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Vitamin Slows Prostate Cancer

Researchers have discovered a new treatment that can help men with prostate cancer live longer, reports Correspondent Kris Eisenhauer of CBS affiliate KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon.

Fifty-five year old Teddy Deane was diagnosed with prostate cancer three years ago. To control his cancer, Teddy's options are either hormone treatments or aggressive chemotherapy-- both of which have some pretty tough side effects.

"Having prostate cancer is like having a time bomb inside you and if you don't get it all out the first time, the best you can do is hope to lengthen the fuse," Deane says.

Cancer specialists Dr. Tomasz Beer and Dr. David Henner of Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) are investigating use of Vitamin D to fight the disease.

Their findings show Vitamin D therapy can't cure prostate cancer, but regular doses can hold it at bay indefinitely.

The vitamin can latch onto cancer cells, alter their cells structure, then kill them.

"It can also inhibit the formation of abnormal blood vessels which feed the cancer," explains Dr. Tomasz Beer. "It can decrease the production of enzymes which the cancer needs to invade other tissues and spread to bones and so forth."

But don't run off to the corner drug store just yet.

"This is not something that people can do on their own," says Dr. David Henner. "We're giving them a special form of it that's already activated -- called calcitrial -- and we are giving it at a very high dose on a weekly basis."

It can taken only once a week because higher dosages would be toxic.

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