Members of the NAR-Kolleg


1 Platzhalter

Dr. Haifa Maalmi, PhD
Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research; DKFZ
Im Neuenheimer Feld 581
D-69120 Heidelberg

Phone: +49 (0)6221 42 1365

Fellows: Prof. Dr. Hermann Brenner


Role of vitamin D in colorectal cancer prognosis

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common and fatal malignancies occurring at old age. In the last decades, vitamin D, a molecule obtained from food and sun exposure was increasingly recognized as an important determinant for the development of colorectal cancer. In colorectal cancer patients, there is growing evidence from observational studies that high vitamin D levels may improve overall and disease-specific survival [Ng et al; 2008, Mezawa et al; 2010, Fedirko et al; 2012]. Despite the positive results of epidemiological studies supporting the role of vitamin D in enhancing colorectal cancer patients’ prognosis, evidence is still limited by the small number and size of studies, small number of European studies and, variation in the timing of blood draw for vitamin D measurement. If vitamin D will be used as a therapeutic option for European colorectal cancer patients, further results of upcoming studies conducted in larger samples and in European patients are critically needed.

This project investigated in the DACHS study (DArmkrebs: CHancen der Verhütung durch Screening), a population based case-control study on colorectal cancer conducted in Germany, will be the largest study assessing the role of vitamin D in the prognosis of colorectal cancer patients. The results will determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in European CRC patients and clarify to what extent this vitamin could improve their survival



  • Ng, K., et al., Circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin d levels and survival in patients with colorectal cancer. J Clin Oncol, 2008. 26(18): p. 2984-91.
  • Mezawa, H., et al., Serum vitamin D levels and survival of patients with colorectal cancer: post-hoc analysis of a prospective cohort study. BMC Cancer, 2010. 10: p. 347.
  • Fedirko, V., et al., Prediagnostic 25-hydroxyvitamin D, VDR and CASR polymorphisms, and survival in patients with colorectal cancer in western European ppulations. Cancer   Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2012. 21(4): p. 582-93.




2008 Bachelor of Biology, University of Tunis El Manar
2010 Master in Biomolecules and functional regulation, University of Tunis El Manar
2013 Diploma in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Tunis El Manar
2011-2014 PhD in Biology
since 2/2015 Member of the NAR Kolleg, Heidelberg University









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Latest Revision: 2021-09-20
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