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Insufficient vitamin D levels in CLL patients linked to cancer progression and death
Date:11/4/2010

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Researchers at Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org/) have found a significant difference in cancer progression and death in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients who had sufficient vitamin D (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-d/NS_patient-vitamind) levels in their blood compared to those who didn't.

VIDEO ALERT: Additional audio and video resources, including excerpts from an interview with Dr. Tait Shanafelt, are available on the Mayo Clinic News Blog (http://newsblog.mayoclinic.org/2010/11/03/mayo-clinic-finds-insufficient-vitamin-d-levels-in-cll-patients-linked-to-cancer-progression-and-death/).

In the Mayo Clinic study, published online in the journal Blood (http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/), the researchers found that patients with insufficient levels of vitamin D when their leukemia was diagnosed progressed much faster and were about twice as likely to die as were patients with adequate levels of vitamin D.

They also found solid trends: increasing vitamin D levels across patients matched longer survival times and decreasing levels matched shortening intervals between diagnosis and cancer progression. The association also remained after controlling for other prognostic factors associated with leukemia progression.

The finding is significant in a number of ways. For the first time, it potentially offers patients with this typically slower growing form of leukemia a way to slow progression, says the study's lead author, Tait Shanafelt, M.D., (http://mayoresearch.mayo.edu/staff/sh
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Contact: Nicole Engler
newsbureau@mayo.com
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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