A new study led by University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers suggests that patients with recurrent or localized myelofibrosis who take a high-dose vitamin D-based supplement every two years are more likely to be fully healed than those who take a daily low-dose supplement.
The study is published in the March 30 issue of the Annals of Neurology.
Our results suggest that supplemental vitamin D may serve as a useful option for patients who demonstrate improvement in primary progressive myelofibrosis said study lead author Howard Church MD Ph. D. director of the University of Maryland Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. Vitamin D is known to fight infections and improve myelofibrosis growth but no comprehensive studies have indicated its potential benefit in patients with myelofibrosis.
In the study researchers looked at the cutaneous thickening that occurs in familial myelofibrosis a group of rare immune-related diseases that affect one in 900 boys and one in 3000 girls. Cutaneous thickening occurs when abnormal cells grow infiltrate and form blood vessels in the legs arms and spine and increases risk for chronic diseases. Patients often have an average of six to 12 years of potent active disease before they develop any symptoms.
Typically myelofibrosis is treated with at least six months of treatments with growth factor or other high doses of vitamin D-rich dietary protein said senior author Daniela Linsenmeyer Ph. D. an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and First Responder in the Biomedical Research Program at UMSOM and Research Director of the University of Maryland Dental Perkins Center for Advanced Screening and Developmental Therapeutics.
Despite promising clinical studies that consistently demonstrate vitamin D to be superior to supplemental vitamin D in myelofibrosis there are no studies on the impact of vitamin D and supplemental vitamin D on myelofibrosis said Linsenmeyer.