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Vitamin D Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute

Combining Vitamin D with Standard Bladder Cancer Treatments
A phase I study is determining the safety of combining oral calcitriol (vitamin D) with the conventional chemotherapy agents cisplatin and gemcitabine to treat bladder cancer. A phase II study will follow to examine the benefits of giving vitamin D plus chemotherapy prior to removal of the bladder in patients with bladder cancer that has penetrated the muscle. This study will investigate how to use vitamin D in conjunction with conventional chemotherapy to improve response to chemotherapy.

Studying a Possible Link Between Vitamin D3 Metabolism and Colorectal Cancer
Josephia Muindi, MD, PhD hypothesizes that some genes involved in Vitamin D3 biotransformation may play a role in how well the body absorbs the nutrient either naturally or through supplementation. If successful, her research may help to explain in part the variations that lead to Vitamin D3 deficiency. It could also serve as a paradigm to predict the efficacy of Vitamin D3-based interventions, in addition to predicting those at higher risk for developing cancer and various chronic conditions.

Research to Determine the Effect of Taking High Dose Vitamin D3 on PSA levels
This research evaluates supplementation with vitamin D3 versus supplementation with a placebo in patients with localized prostate cancer. Patients in the study have never received any treatment for prostate cancer and are under active "watchful waiting" surveillance.

Pilot Study of Oral Calcitriol in Patients at High Risk for Lung Cancer
This study is to determine if a high dose of calcitriol supplementation can be given every other week to people without lung cancer without causing severe side effects. These studies use Vitamin D in the hope of preventing early lesions in the upper airways from progressing to cancer.

A Phase I/II Study of Oral Calcitriol in Combination with Ketoconazole in Androgen Independent Prostate Cancer
This research is being done to determine the frequency with which reductions in prostate cancer occur with the therapy of calcitriol in combination with the drug ketconazole and the drug hydrocortisone.

The Role of Vitamin D in Relation To ER- Breast Cancer Among African-American Women
Because of the higher pigmentation of African-Americans, there is a much higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, which is associated with more aggressive tumors. In preliminary data, Roswell Park researchers found that, indeed, circulating levels of vitamin D were lower among women with high grade ER-tumors than among women with better prognosis breast cancers. Further research will help create enhanced therapies.

Additional Preclinical Studies
Additional preclinical studies at Roswell Park Cancer Institute include examining the role of vitamin D in the development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, bladder cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer; and vitamin D's potential anti-tumor and prevention action with these cancers. In addition, scientists at RPCI are looking at vitamin D and the molecular pathways associated with its anti-tumor actions in prostate cancer, lung cancer and colon cancer.


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