Prediagnostic 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels are associated with survival in pancreatic cancer, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Chen Yuan, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues examined survival among 493 patients from five prospective cohorts who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer from 1984 to 2008. Hazard ratios for death were estimated by plasma level of 25(OH)D in models adjusted for age, cohort, race and ethnicity, smoking, diagnosis year, stage, and blood collection month.

The researchers found that patients with relative insufficiency and sufficient levels had multivariable-adjusted hazard ratios for death of 0.79 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.48 to 1.29) and 0.66 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.49 to 0.9), respectively, compared with those with insufficient levels.

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After further adjustment for body mass index and history of diabetes, these results were unchanged. Patients with blood collected within five years of diagnosis had the strongest association, with a hazard ratio of 0.58 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.35 to 0.98) for those with sufficient versus insufficient 25(OH)D levels.

“We observed longer overall survival in patients with pancreatic cancer who had sufficient prediagnostic 25(OH)D,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.


  1. Yuan C, Qian ZR, Babic A, et al. Prediagnostic Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Pancreatic Cancer Survival. [published online ahead of print June 20, 2016.] J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.66.3005.