Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms in patients with cutaneous melanoma


  • The study was conducted by the GEM Study Group: Marianne Berwick (PI, University of New Mexico), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY: Colin Begg (Co-PI), Irene Orlow (Co-Investigator), Urvi Mujumdar (Project Coordinator), Klaus Busam (Dermatopathologist), Pampa Roy (Laboratory Technician). Study Centers: The University of Sydney and The Cancer Council New South Wales, Sydney (Australia): Bruce Armstrong (PI), Anne Kricker (co-PI), Melisa Litchfield (Study Coordinator). Menzies Research Institute, University of Tasmania, Hobart (Australia): Terence Dwyer (PI, currently at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria), Paul Tucker (Dermatopathologist), Alison Venn (co-Investigator), Nicola Stephens (Study Coordinator). British Columbia Cancer Agency, Vancouver (Canada): Richard Gallagher (PI), Teresa Switzer (Coordinator). Cancer Care Ontario, Toronto (Canada): Loraine Marrett (PI), Elizabeth Theis (Co-Investigator), Lynn From (Dermatopathologist), Noori Chowdhury (Coordinator), Louise Vanasse (Coordinator). Centro per la Prevenzione Oncologia Torino, Piemonte (Italy): Stefano Rosso (PI), Roberto Zanetti (co-PI), Carlotta Sacerdote (Coordinator). University of California, Irvine, CA: Hoda Anton-Culver (PI), Nancy Leighton (Coordinator). University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI: Stephen Gruber (PI), Joanne Jeter (Coordinator). New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, Trenton, NJ: Judith Klotz (PI), Homer Wilcox (Co-PI), Helen Weiss (Coordinator). University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC: Robert Millikan (PI), Nancy Thomas (Co-Investigator), Dianne Mattingly (Coordinator), Jon Player (Laboratory Technician). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA: Timothy Rebbeck (PI), Peter Kanetsky (Co-Investigator), Amy Walker (Laboratory Manager), Saarene Panossian (Laboratory Technician). Consultants: Julia Lee Taylor and Sasha Madronich, National Centre for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO.


The vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene has been associated with cancer risk, but only a few polymorphisms have been studied in relation to melanoma risk and the results have been inconsistent. We examined 38 VDR gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in a large international multicenter population-based case-control study of melanoma. Buccal DNAs were obtained from 1,207 people with incident multiple primary melanoma and 2,469 with incident single primary melanoma. SNPs with known or suspected impact on VDR activity, haplotype tagging SNPs with ≥10% minor allele frequency in Caucasians, and SNPs reported as significant in other association studies were examined. Logistic regression was used to calculate the relative risks conferred by the individual SNP. Eight of 38 SNPs in the promoter, coding, and 3′ gene regions were individually significantly associated with multiple primary melanoma after adjusting for covariates. The estimated increase in risk for individuals who were homozygous for the minor allele ranged from 25 to 33% for six polymorphisms: rs10875712 (odds ratios [OR] 1.28; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–1.62), rs4760674 (OR 1.33; 95% CI, 1.06–1.67), rs7139166 (OR 1.26; 95%CI, 1.02–1.56), rs4516035 (OR 1.25; 95%CI, 1.01–1.55), rs11168287 (OR 1.27; 95%CI, 1.03–1.57) and rs1544410 (OR 1.30; 95%CI, 1.04–1.63); for two polymorphisms, homozygous carriers had a decreased risk: rs7305032 (OR 0.81; 95%CI 0.65–1.02) and rs7965281 (OR, 0.78; 95%CI, 0.62–0.99). We recognize the potential false positive findings because of multiple comparisons; however, the eight significant SNPs in our study outnumbered the two significant tests expected to occur by chance. The VDR may play a role in melanomagenesis.