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Cancer Treatment Revolution: Unexpected Role of Vitamin D

Daniel Kim Views  

Vitamin D’s efficacy in maintaining the gut microbiome balance and improving the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy are well-known.

A study published in Science Journal shows that Vitamin D maintains the balance of the gut microbiome, thus enhancing the effect of cancer immunotherapy.

A research team from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute at The University of Manchester, UK, reported that Vitamin D aids in sustaining the balance of the gut microbiome, improving how cancer immunotherapy works in a mouse model.

Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that assists the body’s immune system in fighting cancer. It includes monoclonal antibodies, immune checkpoint inhibitors, immunomodulators, cancer vaccines, and CAR T-cell therapy.

Immunotherapy enhances the cancer-fighting actions of the immune system and is currently being used to treat various malignant tumors, including metastatic melanoma, one of the most deadly cancers. However, as not all immunotherapy works on every patient, only a few achieve long-term treatment effects. The research team newly predicted that understanding how the immune system identifies and reciprocates to malignant cells would be crucial for developing treatments to eliminate cancer.

Based on past animal experiments showing that mice raised in sterile environments or treated with antibiotics lacked the anti-cancer actions of Vitamin D, the hypothesis was made that Vitamin D could affect the body’s microbiome and be involved in cancer immunity. The researchers found that Vitamin D affects cells in the intestinal wall, leading to an increase in Bacteroides fragilis bacteria, a part of a large microbial community that resides in the guts of mice and humans.

To determine whether this bacterium alone could enhance cancer immunity, the researchers fed mice a diet containing standard Vitamin D levels and Bacteroides fragilis.

The study found that mice fed Vitamin D and Bacteroides fragilis showed progress in resistance to cancer growth, while mice deficient in Vitamin D showed no change. The research team concluded that while it is unclear how Bacteroides fragilis enhances cancer immunity, there is a clear correlation between Vitamin D and the gut microbiome related to cancer immune response.

The research team explained that Vitamin D affects Bacteroides fragilis, which resists cancer and aids in immunotherapy, making the anti-cancer response more effective.

Experts advise maintaining Vitamin D levels within the normal range to prevent cancer, preserve bone density, and reduce the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. They explained that levels above 50 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) are appropriate for bone and overall health, while levels below 30 nmol/L or above 125 nmol/L could cause health problems.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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