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High Levels Of Vitamin D-Associated Enzyme Indicate Greater Risk Of Lung Cancer Mortality

February 15, 2011: 09:53 AM EST
U.S. researchers have found that high levels of a certain vitamin D-associated enzyme in lung tumors indicate a greater risk of death from lung cancer. Levels of the enzyme CYP24A1, which is important to vitamin D metabolism, were found to be 50 times higher in lung adenocarcinoma than in healthy lung tissue. Over five years, patients with higher levels of the enzyme were more than twice as likely to die of lung cancer than patients with low levels. Researchers noted that CYP24A1 breaks down calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D, retarding the vitamin’s ability to fight cancer. The scientists are now working to identify drugs that might block CYP24A1.
H. Meng, et al., "Stromal LRP1 in lung adenocarcinoma predicts clinical outcome", Clinical Cancer Research, February 15, 2011, © American Association for Cancer Research
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