Pancreatic Cancer Survival Linked To Vitamin D Receptor Gene
Innocenti, an associate professor of pharmacy at the North Carolina University's Chapel Hill Eshelman School of Pharmacy said: "Based on these findings, we should refocus our attention on the role of the vitamin D pathway in pancreatic cancer because it may have an impact on the survival of patients."
In an earlier study in which two therapies for advanced pancreatic cancer were evaluated, Innocenti and his team prospectively collected DNA from 365 participants, who were enrolled in the CALGB 80303 randomized phase III clinical trial. These DNA samples were then used in a genome-wide associated study (GWAS) to examine whether genetic variations known as single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are linked to better or worse patient outcomes.
The new study involved testing the 300 SNPs from the CALGB 80303 trial group with the strongest link to overall survival in the previous study, to the overall survival in 408 European patients with advanced pancreatic cancer treated at the Mayo Clinic.
In all patients of the CALGB 80303 group and those in the Mayo clinic group who had a consistent overall survival, the researchers discovered a SNP, known as rs2853564 in the VDR gene coding for the vitamin D receptor. They discovered that it was this SNP, i.e. the rs2853564 in the VDR gene, which was linked to better overall survival.
They found that patients in the Mayo Clinic group with 2 copies of rs2853564 in VDR had an overall average survival of 10.5 months compared with an overall survival of 8.9 months in those in the CALGB 80303 study group, whilst the overall survival for patients with one copy in the Mayo Clinic group was 8.34 months compared with 5.9 months to those in the CALGB 80303 study. Those with no copies of the variant allele had an average overall survival of 6.6 months and 4.7 months respectively.
Innocenti believes that although these findings have no immediate clinical implications, it does provide more insight with regard to the link between vitamin D biology and pancreatic cancer.
Written By Petra Rattue