BACKGROUND: Folate and vitamin B12 are essential for maintaining DNA integrity and may influence prostate cancer (PCa) risk, but the association with clinically relevant, advanced stage, and high-grade disease is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the associations between circulating folate and vitamin B12 concentrations and risk of PCa overall and by disease stage and grade. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: A study was performed with a nested case-control design based on individual participant data from six cohort studies including 6875 cases and 8104 controls; blood collection from 1981 to 2008, and an average follow-up of 8.9 yr (standard deviation 7.3). Odds ratios (ORs) of incident PCa by study-specific fifths of circulating folate and vitamin B12 were calculated using multivariable adjusted conditional logistic regression. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Incident PCa and subtype by stage and grade. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Higher folate and vitamin B12 concentrations were associated with a small increase in risk of PCa (ORs for the top vs bottom fifths were 1.13 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-1.26], ptrend=0.018, for folate and 1.12 [95% CI, 1.01-1.25], ptrend=0.017, for vitamin B12), with no evidence of heterogeneity between studies. The association with folate varied by tumour grade (pheterogeneity<0.001); higher folate concentration was associated with an elevated risk of high-grade disease (OR for the top vs bottom fifth: 2.30 [95% CI, 1.28-4.12]; ptrend=0.001), with no association for low-grade disease. There was no evidence of heterogeneity in the association of folate with risk by stage or of vitamin B12 with risk by stage or grade of disease (pheterogeneity>0.05). Use of single blood-sample measurements of folate and B12 concentrations is a limitation. CONCLUSIONS: The association between higher folate concentration and risk of high-grade disease, not evident for low-grade disease, suggests a possible role for folate in the progression of clinically relevant PCa and warrants further investigation. PATIENT SUMMARY: Folate, a vitamin obtained from foods and supplements, is important for maintaining cell health. In this study, however, men with higher blood folate levels were at greater risk of high-grade (more aggressive) prostate cancer compared with men with lower folate levels. Further research is needed to investigate the possible role of folate in the progression of this disease.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.eururo.2016.03.029

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur Urol

Publication Date

06/04/2016

Keywords

Folate, High grade, Pooled data meta-analysis, Prospective cohort, Prostate cancer, Vitamin B(12)