Vitamin D Levels, Vitamin D Receptor Polymorphisms, and Inflammatory Cytokines in Aromatase Inhibitor-Induced Arthralgias: An Analysis of CCTG MA.27

Polly A. Niravath, Bingshu Chen, Judy Anne W. Chapman, Sandeep K. Agarwal, Robert L. Welschhans, Tim Bongartz, Krishna R. Kalari, Lois E. Shepherd, John Bartlett, Kathleen Pritchard, Karen Gelmon, Susan G. Hilsenbeck, Mothaffar F. Rimawi, C. Kent Osborne, Paul E. Goss, James N. Ingle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aromatase inhibitor (AI)-induced arthralgia (AIA) is a common reason for AI noncompliance. Retrospective analysis of MA.27 study revealed no clear correlation between vitamin D levels and AIA. However, patients with a Fok-I vitamin D receptor polymorphism were more likely to have lower interleukin 1β and less likely to develop AIA. Through this type of risk stratification, future AIA clinical trials might be able to focus on high-risk populations. Background: Approximately half of women taking aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy develop AI-induced arthralgia (AIA), and many might discontinue AI therapy because of the pain. Using plasma samples from the MA.27 study, we assessed several factors potentially associated with AIA. Patients and Methods: MA.27 is a phase III adjuvant trial comparing 2 AIs, exemestane versus anastrozole. Within an 893-participant nested case-control AIA genome-wide association study, we nested a 72 AIA case-144 control assessment of vitamin D plasma concentrations, corrected for seasonal and geographic variation. We also examined 9 baseline inflammatory cytokines: interleukin (IL)-1β IL-6, tumor necrosis factor-α interferon (IFN)γ IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-17, IL-23, and chemokine ligand (CCL)-20. Finally, we analyzed the multivariate effects of baseline factors: vitamin D level, previously identified musculoskeletal single nucleotide polymorphisms, age, body mass index, and vitamin D receptor (VDR) Fok-I variant genotype on AIA development. Results: Changes in vitamin D from baseline to 6 months were not significantly different between cases and controls. Elevated inflammatory cytokine levels were not associated with development of AIA. The multivariate model included no clinical factors associated with AIA. However, women with the VDR Fok-I variant genotype were more likely to have a lower IL-1β level (P =.0091) and less likely to develop AIA after 6 months of AI compared with those with the wild type VDR (P <.0001). Conclusion: In this nested case-control correlative study, vitamin D levels were not significantly associated with development of AIA; however, patients with the Fok-I VDR variant genotype were more likely to have a significant reduction in IL-1β level, and less likely to develop AIA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-87
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Breast Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Aromatase inhibitor-induced arthralgias
  • IL-1 beta
  • Inflammatory cytokines
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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