Background: Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are a family of multifunctional enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of many xenobiotics, including a wide range of environmental carcinogens. While the null genotypes in GSTM1 and GSTT1 have been implicated in tumorigenesis, it remains inconsistent and inconclusive. Herein, we aimed to assess the possible associations of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 null genotype in cancer risks.
Methods: A meta-analysis based on 506 case-control studies was performed. Odds ratios (OR) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess the association.
Results: The null genotypes of GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms were associated with a significantly increased risk in cancer (for GSTM1: OR = 1.17; 95%CI = 1.14-1.21; for GSTT1: OR = 1.16; 95%CI = 1.11-1.21, respectively). When the analysis was performed based on their smoking history, the risk associated of GSTM1 null and GSTT1 null genotypes with cancer is further increased (for GSTM1: OR = 2.66; 95%CI = 2.19-3.24; for GSTT1: OR = 2.46; 95%CI = 1.83-3.32, respectively).
Conclusions: These findings indicate that GSTM1 and GSTT1 polymorphisms may play critical roles in the development of cancer, especially in smokers.