Among men with localized prostate cancer undergoing prostatectomy, lower serum vitamin D levels are associated with a higher risk for adverse pathology, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has shown.1

An insufficiency or deficiency of serum vitamin D levels have been linked with an increased risk for aggressive disease. Therefore, researchers sought to evaluate the relationship between vitamin D levels and adverse pathology at the time of radical prostatectomy in men with localized disease.

For the cross-sectional study, which was part of a large epidemiologic study, investigators analyzed data from 190 men who underwent radical prostatectomy. Their median age was 64 years. Patients were considered to adverse pathology if primary Gleason 4 disease, any Gleason 5 disease, or extraprostatic extension was present.

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Of the 190 patients, 87 had adverse pathology at the time of radical prostatectomy.

Results showed that patients with adverse pathology had a lower serum vitamin D level compared with those who did not have adverse pathology (22.7 vs 27.0 ng/mL; P=.007).

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After controlling for age, serum prostate specific antigen (PSA), and abnormal digital rectal examination, researchers found that vitamin D levels less than 30 ng/mL was associated with an increased risk for adverse pathology (OR, 2.64; 95% CI: 1.25-5.59; P=.01).

The findings suggest that serum vitamin D levels may be a useful biomarker for determining prostate cancer aggressiveness. Further studies are warranted to assess its role.


  1. Nyame YA, Murphy AB, Bowen DK, et al. Associations between serum vitamin D and adverse pathology in men undergoing radical prostatectomy [published online ahead of print February 22, 2016]. J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.65.1463.