RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

A New Application for Vitamin D

Posted by RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.Responsive · Innovative Products and Technologies · Israel

Summary of the technology

Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3), the main hormonally active metabolite of vitamin D was found, in vitro, together with some of its synthetic analogs to have the potential to reduce the damage inflicted to normal tissue by accepted anti-cancer therapy.
Project ID : 10-2007-101

Description of the technology

The Technology

Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3), the main hormonally active metabolite of vitamin D was found, in vitro, together with some of its synthetic analogs to have the potential to reduce the damage inflicted to normal tissue by accepted anti-cancer therapy.

Calcitriol was found to affect fundamental cellular processes such as cell proliferation, differentiation and programmed cell death in many types of cells and tissues. Calcitriol is now considered to also possess immunoregulatory and anti-cancer activities.

However, the hypercalcemic effect of calcitriol hinders its clinical use. As a result, vitamin D analogs have been developed that lack this hypercalcemic effect while retaining their “non-classical” effects on cellular physiology. One of these analogs, calcipotriol, is now used to treat psoriasis and others are under examination in many clinical trials.

The Need

Most, if not all the therapeutic anti-cancer modalities, are accompanied by adverse side effects that exacerbate patients’ suffering and lead in many cases to non-completion of treatment protocol. It is therefore not surprising that much effort is dedicated to the search of agents to reduce these undesirable effects, while maintaining the efficacy of the anti-cancer treatment.

It should be stressed that to date there is no treatment proved to be efficient in the amelioration of the above-mentioned adverse side effects accompanying cancer therapy.

Potential Applications

Add on treatment for accepted radiation based anti-cancer therapy.

Stage of development

We found that vitamin D offered protection from programmed cell death to cells in culture, reduced the synthesis and secretion of metalloproteinases (proteolytic enzymes that cause damage to tissues when in excess) and decreased the secretion of chemokines (pro-inflammatory mediators).

The first clinical trial to test this putative beneficial effect of vitamin D analogs in cancer patients is due to start in few months

Supporting Publications

M. Langberg, C. Rotem, E. Fenig, R. Koren and A. Ravid, Vitamin D protects keratinocytes from deleterious effects of ionizing radiation. British

Journal of Dermatology 2009 160, pp151–161.

Project manager

Adi Elkeles
BD Manager

Project researchers

Amiram Ravid
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Medicine-Sackler Faculty
Felsenstein Medical Res Center-Beilinson

Ruth Koren
T.A.U Tel Aviv University, Medicine-Sackler Faculty
Felsenstein Medical Res Center-Beilinson

Related keywords

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Cytology, Cancerology, Oncology
  • Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
  • Pharmaceuticals/fine chemicals
  • Oncology
  • Oncology / Cancer
  • Pharmaceuticals Indications

About RAMOT at Tel Aviv University Ltd.

Technology Transfer Office from Israel

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