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bone resorption inhibitors [keywords]
- Sunlight, vitamin D and malignant melanoma: an update. [Journal Article]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:390-405.
Solar radiation represents an essential requirement for life, not only by spending the thermal energy for photosynthesis in plants, which provides our atmosphere with oxygen, but also by facilitating the cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D in vertebrates and many other organisms. It is well known that humans and most vertebrates have to obtain an adequate source of vitamin D, in order to develop and maintain a healthy mineralized skeleton and in order to be protected against cancer and a broad variety of other diseases. On the other hand, solar UV radiation can be assumed to be the most relevant environmental carcinogen causing melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer with increasing incidences. During the last decades, epidemiological studies and experimental animal models, including genetically engineered mice, the Xiphophorus hybrid fish, the south american oppossum and human skin xenografts, have further elucidated the multi-step process of UV-induced melanomagenesis. It has to be emphasized that, in contrast to intermittent, short-term high-dose solar UV-exposure, more chronic less intense exposure (which is recommended by many experts in the field to obtain a sufficient vitamin D status) has not been found to be a risk factor for the development of melanoma and in fact has been found in several studies to be protective. Interestingly, several independent lines of investigation have demonstrated convincing evidence that vitamin D and/or analogs may be effective in the prevention and treatment of melanoma. This essay summarizes our present understanding about the pathogenic role of UV radiation and of vitamin D for malignant melanoma.
- Solar ultraviolet exposure and mortality from skin tumors. [Journal Article, Review]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:342-58.
Solar UV radiation (UVR) exposure is clearly associated with increased mortality from nonmelanoma skin cancer--usually squamous cell carcinoma. However, the association with cutaneous melanoma is unclear from the evidence in ecologic studies and several analytic studies have conflicting results regarding the effect of high levels of intermittent UV exposure prior to diagnosis on mortality. Understanding this conundrum is critical to present coherent public health messages and to improve the mortality rates from melanoma.
- Interaction of hedgehog and vitamin D signaling pathways in basal cell carcinomas. [Journal Article]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:329-41.
Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCCs) are the most commonly diagnosed tumors among people in the western world. Most BCCs are caused by mutational inactivation of the tumor suppressor Patched (PTCH), which results in activation of Smoothened (SMO) and of the Hedgehog (HH) signaling pathway. Recent studies indicate that BCC progression involves a crosstalk between Hh signaling, vitamin D derivatives and the vitamin D receptor (Vdr) signaling pathway. This has been demonstrated in BCC-bearing Ptch mutant mice and BCC cell lines, in which both vitamin D3 and its active metabolite calcitriol (1alpha-25(OH)2D3) exert antitumor effects. Interestingly, the antitumor effects are mainly ascribed to an inhibition of Hh signaling. Furthermore, as evident from studies in Vdr deficient mice, calcitriol may also repress the activity of Hh signaling in a Vdr-dependent fashion thereby establishing an additional inhibitory feedback on Hh signaling activity. In this chapter, we discuss the current understanding and controversial findings of the inhibition of Hh signaling by vitamin D derivatives and the implication of these findings for BCC carcinogenesis.
- Protection from ultraviolet damage and photocarcinogenesis by vitamin D compounds. [Journal Article, Review]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:303-28.
Vitamin D is primarily produced by a photochemical reaction in skin, using the energy of ultraviolet B radiation. Ultraviolet radiation in sunlight is also responsible for several types of DNA damage, immunosuppression and photoaging. A number of adaptive responses are known to occur in skin to increasing UV exposure, including increased pigmentation, increased thickness of the cornified layer of skin and upregulation of DNA repair pathways. In addition to these known responses, there is now sufficient evidence to suggest that the local vitamin D system in skin, which includes local production of the active hormone, 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D, together with metabolites of over-irradiation products, and vitamin D receptor(s), also provide an adaptive response to UV. The vitamin D system in skin reduces DNA damage, inflammation and photocarcinogenesis. Because vitamin D is made in skin, sun damage is less than it would be otherwise.
- The vitamin D receptor: a tumor suppressor in skin. [Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S., Review]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:282-302.
