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Vitamin D and thyroid cancer


The vitamin D system includes a group of fat-soluble pro-hormones and their respective metabolites. Reduced levels of vitamin D3 are linked with decrease of calcium and bone homeostasis, the onset and progression of various diseases such as autoimmune diseases, respiratory infections, diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2, hypertension and cardiovascular disorders, and cancers (breast, colon, liver, stomach and prostate).

This study aimed to investigate vitamin D metabolism by measuring 25(OH)D3, 1,25 (OH)2D3, PTH and calcium concentrations in the peripheral blood of patients with different forms of thyroid tumours.

Patients and methods

Vitamin D [25(OH)D3 and 1,25(OH)2D3], PTH and calcium serum levels of 50 consecutive patients with epithelial thyroid cancer: 27 cases of papillary cancers (PTC), 16 follicular cancers (FTC), seven cases of anaplastic cancers (ATC), and 34 multinodular nontoxic goiter (MNG) were measured by specific immunoassay. The control group consisted of 26 healthy volunteers.


The results revealed significantly lower 1,25 (OH)2D3 concentration in the PTC group (22.67 pg/ml ± 8.12; p <0.05), FTC group (16.09 pg/ml ± 6.15; p <0.02) and ATC group (9.48 pg/ml ± 5.18; p <0.02) versus controls. Levels of 1,25 (OH)2D3 varied by cancer stage and were also significantly different. A significant decrease in circulating 1,25 (OH)2D3 concentration was found in patients with stage I (24.12 pg/ml ± 6.77; p <0.05), stage II (16.93 pg/ml ± 4.55; p <0.05), stage III (12.44 ± 8.98; p <0.02) and in stage IVa (6.18 ± 2.22; p <0.01) of cancer. There were no differences when comparing serum levels of 25(OH)D3, PTH or calcium concentrations among individuals with multinodular goiter, thyroid cancer and age- and sex-matched control volunteers.


Our study revealed that impaired vitamin D3 metabolism may play an important role in thyroid follicular cell oncogenesis.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Komorowski, J., Krupiński, R., Sopiński, J. et al. Vitamin D and thyroid cancer. Thyroid Res 6 (Suppl 2), A28 (2013).

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