Folate-pathway gene polymorphisms have been implicated in several cancers and investigated inconclusively in relation to prostate cancer. We conducted a systematic review, which identified nine case-control studies (eight included, one excluded). We also included data from four genome-wide association studies and from a case-control study nested within the UK population-based Prostate Testing for Cancer and Treatment study. We investigated by meta-analysis the effects of eight polymorphisms: MTHFR C677T (rs1801133; 12 studies; 10,745 cases; 40,158 controls), MTHFR A1298C (rs1801131; 5 studies; 3,176 cases; 4,829 controls), MTR A2756G (rs1805087; 8 studies; 7,810 cases; 37,543 controls), MTRR A66G (rs1801394; 4 studies; 3,032 cases; 4,515 controls), MTHFD1 G1958A (rs2236225; 6 studies; 7,493 cases; 36,941 controls), SLC19A1/RFC1 G80A (rs1051266; 4 studies; 6,222 cases; 35,821 controls), SHMT1 C1420T (rs1979277; 2 studies; 2,689 cases; 4,110 controls), and FOLH1 T1561C (rs202676; 5 studies; 6,314 cases; 35,190 controls). The majority (10 of 13) of eligible studies had 100% Caucasian subjects; only one study had <90% Caucasian subjects. We found weak evidence of dominant effects of two alleles: MTR 2756A>G [random effects pooled odds ratio, 1.06 (1.00-1.12); P = 0.06 (P = 0.59 for heterogeneity across studies)] and SHMT1 1420C>T [random effects pooled odds ratio, 1.11 (1.00-1.22); P = 0.05 (P = 0.38 for heterogeneity across studies)]. We found no effect of MTHFR 677C>T or any of the other alleles in dominant, recessive or additive models, or in comparing a/a versus A/A homozygous. Neither did we find any difference in effects on advanced or localized cancers. Our meta-analysis suggests that known common folate-pathway single nucleotide polymorphisms do not have significant effects on susceptibility to prostate cancer.
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