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Research is Showing That Mesothelioma Patients Could Benefit from Vitamin D3

Published: November 6, 2020

Vitamin D3 could potentially be used to slow down mesothelioma. There are promising results coming from a study in Italy studying the possibilities of Vitamin D3 on mesothelioma cells. Results from the study are showing that it could prevent mesothelioma cells from growing and spreading. Calcitriol, the biologically active form of Vitamin D3, has shown anti-cancer properties in other studies. When researchers applied the Vitamin D3 to mesothelioma cells, it was able to block cell division and weakened the cells. Researchers believe that Vitamin D could be a good companion for chemotherapy when treating mesothelioma patients.

Calcitriol or Vitamin D3 is created in the body to help regulate the cell cycle. It does this by initiating cell death, also known as apoptosis. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which helps keep tumors from growing. There are also studies that show when people are treated for cancer, the inhibition of D3 makes cancer treatment less effective. This effect made the researchers want to look at the interaction between Vitamin D3 and mesothelioma, a hard to treat and incurable cancer.

Mesothelioma is a fast-growing incurable cancer of the mesothelium, which is the membrane that surrounds certain organs including the lungs (pleural), abdomen (peritoneal), heart (pericardial), and testicles (tunica vaginalis testis). There are different treatments including chemotherapy and immunotherapy for treating mesothelioma, but not all patients respond well to the treatments. This is where Vitamin D3 could be used to help. The researchers at the University of Turin found that when calcitriol was exposed to mesothelioma cells, it reduced the viability and proliferation in human cells.

Vitamin D3 being used with mesothelioma is looking promising. It caused cell cycle arrest and prevented compounds that help the cell cycle from being released. It also interrupted the mitochondria, which help create energy for cancerous and non-cancerous cells. The compound also improved how well pemetrexed worked on mesothelioma cells. Results are showing that there are anti-cancer effects when Vitamin D3 is administered to mesothelioma. This is only a test with lab conditions, but the results are still promising. It is also important to know the Vitamin D3 is not the same as supplements people buy at the grocery store. Taking these supplements is not known to help cancer patients and people need to consult a medical professional to find what is best for them.

Iacopo Gesmundo et al., “Calcitriol Inhibits Viability and Proliferation in Human Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Cells” Frontiers in Endocrinology (October 8, 2020). [Link]
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