Buies Creek, N.C.-Commonly known for its ability to prevent rickets in children and osteoporosis in adults, Vitamin D has many other roles in human health. Dr. Jason Moss, a Campbell University Clinical Research Fellow, believes Vitamin D could even increase a cancer patient’s response to chemotherapy because of its ability to affect the immune and neuromuscular systems. Under the direction of Dr. Brenda Jamerson, director of the School of Pharmacy Clinical Research Center at Campbell, Moss was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from the American Pharmaceutical Association to conduct a study on this proposal.
“The core of the concept is to use existing therapies to increase efficacy and to decrease adverse side effects from chemotherapy,” Moss said. “Cancer cases continue to rise with elderly populations living longer. Vitamin D has been shown to stop cultured cells from growing in the lab and there’s recent evidence that it may increase survival in patients with advanced prostate cancer. Therefore, we are looking to see if Vitamin D supplementation and levels of vitamin D in the body prior to chemotherapy will be associated with a patient’s response without adding potential side effects.”
Moss and Jamerson will submit a protocol for the pilot study of 43 patients to the Institutional Review Board for approval. He expects the research will require approximately 18 months to complete.
“There are several implications for the success of the study if it turns out that Vitamin D supplementation increases a patient’s response to chemotherapy,” Moss said. Although further research would have to be completed, it will provide evidence that a low risk, low cost intervention would be available to patients, it could possibly decrease doses of chemotherapy or duration of the doses and their adverse side effects and Vitamin D is an intervention that is already available.”
In the future, the team would like to study the genomics component of Vitamin D and the role of genetic variants of the Vitamin D receptor in cell bodies to positively or negatively affect the cancer cell.
Dr. Jason Moss graduated from the North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in microbiology and received a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008. A native of Kansas City, Mo., Moss is a Campbell University Clinical Research Fellow in Geriatric medicine at the Veterans Hospital in Durham.
Dr. Brenda Jamerson, the director of the School of Pharmacy Clinical Research Center, graduated from St. Louis College of Pharmacy with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. She went on to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy from Ohio State University College of Pharmacy.
Photo Copy: Dr. Jason Moss