We correlated serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD) levels with tumor characteristics and clinical disease outcome in breast cancer patients and assessed the impact of genetic determinants of vitamin D insufficiency. We collected serum from 1800 early breast cancer patients at diagnosis, measured 25OHD by radioimmunoassay (RIA), and determined genetic variants in vitamin D-related genes by Sequenom. Multivariable regression models were used to correlate 25OHD levels with tumor characteristics. Cox proportional hazard models were used to assess overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and disease-free interval (DFI). Lower 25OHD serum levels significantly correlated with larger tumor size at diagnosis (P = 0.0063) but not with lymph node invasion, receptor status, or tumor grade. Genetic variants in 25-hydroxylase (CYP2R1) and vitamin D-binding (DBP) protein significantly determined serum 25OHD levels but did not affect the observed association between serum 25OHD and tumor size. High serum 25OHD (>30ng/mL) at diagnosis significantly correlated with improved OS (P = 0.0101) and DSS (P = 0.0192) and additionally had a modest effect on DFI, which only became apparent after at least 3 years of follow-up. When considering menopausal status, serum 25OHD had a strong impact on breast cancer-specific outcome in postmenopausal patients [hazards ratios for 25OHD >30ng/mL versus ≤30ng/mL were 0.15 (P = 0.0097) and 0.43 (P = 0.0172) for DSS and DFI, respectively], whereas no association could be demonstrated in premenopausal patients. In conclusion, high vitamin D levels at early breast cancer diagnosis correlate with lower tumor size and better OS, and improve breast cancer-specific outcome, especially in postmenopausal patients.
Journal Article. 7062 words. Illustrated.
Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics
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