Levels of Vitamin D and Expression of the Vitamin D Receptor in Relation to Breast Cancer Risk and Survival

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Previous research suggests associations between low systemic levels of vitamin D and poor breast cancer prognosis and between expression of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) in breast cancers and survival. This study aimed to study associations between pre-diagnostic systemic levels of vitamin D and expression of VDR in subsequent breast tumors, and interactions between vitamin D and VDR on breast cancer mortality. Systemic vitamin D levels were measured in women within the Malmö Diet and Cancer Study. The expression of VDR was evaluated immunohistochemically in a tissue microarray of subsequent breast cancers. Statistical analyses followed. Women with high levels of vitamin D had a smaller proportion of VDR negative breast tumors compared to women with low levels of vitamin D (odds ratio: 0.68; 95% confidence interval: 0.41–1.13). Vitamin D levels were not found to modify the association between low VDR expression and high breast cancer mortality. To conclude, there was no statistical evidence for an association between pre-diagnostic levels of vitamin D and the expression of VDRs in breast cancer, nor did vitamin D levels influence the association between VDR expression and breast cancer mortality. Further studies are needed in order to establish the effects of vitamin D on breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3353
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Aug 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • breast cancer
  • incidence
  • survival
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin D receptor


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