Smoking, Vitamin D Deficiency Correlate to Ulcerated Melanoma

Source: OncLive, August 2019

Ulcerated melanoma is associated with worse outcomes and appears to be driven in part by systemic inflammation, which is more common in smokers, obese individuals, and those with vitamin D deficiency, according to melanoma expert Julia Newton-Bishop, MD, part of a team of investigators exploring genetic and environmental predictors of the immune response in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma.

In a recent study, smoking was found to result in poorer survival for patients with melanoma across immune response groups and independent of other risk factors, said Newton-Bishop, a professor of dermatology with the University of Leeds School of Medicine in England and the melanoma research group leader with the Leeds Institute of Medical Research at St James’s University Hospital.

In addition, the group has confirmed a negative correlation between Breslow thickness of melanoma tumors and serum vitamin D levels, which has been observed by other investigators and suggests an antiproliferative effect of vitamin D. Increased vitamin D/vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression is associated with thinner tumors, a lower mitotic rate, and lower-stage disease, Newton- Bishop said. Systemic inflammation may influence immune response, and inflammation reversal may be possible with the use of such agents as statins and IL-1? blockade, she added.

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