THE EFFECT OF VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENTATION ON BONE HEALTH AMONG ONCOLOGY PATIENTS
Cervantes, Carlos H.
Anglemyer, Andrew T.
Koyak, Robert A.
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We performed a meta-analysis of all published data regarding the possible benefits of vitamin D and/or calcium supplementation for increasing bone mineral density (BMD) in cancer patients. Currently, there is no medical community consensus as to whether vitamin D and/or calcium affects bone health among cancer patients enough to offset the effects of chemotherapy. The Department of Defense’s drug formulary, managed by the Pharmaceuticals and Therapeutics (P&T) committee, states that insurance does not cover multivitamin/multimineral supplements. The lack of coverage and consensus leaves patients in the dark about a potential benefit to a treatable disease. Therefore, we assessed the known research to offer more clarity to the committee. The thesis weighs evidence with a “pooled” effect, or weighted average, known as meta-analysis, and assessed risk of bias and quality of evidence via GRADEpro software. Of over 700 possible studies, 14 met our inclusion criteria, including four randomized control trial (RCT) and 10 observational studies. One RCT (with an outcome on 25(OH)D levels) and three observational studies found significant evidence of supplementation’s benefits, while the rest showed no significant findings. While overall we determined there was no significant benefit, we offer a solid base of understanding to the committee and recommend further research.
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