Upper gastrointestinal (GI) cancers of the stomach and esophagus have high incidence and mortality worldwide, but they are uncommon in Western countries. Little information exists on the association between vitamin D and risk of upper GI cancers. This study examined the association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) and upper GI cancer risk in the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers. Concentrations of 25(OH)D were measured from 1,065 upper GI cancer cases and 1,066 age-, sex-, race-, and season-of blood draw-matched controls from 8 prospective cohort studies. In multivariate-adjusted models, circulating 25(OH)D concentration was not significantly associated with upper GI cancer risk. Subgroup analysis by race showed that among Asians, but not Caucasians, lower concentrations of 25(OH)D (<25 nmol/L) were associated with a statistically significant decreased risk of upper GI cancer (reference: 50-<75 nmol/L) (odds ratio = 0.53, 95% confidence interval: 0.31, 0.91; P trend = 0.003). Never smokers with concentrations of <25 nmol/L showed a lower risk of upper GI cancers (odds ratio = 0.55, 95% confidence interval: 0.31, 0.96). Subgroup analyses by alcohol consumption produced opposing trends. Results do not support the hypothesis that interventions aimed at increasing vitamin D status would lead to a lower risk of these highly fatal cancers. © The Author 2010.