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Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Jan 1;167(1):7-14. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

The E-cadherin gene polymorphism 160C->A and cancer risk: A HuGE review and meta-analysis of 26 case-control studies.

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Laboratory of Population and Quantitative Genetics, Institute of Genetics and Biostatistics, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


A single nucleotide polymorphism, - 160C-->A, has been identified in the promoter region of the E-cadherin gene and has been shown to alter its transcriptional activity. To assess susceptibility of -160A allele carriers to seven types of cancers, the authors conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis, up to November 2006, of 26 case-control studies comprising 7,042 cases and 7,011 controls. Pooled odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated by using the random-effects model. Publication bias, subgroup, and sensitivity analyses were also performed, which showed that -160A allele carriers, compared with noncarriers, had about a 17-19% increased risk of several invasive/metastatic tumors. Analyses of various types of cancers revealed that, in Europeans, the -160AA homozygote was associated with an increased risk of urothelial cancer, carriers of -160A were at increased risk of lung and prostate cancers, and carriers of -160A with gastric cancer were found to suffer a significantly increased risk, whereas their Asian counterparts seemed to be tolerant. No evidence was found that the -160A allele predisposed its carriers to breast, colorectal, or esophageal cancers. These findings indicate that -160A of the E-cadherin gene is emerging as a low-penetrance tumor susceptibility allele for the development of gastric, lung, prostate, and urothelial cancers.

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