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Basic Research

MTHFR polymorphism and the risk of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of case–control studies



5,10-Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) polymorphisms implicated in the cancer development, but the published studies had yielded inconsistent results.


Pubmed was searched for all published case–control studies about MTHFR polymorphisms and prostate cancer risk.


In all, 13 studies including 5872 cases and 6255 controls described C677T genotypes, among which 9 articles, containing 2847 cases and 3657 controls described A1298C genotypes, were involved in our meta-analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated to assess the association between MTHFR polymorphisms and prostate cancer risk, heterogeneity, publication bias and sensitivity were also calculated. Overall, meta-analysis indicated that the 677T allele was more likely to exert protective effect on prostate cancer risk (random-effects pooled OR, 0.78 (0.64–0.96); P=0.016 (P=0.033 for heterogeneity studies)) in a recessive genetic model, no associations were found in other genetic models or in comparing a/a versus A/A homozygous. Neither did we find any difference in effects on high or low aggressive prostate cancer. No evidence of an association of MTHFR A1298C polymorphism with prostate cancer was found.


C677T of the MTHFR gene may provide protective effects on susceptibility to prostate cancer risk.

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This work was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no._81001185), Universities Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (no._10KJB310011) and the Social Development Foundation of Suzhou (no_YJS0905).

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Correspondence to X-L Li.

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Supplementary Information accompanies the paper on the Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases website

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Li, XL., Xu, JH. MTHFR polymorphism and the risk of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of case–control studies. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis 15, 244–249 (2012).

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  • polymorphism
  • meta-analysis

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