(HealthDay News) — For patients with advanced melanoma, anti-PD-1 therapy appears more effective in those with normal vitamin D levels, according to a study published in Cancer.

Researchers compared the effectiveness of anti-PD-1 therapy in patients with locally advanced, inoperable, or metastatic melanoma in relation to vitamin D levels. All patients received nivolumab or pembrolizumab as first-line therapy.

The study cohort included 58 patients with reduced vitamin D levels who did not receive supplementation or had ineffective supplementation and 141 patients who either had normal vitamin D levels at baseline or were able to reach normal levels with supplementation.

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The objective response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS) were significantly higher in the group with normal vitamin D levels, but there was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) between the groups.

The ORR was 36.2% in the group with low vitamin D levels and 56.0% in the group with normal vitamin D levels (P =.0111). The median PFS was 5.75 months and 11.25 months, respectively (P =.0378). The median OS was 27 months and 31.5 months, respectively (P =.39).

“In our opinion, maintaining the vitamin D level within the normal range during anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in advanced melanoma patients should be a standard procedure allowing the improvement of treatment outcomes,” the researchers wrote.

Several researchers disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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