Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 23368852
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2014 Mar;28(3):298-308
BACKGROUND: Merkel cell polyomavirus has been recognized to be associated with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), but the evolution of this cancer probably depends on various factors. Vitamin D deficiency, defined by serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <50 nmol/L, seems to influence cancer behavior and progression, but has never been assessed in MCC patients.
OBJECTIVES: First, to evaluate whether vitamin D deficiency was associated with tumor characteristics and prognosis in a cohort of MCC patients. Second, to assess expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in MCC tumors.
METHODS: Clinical findings, Merkel cell polyomavirus markers and vitamin D status were assessed in a cohort of French MCC patients. The study was limited to the 89 patients for whom the serum sample had been collected within 3 years after the diagnosis of MCC. Correlation between vitamin D deficiency and MCC characteristics and outcome were determined in regression analyses. VDR expression in MCC tumours was assessed by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Vitamin D deficiency was noted in 65.1% of the patients and was independently associated with greater tumor size at diagnosis (P = 0.006) and with metastasis recurrence (HR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.03 to 8.13; P = 0.043), but not with death from MCC, although there was a trend (HR, 5.28; 95% CI, 0.75 to 36.96; P = 0.093). VDR was found to be strongly expressed in all 28 MCC tumor specimens investigated.
CONCLUSION: The association between vitamin D deficiency and MCC characteristics and outcome, together with detection of the VDR in MCC cells, suggest that vitamin D could influence the biology of MCC.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23368852