From a Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News release:
“But what’s really intriguing is that we can now see how vitamin D might help the immune system fight cancer. We know when the Wnt/beta-catenin pathway is active in melanoma, it can dampen down the immune response causing fewer immune cells to reach the inside of the tumor, where they could potentially fight the cancer better.
“Although vitamin D on its own won’t treat cancer, we could take insights from the way it works to boost the effects of immunotherapy, which uses the immune system to find and attack cancer cells.”
In melanoma patients, elevated serum levels of vitamin D appear to be helpful. Tumors are thinner. Outcomes are improved. But how, exactly, are these benefits realized? To answer this question, researchers at the University of Leeds scrutinized the interaction between vitamin D and the vitamin D receptor (VDR) on melanoma cells. The researchers, fully aware that vitamin D on its own won’t treat cancer, hoped to identify cell signaling pathways that could lead to new therapeutic strategies.