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Vitamin D, Gut Microbiota, and Chemo-radiation interactions – Dec 2019

Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research volume 38, # 493 (2019)
Ruixue Huang, Jing Xiang & Pingkun Zhou

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Radiation resistance is a serious issue in radiotherapy. Increasing evidence indicates that the human gut microbiome plays a role in the development of radiation resistance. Vitamin D is an important supplement for cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. Against this background, this paper reviewed research regarding the associations among vitamin D, microbiota dysbiosis, and radiation resistance. A hypothesis is developed to describe the relationships among vitamin D, the gut microbiota, and radiotherapy outcomes.
Radiotherapy changes the composition of the gut microbiota, which in turn influence the serum level of vitamin D, and its distribution and metabolism in the body.
Alteration of vitamin D level influences the patient response to radiotherapy, where the underlying mechanisms may be associated with the intestinal microenvironment, immune molecules in the intestines, gut microbiome metabolites, and signaling pathways associated with vitamin D receptors. Our understanding of the contribution of vitamin D and the gut microbiota to radiotherapy outcomes has been increasing gradually. A better understanding of the relationships among vitamin D, the gut microbiota, and radiotherapy outcomes will shed more light on radiation resistance, and also promote the development of new strategies for overcoming it, thus addressing an important challenge associated with the currently available radiotherapy modalities for cancer patients.

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