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Vitamin D controversy: implications for melanoma control

Krüger-Krasagakis, S.

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doi: 10.1097/01.cmr.0000382746.24883.b8
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Vitamin D is involved in a wide variety of biological processes including modulation of the immune response and regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Previous reports showing reduced serum levels of 1,25(OH)2D3 in melanoma patients compared with controls suggested a potentially protective role of vitamin D against cutaneous melanoma. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is the nuclear receptor that mediates the effects of vitamin D through regulation of transcription of effector genes. Almost 200 polymorphisms of the VDR gene have been found, with so far largely unknown effect on VDR protein function and signaling. Case-control studies assessing the association of VDR polymorphism and melanoma risk are inconsistent. Gene-environment interactions play a crucial role in melanoma development, and UV-light exposure together with skin tanning abilities influence melanoma risk. The hypothesis that sun exposure may have an antimelanoma effect through activation of the vitamin D system is not supported by the conflicting literature data. This may be a result of populations stratification, small study populations, and due to the fact that the modifying action of these polymorphisms is not very strong.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.