Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. As per WHO it accounted for nearly 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Researchers have spent years working on new cancer treatments that fetch better results with minimal side effects. Only recently have these efforts come to fruition with the discovery of new treatments that can possibly cure cancer.
However, there is still a long way to go as several treatments are in the approval phase.
Scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have recently discovered a new treatment that can benefit patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is a tumor that starts in the colon and spreads across lungs, bones, liver, and other body parts. The researchers discovered that vitamin-D supplements along with the standard chemotherapy can effectively reduce progression of the disease.
High Dose of Vitamin D Lowered the Disease Progression
The scientists conducted a clinical trial with a group of colorectal cancer patients to evaluate the benefits of the drug. They had formed two groups to check the effects of high and low dose of vitamin D. The results suggested that the condition of patients consuming high dose vitamin D was 36% less likely to deteriorate. It also suggested that the drug remarkably reduced disease progression in the high dose group. Initially, researchers conducted this trial with a less number of patients. However, the encouraging results prompted them to launch a larger trial.
Researchers conducted phase two of the trial on patients recruited from 11 community centers across the U.S. The patients received chemotherapy along with a regimen called mFOLFOX6 plus bevacizumab. The primary outcome suggested that patients with a high dose of vitamin D had higher survival rates and lower disease progression. However, further research suggested that the effect of the drug was poor on obese patients. Kimmie Ng, director of clinical research in Dana-Farber’s Gastrointestinal Cancer Center said that the findings are extremely important. Further, he said that it identifies a safe and cost-effective treatment for advanced colorectal cancer.