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Women with breast cancer safely take 10,000 IU daily – Jan 2010

 

A phase 2 trial exploring the effects of high-dose (10,000 IU/day) vitamin D(3) in breast cancer patients with bone metastases.

Cancer. 2010 Jan 15;116(2):284-91.
Amir E, Simmons CE, Freedman OC, Dranitsaris G, Cole DE, Vieth R, Ooi WS, Clemons M.
Department of Medical Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

BACKGROUND: Vitamin D deficiency has potential roles in breast cancer etiology and progression. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with increased toxicity from bisphosphonate therapy. The optimal dose of vitamin D supplementation is unknown, but daily sunlight exposure can generate the equivalent of a 10,000-IU oral dose of vitamin D(3). This study therefore aimed to assess the effect of this dose of vitamin D(3) in patients with bone metastases from breast cancer.

METHODS: Patients with bone metastases treated with bisphosphonates were enrolled into this single-arm phase 2 study. Patients received 10,000 IU of vitamin D(3) and 1000 mg of calcium supplementation each day for 4 months. The effect of this treatment on palliation, bone resorption markers, calcium metabolism, and toxicity were evaluated at baseline and monthly thereafter.

RESULTS: Forty patients were enrolled. No significant changes in bone resorption markers were seen. Despite no change in global pain scales, there was a significant reduction in the number of sites of pain. A small but statistically significant increase in serum calcium was seen, as was a significant decrease in serum parathyroid hormone. Treatment unmasked 2 cases of primary hyperparathyroidism, but was not associated with direct toxicity.

CONCLUSIONS: Daily doses of 10,000 IU vitamin D(3) for 4 months appear safe in patients without comorbid conditions causing hypersensitivity to vitamin D. Treatment reduced inappropriately elevated parathyroid hormone levels, presumably caused by long-term bisphosphonate use. There did not appear to be a significant palliative benefit nor any significant change in bone resorption. PMID: 19918922

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