The promiscuous receptor


Jonathan Waxman, Department of Oncology, Division of Surgery, Oncology, Reproductive Medicine and Anaesthetics (SORA), Imperial College London, Room 1014, Garry Weston Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London W12 0NN, UK.



To determine the effectiveness of vitamin D therapy in patients with asymptomatic, prostate-specific antigen (PSA)-progression of prostate cancer.


Twenty-six patients with locally advanced or metastatic prostate cancer were treated with vitamin D. Vitamin D therapy was discontinued on disease progression as assessed by symptoms or serum PSA increase. The response to therapy was judged from changes in PSA level from the pretreatment baseline to 3 months after starting vitamin D therapy.


Of the 26 patients, five (20%) responded to vitamin D; the mean (range) reduction in PSA level was 45.3 (15.9–95.1)%, and mean duration of response was 4–5 months. Patients in whom the PSA level was stabilized, but not reduced, after vitamin D treatment had a duration of response of up to 36 months. Treatment was well tolerated and was not associated with elevation of serum calcium levels. There was no significant correlation between response to therapy and stage of disease, Gleason grade, previous treatments or PSA level at diagnosis or initiation of vitamin D therapy.


Vitamin D therapy is an effective and well tolerated treatment for patients with asymptomatic progressive prostate cancer, and is a useful addition to the therapeutic options.