Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vitamin D Shows Promise As Cancer Prevention Drug

Date:
August 28, 2000
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Today, mothers urge vitamin D on their children to build strong bones and teeth. Within a decade, a chemically modified version of the vitamin could become one of a small but growing number of drugs used to prevent cancer, researchers reported at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Strong evidence of effectiveness in animal tests

Washington D.C., August 22 -- Today, mothers urge vitamin D on their children to build strong bones and teeth. Within a decade, a chemically modified version of the vitamin could become one of a small but growing number of drugs used to prevent cancer, researchers reported today at the 220th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Vitamin D is often added to milk and produced naturally by skin exposed to sunlight. But taken in the amounts needed to realize its cancer prevention potential, vitamin D can be too much of a good thing. Prolonged use can lead to osteoporosis or even death.

Now, a research team at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., with funding from the National Institutes of Health, says that it may have found a way around the problem. The researchers designed four different versions of vitamin D in their laboratory and tested them on two groups of mice: one that was painted with a tumor-inducing chemical and one that was not. Then they compared how the two groups fared.

After a 20-week treatment period, the most promising vitamin D candidate reduced the incidence of tumors by 28 percent and the number of tumors by 63 percent. The results demonstrate the drug's potential effectiveness in preventing cancer, according to the researchers. Previous studies in mice have shown that the drug is safe when ingested, they say.

"This is among the very best vitamin D analogs in terms of its therapeutic profile," says Gary H. Posner, Ph.D., principal investigator of the study and a professor of chemistry at the university. He is collaborating in this effort with Thomas W. Kensler, Ph.D., a professor at the university's School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Posner cautions that the drug, which has not yet been tested in humans, is still in the early stages of development and could take 10 years to hit the market. If successful, the drug will most likely be given to patients at high risk for cancer, he says.

There has been a growing interest in cancer prevention, with many studies claiming the cancer-preventive properties of teas, herbal medicines and vitamin supplements, including vitamins A, C and E. Many of these claims are untested or poorly tested, while the compounds themselves are generally not regulated. As a result, consumers who use these products are subjecting themselves to potential health risks, says Posner.

Other laboratories are also developing cancer-preventive drugs, but none has yet made it to the market, he says. Celecoxib, a drug approved for the treatment of arthritis, is now being evaluated by the NIH for the prevention of colon cancer. Oltipraz, developed to treat a type of parasitic worm infection, is undergoing human trials for the prevention of liver cancer.

This year, more than 550,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer and more than one million new cases will be diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. The disease is the second leading cause of death in this country, behind heart disease. Development and production of any drug that is scientifically proven to prevent cancer in humans would be a historical milestone, says Posner.

The paper on this research, MEDI 191, will be presented at 12:45 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 22, in the Washington Convention Center, Room 30.

Gary H. Posner, Ph.D., is a professor of chemistry at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Vitamin D Shows Promise As Cancer Prevention Drug." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000823081901.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2000, August 28). Vitamin D Shows Promise As Cancer Prevention Drug. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000823081901.htm
American Chemical Society. "Vitamin D Shows Promise As Cancer Prevention Drug." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/08/000823081901.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins