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Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Prevention: What’s the Current Evidence From Randomized Clinical Trials?

The study entitled “Vitamin D Supplementation and Breast Cancer Prevention: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials” has been recently judged suitable for publication in PLOS ONE and will be available at from 5pm ET on July 22nd 2013.

The authors belong to a multidisciplinary, international team led by Dr. Maddalena Barba, researcher at the Regina Elena National Cancer Institute of Rome, Central Italy.

"In recent years, the scientific evidence linking vitamin D to breast cancer has grown notably. Several systematic reviews including randomized clinical trials have recently focused on vitamin D and health outcomes. However, so far, no systematic review has specifically addressed the role of vitamin D supplementation in breast cancer prevention” says Prof. Antonio Giordano, an internationally renowned oncologist engaged for years in the fight against breast cancer.

"The conduct of a systematic review allows to collate all evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria on a specific research question. It is always desirable to review a body of data systematically in that such an assessment holds the potentials to orient future steps and health priorities in a specific research setting. This approach is particularly appropriate when dealing with issues with broad reflections in terms of public health, such as breast cancer related outcomes” adds Prof. Giordano

In this study, the researchers focused on breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death in women from Western countries. "This systematic review was carried out in full agreement with the methods applied by the Cochrane collaboration, an international not-for-profit organization preparing, maintaining and promoting the accessibility of systematic reviews of the effects of health care and prevention worldwide. Our work contributes a comprehensive appraisal of the evidence stemming from randomized controlled trials on vitamin D supplementation for breast cancer prevention. Based on our results and considering the intrinsic limitations of the scientific evidence examined, vitamin D supplementation seems not to be associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer development in women. However, the scientific panorama related to the association of interest is still limited and overall inadequate to draw firm conclusions” clarifies Dr Barba.

“New trials specifically tailored on the vitamin D-cancer- binomious are in progress and should provide additional information in a few years’ time. Methodological tools and key tenets of vitamin D metabolism and biological activities will help interpret the upcoming results” concludes Prof. Giordano.

Barbara Colombo | Newswise
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