Low vitamin D levels are associated with a worse overall survival in invasive melanoma

Low levels of vitamin D in people with invasive melanoma are associated with a lower overall survival rate but not skin cancer definite survival

Low vitamin D levels (LVD) are independently associated with worse overall survival among patients with invasive melanoma but not melanoma-defined survival according to the results of a retrospective analysis by Spanish researchers. Presented at the 31st Congress of Dermatology and Venereology And simultaneously published in Journal of Melanoma Research.

Skin cancer is the 17th most common skin cancer worldwide, and there were more than 150,000 new cases in 2020. In the last years A positive association has been suggested between circulating levels of vitamin D (vitamin D) and the risk of skin cancer although this is confounded by exposure to sunlight.. but, Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the vitamin D receptor gene may alter expression or function of the VDR protein resulting in various diseases, including melanoma.. In this study, the Spanish team sought to analyze the relationship between vitamin D levels and prognosis in patients with melanoma. The team retrospectively examined patients with invasive melanoma at a university hospital in Barcelona and assessed their vitamin D level. Individuals were classified as having either an LVD (defined as <10 ng/ml) or equal to or greater than 10 ng/ml. The team examined differences in overall survival (OS) and what they called 'melanoma-specific survival (MSS)' based on vitamin D levels and used a multivariate survival analysis, adjusted for age, sex and index. Breslow and the season in which the test was performed, as this affected the intensity of the UV rays.

Low levels of vitamin D and overall survival

A total of 264 patients with invasive melanoma were followed with a mean age of 57.51 years (54.2% women) and a median of 6.7 years.

Survival analysis showed that after 5 years, 90.1% of those with a vitamin D level >10 ng/ml were still alive compared to 84.2% of those with levels less than 10 ng/ml. In multivariate regression, the hazard ratio (HR) for OS was 2.45 (95% CI 1.28 – 4.68, p = 0.007), that is, survival was significantly lower among those with lower levels of vitamin D. However, when the researchers looked at MSS, the hazard ratio was nonsignificant (HR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.25 – 2.30, p = 0.629).

The authors suggested that these findings suggest that vitamin D levels generally affect survival among patients with invasive melanoma although levels do not appear to have any significant effect on melanoma-specific survival.

At the conference, Principal Investigator Dr. Ines Gracia Darder, from Son Espaces University Hospital, Mallorca, Spain, commented:Although previous research has determined that normal levels of vitamin D play a protective role in melanoma survival, this study aims to further understand this relationship. These results indicate that vitamin D has a significant effect on people with melanoma, demonstrating in particular that patients with vitamin D deficiency have a lower overall survival.“.