Vitamin D May Help Weaken Pancreatic Cancer

Posted by Hollie Williams on January 13th, 2016

With a five-year survival rate of roughly 6 percent, pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of this disease known to man. Poorly understood, poorly funded and highly deadly, this form of cancer claims an estimated 40,000 American lives each year. As researchers work around the clock to end the condition that has claimed so many lives, new research is shedding light on the potential Vitamin D may have to offer.

Researchers at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, Calif., recently released information pertaining to their work with synthetic Vitamin D. They found this additive was successful in inactivating protective stellate cells, essentially making pancreatic cancer vulnerable to chemotherapy’s benefits. Pancreatic cancer has the ability to produce enzymes that destroy Vitamin D. By adding it into the treatment routine, researchers found that it was possible to extend lifespans for mice with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma in their study.

While still not available for widespread human use, the Vitamin D study is opening promising new doors for researchers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved human trials that may one day lead to more widespread applications of this synthetic Vitamin D for treatment of pancreatic cancer. Researchers at the Salk Institute are also hopeful the treatment may assist those with liver, kidney and lung tumors, as well, by enabling chemotherapy to more effectively do its job in killing cancer cells.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the few forms of the disease that has not witnessed major breakthroughs in treatment or detection in the past few decades. As the disease becomes more common, researchers are rapidly turning their attention toward improving treatments to help improve the statistics related to pancreatic cancer. The Salk Institute’s study is just one of many under way that may someday save the lives of those diagnosed with this disease.

About Author
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation was started by Gregory A. Echt, M.D. and his wife, Susan T. Echt, after they lost two of their dear friends, Michael and Peter, to premature deaths from pancreatic cancer.

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Hollie Williams

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Hollie Williams
Joined: September 18th, 2015
Articles Posted: 25

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