Vitamin D Compound May Fight Blood Clots in Cancer Patients

Calcitriol helped cut the risk of this complication, researchers say

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THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Calcitriol, the activated form of vitamin D, helped reduce bloods clots in cancer patients, U.S. researchers report.

The study, conducted by a team from the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Cancer Institute in Portland, included 250 patients with advanced prostate cancer.

According to the researchers, patients who received high-dose calcitriol (DN-101) along with the chemotherapy drug Docetaxel had significantly fewer venous and arterial blood clots than patients who received a placebo and Docetaxel.

The findings were published online in the British Journal of Haematology and were expected to be in the November print issue of the journal.

"Blood clots, including life-threatening events such as stroke, heart attacks, and clots in the lungs are serious complications of advanced cancer and cancer chemotherapy. Reducing such blood clots would make a big difference for cancer patients," principal investigator Dr. Tomasz M. Beer, director of the prostate cancer program at the OHSU Cancer Institute, said in a prepared statement.

More research is needed in order to confirm whether high-dose calcitriol (DN-101) does reduce blood clots in cancer patients.

DN-101 is made by Novacea Inc. Both OHSU and Beer have significant financial interest in Novacea.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers tips on preventing blood clots in the legs during long trips.

SOURCE: Oregon Health & Science University, news release, Sept. 25, 2006

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