PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Oncology - Public Health and Epidemiology - Women's Health

The TNF-Alpha-238 Polymorphism and Cancer Risk: A Meta-Analysis
Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Author: Ping Zhou et al.

by Ping Zhou, Guo-Qiang Lv, Jian-Zhong Wang, Cheng-Wan Li, Liang-Feng Du, Chun Zhang, Jian-Ping Li

Background and Objectives

Tumor necrosis factor-a (TNF-a) plays a very important role in the development and progress of cancer. Some TNF-a polymorphisms have been confirmed to increase cancer risks; however, the association between TNF-a-238 polymorphism and cancers remains controversial and ambiguous. The aim of this study is to explore a more precise estimation of its relationship with cancer using meta-analysis.


Electronic searches of several databases were conducted for all publications on the association between this variant and cancer through March 2011. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to access the strength of this association in the random-effect model.


Thirty four studies with 34,679 cancer patients and 41,186 healthy controls were included. This meta-analysis showed no significant association between TNF-a-238 polymorphism and cancers (AA+GA vs GG: OR?=?1.09, 95%CI?=?0.88–1.34). In Caucasian and Asian subgroups, OR values (95% CI) were 1.14 (0.91–1.43) and 0.97 (0.58–1.61), respectively. In the subgroups of cancer type, no significant association was detected. The sensitivity analysis further strengthened the validity of these negative associations. No publication bias was observed in this study.


No significant association was found between the TNF-a-238 polymorphism and the risk for cancer.