Tumor Necrosis Factor-α 238 G/A Polymorphism and Risk of Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Evidence from a Meta-analysis

  • Cheng, Ke (35 Ward of Transplantation, The Third Xiangya hospital of Central South University) ;
  • Zhao, Yu-Jun (35 Ward of Transplantation, The Third Xiangya hospital of Central South University) ;
  • Liu, Lian (35 Ward of Transplantation, The Third Xiangya hospital of Central South University) ;
  • Wan, Jing-Jing (Surgery center, The Third Xiangya hospital of Central South University)
  • Published : 2013.05.30


Background: Tumor necrosis factor-${\alpha}$ (TNF-${\alpha}$) plays a very important role in the development and progression of cancer. Many epidemiological studies have evaluated associations between the TNF-${\alpha}$ 238 G/A polymorphism and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) risk, but the published data are inconclusive. Therefore, we performed the present meta-analysis. Methods: Electronic searches of several databases were conducted for all publications on the association between TNF-${\alpha}$ 238 G/A polymorphism and HCC through July 2012. Asummary odds ratio (OR) with its 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated to evaluate the strength of this association. Results: Eleven case-control studies with a total of 1,572 HCC cases and 1,875 controls were finally included in this meta-analysis. Overall, the TNF-${\alpha}$ 238 G/A polymorphism was significantly associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma in three genetic comparison models (For A versus G: OR 1.32, 95%CI 1.04-1.69, P = 0.02, $I_2$ = 40%; for AG versus GG: OR 1.32, 95%CI 1.02-1.71, P = 0.03, $I_2$ = 40%; for AA/AG versus GG: OR 1.33, 95%CI 1.03-1.72, P = 0.03, $I_2$ = 41%) when all studies were pooled. Subgroup analysis by ethnicity further showed that there was a significant association between the TNF-${\alpha}$ 238 G/A polymorphism and risk of HCC in Asians under three genetic comparison models (For A versus G: OR 1.30, 95%CI 1.00-1.68, P = 0.05, $I_2$ = 45% for AA/AG versus GG: OR 1.31, 95%CI 1.00-1.71, P = 0.05, $I_2$ = 46%). Conclusions: This meta-analysis provided convincing evidence that the TNF-${\alpha}$ 238 G/A polymorphism is associated with increased susceptibility to HCC. However, more well-designed studies with large sample size are needed to validate this association in Caucasians.


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