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Vitamin D may help prevent common side effect of anti-cancer immunotherapy

DNA logo DNA 23-06-2020 (DNA Web Desk)
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New research indicates that the intake of vitamin D supplements may help prevent a potentially serious side effect of a revolutionary form of anti-cancer therapy. The findings have been published in the journal-CANCER, reviewed by the American Cancer Society (ACS). Immune checkpoint inhibitors help the immune system recognise and combat cancer cells, and although these treatments have helped many patients and have prolonged lives, they can cause side effects such as colitis, an inflammatory reaction in the colon. The study included information on 213 patients with melanoma who received immune checkpoint inhibitors between 2011 and 2017. Thirty-seven (17 per cent) of these patients developed colitis. Sixty-six patients in the study (31 per cent) took vitamin D supplements before starting treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Patients who took vitamin D had 65 per cent lower odds of developing colitis, after adjustments for confounding factors.

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