Cutaneous malignancies including melanomas and non melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) are the most common types of cancer, occurring at a rate of over 1 million per year in the United States. The major cell in the epidermis, the keratinocyte, not only produces vitamin D but contains the enzymatic machinery to metabolize vitamin D to its active metabolite, 1,25(OH)2D, and expresses the receptor for this metabolite, the vitamin D receptor (VDR), allowing the cell to respond to the 1,25(OH)2D that it produces. In vitro, 1,25(OH)2D stimulates the differentiation and inhibits the proliferation of these cells and so would be expected to be tumor suppressive. However, epidemiologic evidence demonstrating a negative relationship between circulating levels of the substrate for CYP27B1, 25OHD, and the incidence of these malignancies is mixed, raising the question whether vitamin D is protective in the in vivo setting. UV radiation (UV), both UVB and UVA, as occurs with sunlight exposure is generally regarded as causal for these malignancies, but UVB is also required for vitamin D synthesis in the skin. This complicates conclusions reached from epidemiologic studies in that UVB is associated with higher 25OHD levels as well as increased incidence of cutaneous malignancies. Based on our own data and that reported in the literature we hypothesize that vitamin D signaling in the skin suppresses UVR induced epidermal tumor formation. In this chapter we will first discuss recent data regarding potential mechanisms by which vitamin D signaling suppresses tumor formation, then focus on three general mechanisms that mediate tumor suppression by VDR in the skin: inhibition of proliferation and stimulation of differentiation, immune regulation, and stimulation of DNA damage repair (DDR).
- Solar ultraviolet radiation, vitamin D and skin cancer surveillance in organ transplant recipients (OTRs): an update. [Journal Article, Review]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:253-71.
During the last decades, the annual numbers of performed solid organ transplants have continuously increased world-wide. Solid organ transplant recipients (OTR) have a greater risk to develop malignancies, with skin cancer representing the most common neoplasia. Additionally, OTRs in general develop a more aggressive form of malignancies. In consequence, dermatologic surveillance is of high importance for OTRs and these patients represent an increasing and significant challenge to clinicians including dermatologists. In OTRs, patient and organ survival have increased considerably and continuously over the past two decades as a result of better immunosuppressive regimens and better posttransplant care. Great progress has been made in our understanding that individual immunosuppressive regiments differ in their effect on skin cancer risk in OTRs, and that effects of individual immunosuppressive regiments on skin cancer risk depend on various other factors including viral infections. Since sunlight is the major source of vitamin D for most humans, OTRs, who have to protect themselves consequently against solar or artificial UV radiation, are at high risk of developing vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is not only associated with increased risk for metabolic bone disease, but with other severe health problems including various types of malignancies. As a consequence, screening for and treatment of vitamin D deficiency is warranted in OTRs. In this review, we give an update on our present understanding of skin cancer surveillance in OTRs.
- Ultraviolet damage, DNA repair and vitamin D in nonmelanoma skin cancer and in malignant melanoma: an update. [Journal Article]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:208-33.
Skin exposure with UV radiation (UV) is the main cause of skin cancer development. Epidemiological data indicate that excessive or cumulative UV exposure takes place years and decades before the resulting malignancies arise. The most important defense mechanisms that protect human skin against UV radiation involve melanin synthesis and active repair mechanisms. DNA is the major target of direct or indirect UV-induced cellular damage. Low pigmentation capacity in white Caucasians and rare congenital defects in DNA repair are mainly responsible for protection failures. The important function of nucleotide excision DNA repair (NER) to protect against skin cancer becomes obvious by the rare genetic disease xeroderma pigmentosum, in which diverse NER genes are mutated. In animal models, it has been demonstrated that UVB is more effective to induce skin cancer than UVA. UV-induced DNA photoproducts are able to cause specific mutations (UV-signature) in susceptible genes for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). In SCC development, UV-signature mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene are the most common event, as precancerous lesions reveal -80% and SCCs > 90% UV-specific p53 mutations. Mutations in Hedgehog pathway related genes, especially PTCH1, are well known to represent the most significant pathogenic event in BCC. However, specific UV-induced mutations can be found only in -50% of sporadic BCCs. Thus, cumulative UVB radiation cannot be considered to represent the only etiologic risk factor for BCC development. During the last decades, experimental animal models, including genetically engineered mice, the Xiphophorus hybrid fish, the South American oppossum and human skin xenografts, have further elucidated the important role of the DNA repair system in the multi-step process of UV-induced melanomagenesis. An increasing body of evidence now indicates that nucleotide excision repair is not the only DNA repair pathway that is involved in UV-induced tumorigenesis of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. An interesting new perspective in DNA damage and repair research lies in the participation of mammalian mismatch repair (MMR) in UV damage correction. As MMR enzyme hMSH2 displays a p53 target gene, is induced by UVB radiation and is involved in NER pathways, studies have now been initiated to elucidate the physiological and pathophysiological role of MMR in malignant melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer development. Interestingly, increasing evidence now demonstrates an important function of the vitamin D endocrine system (VDES) for prevention of BCC, SCC and melanoma, identifying the vitamin D receptor as a tumor suppressor in the skin.
