Vitamin D may help shield in opposition to one of many deadliest varieties of most cancers

Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D is a category of fat-soluble secosteroids that improve the intestinal absorption of calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, amongst different issues.

Vitamin D can successfully block a key pathway utilized by ovarian most cancers

Of all cancers, ovarian most cancers has one of many highest mortality charges. That is partly as a result of the tumor is ready to flip the physique’s defenses in opposition to it. Nonetheless, a current examine from Nagoya College that was revealed within the journal Matrix biology, factors out that vitamin D could also be efficient in blocking one of many main pathways utilized by this most cancers.

Ovarian most cancers usually undergoes a course of referred to as peritoneal metastasis. Its cells find yourself in a secondary implant web site, such because the peritoneal wall or diaphragm, within the course of after detaching from their main web site within the ovary. The peritoneum protects itself in opposition to this course of by making a barrier of mesothelial cells, which prevents the adherence and unfold of neoplastic cells. Nonetheless, ovarian most cancers bypasses this barrier by changing the overlaying mesothelial cells into mesothelial cells related to most cancers. By supporting an setting that favors metastasis, the tumor’s capability to metastasize and unfold all through the physique is improved.

Ovarian cancer graphic

Suppress ovarian most cancers by rebuilding the mesothelial cells of the peritoneum. Supply: Kazuhisa Kitami

The workforce led by Dr. Masato Yoshihara from the Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology in[{” attribute=””>Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, in association with colleagues at the Bell Research Center and the Department of Pathology, discovered that vitamin D not only hindered this process but also returned cancer-associated mesothelial cells to their initial state. This process improved the mesothelial cells’ capacity to act as barriers, limiting the spread of the cancer. Their research implies that adding vitamin D therapy to the treatment of ovarian cancer could be helpful.

“We showed the potential of vitamin D for normalizing cancer-associated mesothelial cells, which is the first study of this kind,” said Dr. Kazuhisa Kitami, the first author of the study. “This study’s most interesting point is that in situations where early detection of ovarian cancer is still extremely difficult, we showed that the peritoneal environment can be restored to its normal state where it prevents the adhesion and growth of cancer cells.”

Vitamin D can do this because of the complicated way cancer spreads. Previous studies found that cancer cells secrete a protein called TGF-β1, which is associated with cell growth. This also increases the amount of another protein, thrombospondin-1, through the TGF-β/Smad pathway. Thrombospondin-1 has long interested researchers of ovarian cancer because it is found in higher amounts in the later, more deadly stages of cancer. In ovarian cancer, thrombospondin-1 is a key protein that enhances the adhesion and proliferation of ovarian cancer cells to the peritoneum. As vitamin D disrupts the TGF-β/Smad pathway, it may prevent cancer.

Dr. Kitami explains: “The administration of Vitamin D helps normalize the peritoneal environment. This suggests that the combination of Vitamin D and conventional remedies can enhance their therapeutic efficacy for ovarian cancer. We think this helps prevent the adhesion of cancer cells to the peritoneum, which may make it possible to prevent the recurrence of ovarian cancer.”

The potential of a vitamin to combat a cancer that affects one in 75 women remains an exciting prospect, especially since it does so by restoring the natural defenses of the body. The creation of therapies using this research could offer new ways to combat the high death rate of ovarian cancer.

This study was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (19H03797, 20K03824, 21K16788).

Reference: Kazuhisa Kitami, Masato Yoshihara, Satoshi Tamauchi, Mai Sugiyama, Yoshihiro Koya, Yoshihiko Yamakita, Hiroki Fujimoto, Shohei Iyoshi, Kaname Uno, Kazumasa Mogi, Yoshiki Ikeda, Akira Yokoi, Nobuhisa Yoshikawa, Kimihiro Nishino, Kaoru Niimi, Akihiro Nawa, Atsushi Enomoto and Hiroaki Kajiyama, 8 April 2022, Matrix Biology.
DOI: 10.1016/j.matbio.2022.03.003

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