In a new study, researchers found that vitamin D may also help stop cancer cells that develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs.
This means what’s good for our bones may also help improve cancer treatments.
The research was conducted by a team from South Dakota State University.
Most drug discovery projects focus on killing cancer cells but eventually they gain resistance to chemotherapy drugs.
Previous research has shown the positive effect of vitamin D in reducing cancer risk and progression.
In the new study, the team examined whether the nutrient could help stop drug-resistant cancer.
They found that vitamin D cannot kill the naive cancer cells, but it can block one mechanism through which cancer cells gain resistance to chemotherapy drugs.
It can selectively kill those drug-resistant cells.
The team hopes their finding can help develop new treatment methods that can improve cancer drug efficacy.
Patients can take less medication yet get the same effect because the drugs are not being pumped out so much. The lower dosage will then reduce drug side effects.
They also say that the finding has implications for a wide range of diseases and may benefit patients who use a wide variety of drugs for various metabolic diseases and neurological disorders.
The drugs include anti-virals, antibiotics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory, and anti-HIV drugs.
The team’s current work is focusing on a better understanding of exactly how vitamin D kills these cells.
This knowledge will open a new doorway to identify more health benefits of vitamin D.
This is the first study to discover its interaction with drug transporter protein and its ability to selectively kill drug-resistant cancer cells.
One author of the study is Assistant Professor Surtaj Hussain Iram of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
The study is published in Drug Metabolism and Disposition.
Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.