The MTHFR C677T Polymorphism and Prostate Cancer Risk: New Findings from a Meta-analysis of 7306 Cases and 8062 Controls

  • Zhang, Wei-Bing (Department of Urology, Zhongnan Hospital) ;
  • Zhang, Jun-Hong (Department of Radiotherapy, Zhongnan Hospital) ;
  • Pan, Zheng-Qi (Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital) ;
  • Yang, Qi-Sheng (Department of Emergency and Critical Care Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital) ;
  • Liu, Bo (Medical School, Wuhan University)
  • Published : 2012.06.30


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an essential enzyme involved in folate metabolism; a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) C677T has been reported to be linked with altered incidences of several diseases. We here conducted a meta-analysis of 15 published epidemiological studies with a total of 7306 cases and 8062 controls to evaluate its association with prostate cancer risk with overall and subgroup analyses. No statistical relationship was found overall with any genetic model (TT vs. CC: OR = 0.80, 95%CI = [0.62, 1.04], P = 0.094; CT vs. CC: OR = 0.97, 95%CI = [0.84; 1.12], P = 0.667; Dominant: OR = 0.94, 95%CI = [0.82; 1.07], P = 0.343; Recessive: OR = 0.81, 95%CI = [0.64; 1.04], P = 0.104), but after the exclusion of several studies, we could observe the homozygote TT to confer less susceptibility to prostate cancer in carriers; moreover, different effects of the polymorphism on prostate cancer risk was detected from subgroup analysis stratified by participants' residential region: significant reduced prostate cancer risk was found to be associated with the polymorphism from Asian studies (TT vs. CC: OR = 0.47, 95%CI = [0.33; 0.67], P < 0.001; CT vs. CC: OR = 0.73, 95%CI = [0.60; 0.90], P = 0.002; Dominant: OR = 0.67, 95%CI = [0.56; 0.82], P < 0.001; Recessive: OR = 0.55, 95%CI = [0.40; 0.76], P < 0.001) while studies from Europe indicated a slight increased risk under dominant model with marginal significance (OR = 1.14, 95%CI = [0.99; 1.30], P = 0.064). Moreover, the protective effect of the polymorphism against prostate cancer was also shown by studies performed in yellow Asians (TT vs. CC: OR = 0.48, 95%CI = [0.31; 0.75], P = 0.001; CT vs. CC: OR = 0.68, 95%CI = [0.51; 0.90], P = 0.006; Dominant: OR = 0.63, 95%CI = [0.48; 0.82], P < 0.001; Recessive: OR = 0.57, 95%CI = [0.39; 0.84], P = 0.004). We propose that these phenomena should be viewed with the consideration of folate metabolism profile and different gene background as well as living habits of different populations, and more relevant studies should be conducted to confirm our hypothesis and provide a comprehensive and clear picture concerning this topic.


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