Vitamin D can prevent the potentially serious side effects of anti-cancer immunotherapy, the study published in CANCER CANCER noted.
According to Eurek Alert, this comes to anticancer therapy with the use of inhibitors of control immune points.
These drugs help the immune system recognize and fight cancer cells. The approach is quite effective and promising, however, sometimes this treatment has unpleasant side effects, including colitis - an inflammatory reaction in the colon.
Vitamin D can have a positive effect on the immune system in autoimmune diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases. For this reason, experts decided to use this vitamin.
The study included information on 213 melanoma patients who received control immune point inhibitors from 2011 to 2017. 37 people (17%) of these patients faced colitis.
"Sixty-six patients in the study (31 percent) took vitamin D supplements before starting treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
Patients who took vitamin D had 65 percent lower odds of developing colitis, after adjustments for confounding factors.
These findings were validated in another group of 169 patients, of whom 49 (29 percent) developed colitis. In this validation group, use of vitamin D was linked with 54 percent lower odds of developing colitis," Eurek Alert added.