HealthDay News — For patients with melanoma treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), vitamin D intake is associated with a reduced risk for ICI colitis, according to a study published in Cancer.

Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues performed a retrospective analysis of a discovery cohort of 213 melanoma patients who received programmed cell death-1, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4, or combination ICIs between May 2011 and October 2017. Characteristics associated with pathologically confirmed ICI colitis were assessed.

The researchers found that 17% of the patients developed ICI colitis. Thirty-one percent of the patients had vitamin D use recorded before starting ICIs. Vitamin D use conferred a significantly lower likelihood of developing ICI colitis in a multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 0.35). In a confirmatory cohort of 169 patients, of whom 49 developed ICI colitis, similar results were seen (odds ratio, 0.46). In the discovery cohort only, pretreatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio ≥5 predicted reduced odds of colitis (odds ratio, 0.34).

“The specific mechanism by which vitamin D may prevent immune-related colitis should be further explored through future correlative studies, including cytokine analyses and immune profiling at baseline and at the time of colitis,” the authors write.


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Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industries.

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