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Inconsistency in the reported associations between the A66G polymorphism in the methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) gene and colorectal cancer (CRC) prompted a meta-analysis, so that we could obtain a more precise estimate. Databases searches of the published literature yielded 20 case–control studies from 17 articles (8,371 cases and 12,574 controls). We calculated pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals in three genetic comparisons (A allele, G allele, and A/G genotype). We found no evidence of overall associations between MTRR A66G and CRC risk (OR 0.96–1.05, P = 0.12–0.44). This was materially unchanged when reanalyzed without the Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (HWE)-deviating studies (OR 0.97–1.06, P = 0.11–0.65). In the A allele comparison, however, outlier treatment generated significant protection (OR 0.91, P = 0.01). Combined removal of the outliers and HWE-deviating studies reflected this summary effect (OR 0.90, P = 0.01) as did the pooled OR from high-quality studies (OR 0.90, P = 0.01). Only the Asian subgroup showed significant (both at P = 0.05) A allele (OR 1.13) and A/G genotype (OR 0.88) associations. In conclusion, post-outlier A allele effects were protective. Our study also suggests ethnic-specific associations with Asian susceptibility and protection in the A allele and A/G genotype comparisons, respectively. Folate status showed no association of this polymorphism with CRC.
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