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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2008 Apr-Jun;9(2):203-8.

Genetic polymorphisms of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase and susceptibility to colorectal cancer.

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Department of Epidemiology, Jiangsu Province Institute of Cancer Research, Nanjing 210009, China.



To study the relation between genetic polymorphisms of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T or A1298C and the susceptibility of colorectal cancer.


We conducted a case-control study with 315 cases of colorectal cancer and 371 population-based controls in Jiangsu province, China. The epidemiological data were collected, and DNA of peripheral blood leukocytes was obtained from all of the subjects. MTHFR C677T and A1298C genotypes were detected by the PCR-RFLP method.


(1) When men and women were assessed together, the frequencies of the MTHFR C677T and A1298 genotypes or their alleles were not significantly different between controls and colon cancer or rectal cancer cases. No significant relation was observed between MTHFR C677T or A1298C polymorphisms and colon or rectal cancer susceptibility. (2) Among males, individuals who had MTHFR C677T T/T genotype were at a significantly higher risk of developing colon cancer (age-, residence-, smoking-, alcohol drinking-, tea consumption-adjusted OR=2.15, 95%CI: 1.07-4.33) compared with those who had C677T C allele. Individuals who had C677T T/T and A1298C A/A genotypes were at an increased risk of developing colon cancer (adjusted OR=2.64, 95%CI: 1.20-5.81) compared with those with C677T C allele and A1298C A/A genotypes among males. On the contrary, individuals who had C677T T/T and A1298C A/A genotypes were at an decreased risk of developing rectal cancer (adjusted OR=0.47, 95%CI: 0.22-1.03).


These results in the present study suggested that polymorphisms of the MTHFR C677T could influence susceptibility to colon or rectal cancer and that there was a coordinated effect between MTHFR A1298C A/A and C677T T/T genotypes among males.

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