Research published in the BMJ’s Gut Journal has suggested a link between Vitamin D levels at the time of bowel cancer surgery and long-term survival rates.
The findings are of real importance to researchers, suggesting that Vitamin D is a modifiable risk factor in bowel cancer, and could be used to enhance treatment and save more lives.
The team who carried out this initial research have recently won a BDRF grant to look at vitamin D supplementation around the time of bowel cancer surgery.
The new study is the first step in developing a way to introduce simple Vitamin D tablets as a safe and cost-effective supplement to surgery. If successful, it could launch a major research trial and ultimately improve patients’ chances of long-term survival.
Peter Vaughan-Shaw, the surgeon leading the study, says: “Vitamin D shows great promise as a cheap and safe supplement to improve survival from bowel cancer yet no other study has looked at vitamin D supplementation around the time of bowel cancer surgery and perioperative levels.
We hope information from this study will help us design a larger study to test whether giving Vitamin D supplements can improve survival following bowel cancer surgery”