorer overall (hazard ratio [HR] per unit decrease = 1.02, P = .0051), melanoma-specific (HR = 1.02, P = .048), and disease-free survival (HR = 1.02, P = .0427).

The investigators concluded: “Lower vitamin D levels in patients with melanoma were associated with poorer outcomes. Although lower vitamin D was strongly associated with higher CRP, the associations of lower vitamin D with poorer [overall, melanoma-specific, and disease-free survival] were independent of this association. Investigation of mechanisms responsible for these associations may be of value to patients with melanoma.”

The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute, philanthropic contributions to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Moon Shots Program, the Miriam and Jim Mulva Research Fund, the McCarthy Skin Cancer Research Fund, and the Marit Peterson Fund for Melanoma Research.

Jeffrey E. Lee, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Clinical Oncology article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.