- The role of vitamin D for cardiovascular disease and overall mortality. [Journal Article, Review]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:106-19.
In recent years, it became increasingly clear that vitamin D exerts important pleiotropic effects, besides its well-known effects on extracellular calcium homeostasis and on bone metabolism. This article gives a comprehensive overview of studies on cardiovascular and all-cause mortality with a focus on the most recent data. 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) is the best indicator of vitamin D status. Low 25(OH)D levels are highly prevalent among general populations. Prospective cohort studies support the assumption that poor vitamin D status, e.g., 25(OH) D levels below 30 nmol/l, is independently associated with CVD mortality risk. However, support from randomized controlled trials for a beneficial vitamin D effect on CVD risk is still lacking. Meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies indicate beneficial vitamin D effects on overall mortality as well. There is also likely evidence from meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials that vitamin D may improve overall mortality in elderly people. Therefore, it is reasonable to supplement institutionalized individuals and other people with deficient 25(OH)D levels with daily vitamin D amounts of 20 microg. However, it is also noteworthy that prospective cohort studies provide evidence for an inverse J-shaped association between vitamin D status and overall mortality, indicating increased overall mortality risk not only at deficient 25(OH)D levels but also at 25(OH)D levels above 125 nmol/l. Although there is evidence that high 25(OH)D levels sometimes reflect low availability of the vitamin D hormone 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, future studies are still needed to clarify the association of high 25(OH)D levels with high mortality rates more detailed.
- Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and cancer. [Journal Article]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:69-105.
It was suggested that vitamin D levels influence cancer development. The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is a crucial mediator for the cellular effects of vitamin D. In fact It has been hypothesized that polymorphisms in the VDR gene affect cancer risk and the relevance of VDR gene restriction fragment length polymorphisms for various types of cancer has been investigated by a great number of studies. However, results from previous studies on the association of VDR polymorphisms with different cancer types are somewhat contradictory, and the role of VDR in the etiology of cancer is still equivocal. We have performed a systematic review of the literature to analyze the relevance of more VDR polymorphisms (Fok1, Bsm1, Taq1, Apa1, and Cdx2) for individual malignancies, including cancer of the skin (melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer), ovarian cancer, renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, thyroid carcinoma, esophageal adenocarcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma, sarcoma, head and neck and oral squamous cell carcinoma. Up to June 2012, we identified 79 independent studies for a total of 52427 cases and 62225 controls. Significant associations with VDR polymorphisms have been reported for prostate (Fok1, Bsm1, Taq1), breast (Fok1, Bsm1, Apa1), colon-rectum (Fok1, Bsm1, Taq1) and skin cancer (Fok1, Bsm1, Taq1). Very few studies reported risk estimates for the other cancer sites. Conflicting data have been reported for most malignancies and at present it is still not possible to make any definitive statements about the importance of the VDR genotype for cancer risk. It seems probable that interactions with other factors such as calcium and vitamin D intake, 25(OH)D plasma levels and UV radiation exposure play a decisive role in cancer risk. To conclude, there is some indication that VDR polymorphisms may modulate the risk of some cancer sites and in future studies VDR genetic variation should be integrated also with prediagnostic indicator of vitamin D status.
- Solar ultraviolet irradiance and cancer incidence and mortality. [Journal Article, Review]
- Adv Exp Med Biol 2014.:52-68.
The solar ultraviolet-B (UVB)/vitamin D/cancer hypothesis was proposed by the brothers Cedric and Frank Garland in 1980. In 2002, the list was increased to 15 types of cancer using data in the 1999 version of the atlas of cancer mortality rates in the United States. Ecological studies of cancer incidence and/or mortality rates with respect to indices of solar UVB doses have also been reported for Australia, China, France, Japan, and Spain with largely similar findings. In addition, several studies using nonmelanoma skin cancer as the index of solar UVB dose have found reduced internal cancer incidence and/or mortality rates, especially in sunny countries. A study of cancer incidence with respect to 54 categories of occupation in five Nordic countries, using lip cancer less lung cancer as the UVB index, found this index inversely correlated with 14 types of internal cancers for males and four for females. Observational studies with respect to UVB doses and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations also support the hypothesis. Hill's criteria for causality in a biological system to assess whether solar UVB and vitamin D can be considered causal in reducing risk of cancer. The primary criteria for this analysis include strength of association, consistent findings in different populations, biological gradient, plausibility (e.g., mechanisms), and experimental verification (e.g., randomized controlled trials). The totality of evidence is judged to satisfy the criteria very well for breast and colorectal cancer, and moderately well for several other types of cancer.