News Release

Vitamin D deficiency in melanoma patients associated with worse overall survival, new study finds

Vitamin D levels affect overall survival for melanoma (skin cancer) patients

Reports and Proceedings


(7 September 2022, Milan, Italy) Vitamin D levels affect overall survival for melanoma (skin cancer) patients, a new study presented at the 31st European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) Congress has shown.1

Dermatology researchers discovered that those who were deficient in vitamin D (lower than 10ng/mL) following their melanoma diagnosis were twice as likely (hazard ratio 2.3) to have lower overall survival than those with vitamin D levels equal/greater than 10ng/mL.

The retrospective study analysed a cohort of 264 patients with invasive melanoma from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, to investigate whether vitamin D plays a protective role in melanoma survival.

The study investigated the differences in overall survival and melanoma-specific survival between groups using statistical analysis techniques, such as Kaplan-Meir curves and cox regression models to control for confounding variables

The findings remained significant even when adjusting the model for age at diagnosis, sex, Breslow index (depth of the melanoma from the skin surface to the deepest point), and the season of the year, with a hazard ratio of 2.4 in the multivariate analysis.

In contrast with previous studies, our study showed that the basal characteristics at diagnosis of melanoma (age, sex, phototype of patients, location, histological subtype, Breslow index, ulceration and mitotic index of tumours) were not associated with differences in vitamin D levels. Furthermore, Vitamin D deficiency was not shown to impact melanoma-specific survival.

Lead researcher Dr Inés Gracia-Darder, from the Hospital University Son Espases, Mallorca, Spain, commented “Although previous research has identified that normal levels of vitamin D play a protective role in melanoma survival, this study aimed to further understand this relationship. These findings suggest that vitamin D has a significant impact on people with melanoma, showing in particular that vitamin D deficient patients have a lower overall survival.”

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops when melanocytes (the cells that give skin colour) grow uncontrollably. In 2020 it was estimated that melanomas accounted for 4% of all new cancer diagnoses and 1.3 % of all cancer deaths in the EU-27. Of these cases, 50,972 were diagnosed in women and 55,597 were diagnosed in men. There were 7,031 deaths in women and 9,457 in men in the EU-27 in 2020.2 

Dr Gracia-Darder added: “Although the mechanisms underlying the association between vitamin D and melanoma overall survival still require further investigation, this study will hopefully encourage further research examining whether vitamin D supplements may have the ability to improve the prognosis for vitamin D deficient melanoma patients and increase their overall survival.”




Notes to Editors

A reference to the 31st EADV Congress must be included when communicating any information within this press release

Kaplan-Meir curves show the probability that a subject will survive. The curve is created by plotting the survival function against time



For further information, the abstract or to arrange an interview with the study author, please contact


About Dr Inés Gracia-Darder:

Dr Inés Gracia-Darder is from the Hospital University Son Espases, Mallorca, Spain.


About EADV:

Founded in 1987, EADV is a non-profit organisation whose vision is to be the premier European Dermato-Venereology Society. The Academy counts over 7,000 members from 100 countries, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologist professional. EADV are dedicated to advancing patient care, education and research by providing a unique platform to bring people together and share ideas.

The EADV Congress occurs every year and the 31st EADV Congress will take place in Milan and online from 7-10 September 2022. 

Find out more via the EADV website:



  1. Worse overall survival associated with vitamin d deficiency in melanoma patients, presented at EADV Congress 2022.


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