Increased levels of vitamin D and calcium may play a protective role in colorectal cancer (CRC) risk. It has been suggested that these effects may be mediated by genetic variants of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and the calcium sensing receptor (CASR). However, current epidemiologic evidence from European populations for a role of these genes in CRC risk is scarce. In addition, it is not clear whether these genes may modulate CRC risk independently or by interaction with blood vitamin D concentration and level of dietary calcium intake. A case-control study was conducted nested within the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. CRC cases (1,248) were identified and matched to 1,248 control subjects. Genotyping for the VDR (BsmI: rs1544410; Fok1: rs2228570) and CASR (rs1801725) genes was done by Taqman, and serum vitamin D (25OHD) concentrations were measured. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the incidence rate ratio (RR). Compared with the wild-type bb, the BB genotype of the VDR BsmI polymorphism was associated with a reduced risk of CRC [RR, 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.59-0.98). The association was observed for colon cancer (RR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.45-0.95) but not rectal cancer (RR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.62-1.49). The Fok1 and CASR genotypes were not associated with CRC risk in this study. No interactions were noted for any of the polymorphisms with serum 25OHD concentration or level of dietary calcium. These results confirm a role for the BsmI polymorphism of the VDR gene in CRC risk, independent of serum 25OHD concentration and dietary calcium intake.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev

Publication Date





2485 - 2491


Calcium, Dietary, Case-Control Studies, Colorectal Neoplasms, Europe, European Continental Ancestry Group, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genotype, Humans, Life Style, Male, Middle Aged, Polymorphism, Genetic, Receptors, Calcitriol, Receptors, Calcium-Sensing, Vitamin D