New Roles for Vitamin D Superagonists: From COVID to Cancer.

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Easty, David J 
Farr, Christine J 
Hennessy, Bryan T 

Vitamin D is a potent steroid hormone that induces widespread changes in gene expression and controls key biological pathways. Here we review pathophysiology of vitamin D with particular reference to COVID-19 and pancreatic cancer. Utility as a therapeutic agent is limited by hypercalcemic effects and attempts to circumvent this problem have used vitamin D superagonists, with increased efficacy and reduced calcemic effect. A further caveat is that vitamin D mediates multiple diverse effects. Some of these (anti-fibrosis) are likely beneficial in patients with COVID-19 and pancreatic cancer, whereas others (reduced immunity), may be beneficial through attenuation of the cytokine storm in patients with advanced COVID-19, but detrimental in pancreatic cancer. Vitamin D superagonists represent an untapped resource for development of effective therapeutic agents. However, to be successful this approach will require agonists with high cell-tissue specificity.

COVID-19, pancreatic cancer, pancreatic stellate cell, paricalcitol, superagonist, vitamin D, Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal, Cytokine Release Syndrome, Humans, Pancreatic Neoplasms, Vitamin D, Vitamins, COVID-19 Drug Treatment
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Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
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Frontiers Media SA