A meta-analysis of MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms and risk of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children

Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2012 Apr;58(4):513-8. doi: 10.1002/pbc.23137. Epub 2011 Apr 14.


Background: Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and A1298C polymorphisms have been implicated in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) risk, but previously published studies were inconsistent and recent meta-analyses were not adequate.

Procedures: In a meta-analysis of 21 publications with 4,706 cases and 7,414 controls, we used more stringent inclusion method and summarized data on associations between MTHFR C677T and A1298C polymorphisms and childhood ALL risk.

Results: We found an overall association between 677T variant genotypes and reduced childhood ALL risk. Specifically, in the dominant genetic model, an association was found in a fixed-effect (TT + CT vs. CC: OR = 0.92; 95% CI = 0.85-0.99) but not random-effect model, whereas such an association was observed in both homozygote genetic model (TT vs. CC: OR = 0.80; 95% CI = 0.70-0.93 by fixed effects and OR = 0.78; 95% CI = 0.65-0.93 by random effects) and recessive genetic model (TT vs. CC + CT: OR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.72-0.95 by fixed effects and OR = 0.84; 95% CI = 0.73-0.97 by random effects). These associations were also observed in subgroups by ethnicity: for Asians in all models except for the dominant genetic model by random effect and for Caucasians in all models except for the recessive genetic model. However, the A1298C polymorphism did not appear to have an effect on childhood ALL risk.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the MTHFR C677T, but not A1298C, polymorphism is a potential biomarker for childhood ALL risk.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asian People / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2) / genetics*
  • Models, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / ethnology
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / genetics*
  • Risk Factors
  • White People / genetics


  • Genetic Markers
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)