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Association between MTHFR Gene Polymorphism and the Risk of Ovarian Cancer: A Meta-analysis of the Literature

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 11 ]


Danhua Pu, Shi-Wen Jiang and Jie Wu   Pages 1632 - 1638 ( 7 )


Objectives: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is an essential enzyme for DNA biosynthesis and the epigenetic process of DNA methylation. MTHFR gene polymorphisms have been implicated as risk factors for several types of cancers. However, reports on the association of MTHFR polymorphisms with ovarian cancers are inconclusive. The aim of this study is to summarize on the reported data and meta-analytically investigate the relationship between the MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphism and the risk of ovarian cancer.

Methods: We searched for all published articles indexed in MEDLINE (1950-2012), EMBASE (1974-2012), and CNKI (1994-2012). Case-control or cohort studies that relating to MTHFR polymorphism and ovarian cancer women were included and data were extracted independently by two reviewers. The search yielded 21 articles, from which 7 studies met the inclusion criteria. We performed a metaanalysis involving 3493 patients with ovarian cancer and 3863 controls with Review Manager 5.1 software. Odds ratio (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to evaluate the ovarian cancer risk.

Results: All the available data considered together, no association between the MTHFR C677T polymorphism and ovarian cancer risk was found in any genetic variations. However, in the subgroup analysis by ethnicity of Asian and Caucasian, MTHFR 677T was associated with significantly increased ovarian cancer risk among Asian [T allele vs. C allele: OR=1.50, 95% CI: 1.25-1.81, P<0.0001; CT + TT vs. CC (dominant model): OR=1.49, 95% CI: 1.18-1.88, P=0.0009; TT vs. CT + CC (recessive model): OR=2.33, 95% CI: 1.57-3.45, P<0.00001], while, there was no significant increased risk in Caucasian. As for MTHFR A1298C polymorphism, no marked association was found in either group of Caucasian population, while no data was available to analyze in Asian population.

Conclusions: The C677T polymorphism of the MTHFR gene is associated with the susceptibility of ovarian cancer in Asian population, suggesting that TT genotype may serve as a risk factor of ovarian cancer among Asian but not Caucasians. In addition, there is no association between A1298C gene polymorphism and ovarian cancer, including Caucasian and Asian women.


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, MTHFR, polymorphism, ovarian cancer, meta-analysis.


, , State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing Medical University, 210029, Nanjing, China.

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