Based on observations that for certain cancers, mortality varies according to sun exposure, vitamin D has been proposed to influence on disease progression.

This study aims to investigate whether serum levels of 25(OH)D are associated with prognosis in patients with prostate cancer. In total, 160 patients with a serum sample in the JANUS serum bank were included. For 123 patients a pre-treatment serum sample was taken, whereas 37 of the patients had received hormone therapy prior to the blood collection.

The serum level of 25(OH)D was classified as low (<50 nmol l(-1)), medium (50-80 nmol l(-1)) or high (>80 nmol l(-1)). A Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to assess the association between serum 25(OH)D and cancer mortality. During follow-up, 61 deaths occurred, of whom 52 died of prostate cancer. The median time of follow-up was 44.0 months (range, 1.2-154.6). Serum 25(OH)D at medium or high levels were significantly related to better prognosis (RR 0.33; 95% CI 0.14-0.77, RR 0.16; 95% CI 0.05-0.43) compared with the low level.

Analysis restricted to patients receiving hormone therapy gave a stronger association. The serum level of 25(OH)D may be involved in disease progression and is a potential marker of prognosis in patients with prostate cancer.

Key words: Prostate Cancer, Mortality - Vitamin D, 25(OH)D, Sun, Sunshine