Polymorphisms of MTHFR and susceptibility to oesophageal adenocarcinoma in a Caucasian United Kingdom population

Richard Keld, Manyi Thian, Chia Hau, Jamil Sajid, Narveen Kumar, Yeng Ang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    AIM: To identify if methylene tetra-hydrofolatereductase (MTHFR) C677T polymorphisms are associated with oesophageal adenocarcinomas in a Caucasian population and to test whether folic acid and homocysteine levels are linked with cancer risk. METHODS: A case control study comprising of 58 non cancer and 48 cancer patients, MTHFR C667T genotyping was made and serum folate, homocysteine and vitamin B12 levels were made. Tumour stage, differentiation and survival was recorded. A P value of less than 0.05 was taken to be significant. The χ(2) used to compare discrete variables and the Mantel-Cox was used to compare survival. A P value less than 0.05 was deemed to be significant. RESULTS: MTHFR polymorphisms is associated with an increased risk of several cancers. A link between MTHFR C677T polymorphisms and oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma and gastric cardia adenocarcinoma has been demonstrated in at risk Chinese populations. In a Western European population the role of the MTHFR gene has not previously been investigated in the setting of oesophageal adenocarcinoma. No association between folic acid levels and cancer patients was found. The unstable MTHFR 667 TT genotype occurred in 11% cancers and 7% controls, but statistical significance was not reached, homocysteine levels and folic acid levels were not affected, cancer patients with TT genotype displayed a trend for a shorter survival 7 mo vs 20 mo. Serum vitamin B12 levels were higher in the cancer group. The MTHFR 667 TT genotype is much lower than previous population studies. CONCLUSION: We conclude that serum folic acid and MTHFR polymorphisms are not associated with an increased risk of oesophageal adenocarcinoma, although cancers with unstable TT genotype may indicate a more aggressive disease course.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)12212
    JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
    Issue number34
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Sept 2014


    • Caucasian population; Helicobacter pylori; Oesophageal adenocarcinoma; Polymorphism; Polymorphisms of 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase


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