CLL Support Association

April Hematology Times: "How vitamin D fights lymphoma" and "Low doses of imatinib promote hematopoiesis"

April Hematology Times:  "How vitamin D fights lymphoma" and "Low doses of imatinib promote hematopoiesis"

Some articles from Hematology Times (free membership) on research that may be worth keeping an eye on:

How vitamin D fights lymphoma

Might answer the mystery of why CLL patients with low levels of Vitamin D have a poorer prognosis.

Low doses of imatinib promote hematopoiesis

Perhaps this may prove a way of boosting our immunity if further research and trials are successful.

Imatinib may be better known under its marketing name Gleevec. It's a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that changed Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia (CML) from being a terminal disease into one that could be controlled via maintenance therapy with this drug.


Photo: Peace garden in a nearby town. Today is ANZAC day in Australia and New Zealand (from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), "a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served." It's the centenary of the landing of ANZAC troops that landed at ANZAC cove 100 years ago today and "who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Some Canadian soldiers, who had signed up for service with the United Kingdom, were among the British forces at Gallipoli. In addition, several Canadian military field hospitals supported the campaign."

4 Replies

If vitamin D deficiency is a known factor why did I have to request a blood test from my GP to check it out when I have been under a haematologist for the last five years and vitamin D hasn't been mentioned?

I'm now taking supplements thanks to posts on here, but now I read that I may have a poorer prognosis.

I think with CLL I have been cubby-holed. Every winter my energy levels plummet but a recent blood test showed a severe vitamin D deficiency. Another blood test next week for B12.

Still, no rest for the wicked. I'm off to work!!!

Keep well,




Right before my husband went into treatment I asked the oncologist who is a specialist in SLL/CLL about adding vit D to my treatment. I got the blah blah blah answer. My husband would not take vit d suppliments, he believes the doctors are Gods and now all. I am vit d deficient and started to see the symptoms I him. Finally, he saw his primary physician last week for his annual physical. I insisted he ask to have his vit d level tested. When he brought it up with the doctor he had snide remark about me using Dr. Google! I just about blew a gasket! Thankfully I was not at the appointment. Test results come back and my husband is so deficient in Vit D that he was put on 50,000 units a week.

If that news was not bad enough now I read this report. At times I feel like I am battling the doctors and the cancer. At least my husband is beginning to be a little more proactive with his health. I still have to push and prod but he is finally listening.

Pete, at least you got tested and are taking suppliments.


The recent publicity regarding a large proportion of people being low in vitamin D levels has led to an increased demand for testing vitamin D serum levels. In countries like Australia with a universal health care system, that is likely to see a push back on doctors due to the impact on the health budget of additional testing. The situation isn't helped by our increasing scientific awareness of the uncertainty of what is a healthy level and the extent to which vitamin D is involved in cellular functions.

I've found it helps your case considerably if you can bring evidence of why having a normal level of vitamin D is particularly important to your quality of life. Providing a copy of the above report from a reputable journal like the Hematology Times or the Mayo Clinic should capture your GP or specialist's attention. My once sceptical haematologist now regularly tests my vitamin D level.

Here's the Mayo Clinic study report published in Blood:

And the Mayo Clinic Vitamin D3 study resulting:



Thanks for the reminder of this, Neil. I finally got round to asking for my Vit D levels to be tested a few weeks ago, and my doctor was happy to do it. (I'm glad I didn't get any snide comments about Dr Google, like Kam73's husband :-( ) They came out at 49.1 which is only just under the normal range of 50-125 . So, not too bad, but my doctor suggested I could buy myself some Vit D3 supplements from the chemist, and take 800 or 1000 i.u. (international units) daily. Which I did, this morning... They weren't very expensive.

My blood calcium levels were OK, but my doctor said that was only "blood" calcium and not a reflection of how much was in my bones. She said if my diet didn't contain a lot of calcium, I could take supplements that contained calcium as well, but I think I'm probably OK with calcium in diet. I don't want to overload myself...

My doctor also said that lots of people have been asking for Vit D tests recently. :-) I wonder why?

Kam 73, I'm so glad your husband did ask to be tested and is now on supplements. What a good thing you encouraged him to be more proactive! Something we all need to be, but don't always do it (I speak for myself, there)

Onwards and upwards,


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