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Calcium with vitamin D decreased risk of subsequent skin cancer by 2X – June 2011

Calcium Plus Vitamin D Supplementation and the Risk of Nonmelanoma and Melanoma Skin Cancer: Post Hoc Analyses of the Women's Health Initiative Randomized Controlled Trial.

J Clin Oncol. 2011 Jun 27.
Tang JY, Fu T, Leblanc E, Manson JE, Feldman D, Linos E, Vitolins MZ, Zeitouni NC, Larson J, Stefanick ML.

  • Jean Y. Tang, Teresa Fu, David Feldman, Eleni Linos, and Marcia L. Stefanick, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, CA;
  • Erin LeBlanc, Northwest Kaiser Center for Health Research, Portland, OR; JoAnn E. Manson, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;
  • Mara Z. Vitolins, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem, NC;
  • Nathalie C. Zeitouni, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and University at Buffalo, NY; and
  • Joseph Larson, Women's Health Initiative Clinical Coordinating Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.

PURPOSE In light of inverse relationships reported in observational studies of vitamin D intake and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) and melanoma, we evaluated the effects of vitamin D combined with calcium supplementation on skin cancer in a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

METHODS Postmenopausal women age 50 to 79 years (N = 36,282) enrolled onto the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) calcium/vitamin D clinical trial were randomly assigned to receive 1,000 mg of elemental calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D3 (CaD) daily or placebo for a mean follow-up period of 7.0 years. NMSC and melanoma skin cancers were ascertained by annual self-report; melanoma skin cancers underwent physician adjudication.

Results Neither incident NMSC nor melanoma rates differed between treatment (hazard ratio HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.95 to 1.07) and placebo groups (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.64 to 1.16).

In subgroup analyses, women with history of NMSC assigned to CaD had a reduced risk of melanoma versus those receiving placebo (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21 to 0.90; P(interaction) = .038), which was not observed in women without history of NMSC.

CONCLUSION Vitamin D supplementation at a relatively low dose plus calcium did not reduce the overall incidence of NMSC or melanoma. However, in women with history of NMSC, CaD supplementation reduced melanoma risk, suggesting a potential role for calcium and vitamin D supplements in this high-risk group. Results from this post hoc subgroup analysis should be interpreted with caution but warrant additional investigation.

PMID: 21709199
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While we like the idea of vitamin D helping,

400 IU does not seem like enough to make a difference

See also VitaminDWiki