Growth inhibition of human leukemia cells by vitamin D3

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Growth inhibition of human leukemia cells by vitamin D3

Vitamin D-3 is a potent inducer of differentiation in leukemia cells. Differentiation is a progressive diversification of embryonic cells and tissues, unlike undifferentiated cells in cancer tissue. However, its clinical use is limited due to it causing a high concentration of calcium compounds in the blood. This study examined the ability of vitamin D3 in combination with several anticancer drugs to inhibit the proliferation of, and to cause differentiation in human leukemia cells. Three antineoplastic agents which inhibit or prevent development of tumors (hydroxyurea (HU), cytarabine and camptothecin) showed effective synergism with vitamin D3, effectively causing the differentiation of monoblastic leukemia cells. Among the anticancer drugs examined, HU had the greatest synergistic effects with vitamin D3, with regard to growth inhibition and differentiation induction in leukemia cells. The researchers concluded that as vitamin D-3 preferentially acts on monocytic cells, it might be useful in the treatment of acute monocytic leukemia, both alone and in combination with HU.

British Journal of Cancer, 1998, Vol 77, Iss 1, pp 33-39

Life Extension Foundation.

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