Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name



Nutrition and Food Science

First Advisor

Ahmad R. Heydari


The relationship between Vitamin D and NMSC is not very clear. Most of human studies in literature in regards to vitamin D and NMSC are epidemiological which are inconsistent and inconclusive. Mechanistic studies about BCC are few, and mostly are animal models or cell cultures. The main goal for this study is to interpret the impact of vitamin D status on the onset and progression and possibly treatment of basal cell carcinoma. Three tissue samples were collected from BCC patients (Cancer, Proximal, and Distal), and from cancer-free individuals from southeast Michigan. This study design helps identifying alterations in the genetic profile of patient's non-cancerous tissue based on their location in relation to the cancer. This idea has a great significance in understanding factors that may influence the onset and progression of the disease, as well as the risk for future recurrence. Our data indicated that Vitamin D ability to negatively regulate mTOR and Hedgehog-Gli signaling pathways was diminished. In addition, BCC cancer tissue and its feeding cells seem to up-regulate vitamin D activation enzymes, vitamin D receptor along with its co-activators proposing higher local activity of vitamin D in the cancer tissue. In conclusion, we believe that the anticipated role of vitamin D is not conserved in basal cell carcinoma cells.