The common 677C>T gene polymorphism of methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene is not associated with breast cancer risk

Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2003 Sep;81(2):169-72. doi: 10.1023/A:1025752420309.


Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is involved in folate metabolism and plays a role in DNA biosynthesis, methylation, and repair in actively dividing cells. A common 677C>T polymorphism in the gene for MTHFR, leading to a thermolabile enzyme with decreased activity, has been associated with reduced plasma folate levels and elevated homocysteine levels and could be a risk factor for breast cancer. In the present case-control study, MTHFR genotype was determined in 500 women with clinically verified breast cancer and 500 female age-matched healthy control subjects. The homozygous TT genotype was found in 13.0% patients and 13.1% controls (P = n.s.). The odds ratio of TT homozygotes for breast cancer was 0.99 (95% confidence interval 0.68-1.43). The MTHFR genotype was furthermore not associated with tumor size, histological grading, estrogen or progesterone receptor status and age at diagnosis. In a subgroup of 116 premenopausal patients, no increased frequency of the homozygous 677T genotype was found (13.8%). Therefore, we conclude that the MTHFR 677C>T polymorphism is not associated with individual susceptibility to breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / enzymology*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cytosine / metabolism
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics*
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Thymine / metabolism


  • Cytosine
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)
  • Thymine