Vitamin D, inflammation, and colorectal cancer progression: A review of mechanistic studies and future directions for epidemiological studies

Suzanne van Harten-Gerritsen, Michiel G.J. Balvers, Renger F. Witkamp, Ellen Kampman, F.J.B. van Duijnhoven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Survival from colorectal cancer is positively associated with vitamin D status. However, whether this association is causal remains unclear. Inflammatory processes may link vitamin D to colorectal cancer survival, and therefore investigating inflammatory markers as potential mediators may be a valuable next step. This review starts with an overview of inflammatory processes suggested to be involved in colorectal cancer progression and regulated by vitamin D. Next, we provide recommendations on how to study inflammatory markers in future epidemiologic studies on vitamin D and colorectal cancer survival. Mechanistic studies have shown that calcitriol-active form of vitamin D- influences inflammatory processes involved in cancer progression, including the enzyme cyclooxygenase 2, the NF-κB pathway, and the expression of the cytokines TNFα, IL1β, IL6, IL8, IL17, and TGFβ1. Based on this and taking into account methodologic issues, we recommend to include analysis of specific soluble peptides and proteins, such as cytokines, in future epidemiologic studies on this issue. VitaminDand the markers should preferably be measured at multiple time points during disease progression or recovery and analyzed using mediation analysis. Including these markers in epidemiologic studies may help answer whether inflammation mediates a causal relationship between vitamin D and colorectal cancer survival. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 24(12); 1820-8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1820-1828
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention
Volume24
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

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