The patients were followed for a median of 44 months. The risk of death during that time was found to be significantly less for those in the medium and high Vitamin D groups. The risk of death in the mid group was reduced by 60% and in the high level group by 85%. This is almost a seven fold increase in the risk of death in those with low compared to high vitamin D levels.
As this was a prospective study and showed a strong dose response it adds considerable strength to the body of data on Vitamin D. We now have similar effects demonstrated in all four of the most common and dangerous forms of cancer: prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer.
Then in May 2009 preliminary results from a study by Professor Waxman at Imperial College in London were released. After noting a prostate cancer patient PSA levels had dropped after the patient's wife had given him Vitamin D, Waxman started a small trial to study the effect in advanced prostate cancer.
Out of 26 men with recurrent prostate cancer who took approximately 1000IU of Vitamin D daily, five responded to the treatment. In two patients the PSA levels fell by more than 50%, in two by 25-50% and in one man just less than 25%. Effects were sustained for as long as 36 months. This result is quite remarkable considering the low dose used.
A clinical trial in prostate cancer is being conduced in Canada using a dose of 40,000IU Vitamin D3 per day. To our knowledge no trial has ever been conducted using such high doses.
These two trials strongly suggest that at the very least, no prostate cancer patient should be left in a state of Vitamin D insufficiency and all patients should talk to their physician and ensure they have their levels checked.