Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 129, Issue 2, pp 513–519 | Cite as

TNF-alpha polymorphisms and breast cancer

  • Yu Yang
  • Rennan Feng
  • Sheng Bi
  • Yuqing Xu


Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is an important pro-inflammatory cytokine in the development and progress in human cancer. TNF-α polymorphisms have been confirmed to influence the risk for several types of cancer, however, the associations between TNF-α polymorphisms and breast cancer (BC) remain controversial and ambiguous. The aim of this meta-analysis is to explore more precise estimations regarding this point. Electronic searches of several databases were conducted for all online publications on the associations between TNF-α-238, -308, -857, -863, -1031, -1210 polymorphisms and BC through March 2011. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated to assess the strength of these associations in fixed- and random-effect models with Review manager 5.0. A total of 17 studies with 44,442 BC patients and 49,926 controls involved were identified. This meta-analysis showed no significant association between TNF-α-308 polymorphism and BC (AA + GA vs. GG: OR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.82–1.09) in overall and (OR = 1.44, 95% CI = 0.61–3.40) Asian populations, however, a negative association was shown in Caucasian subgroup (OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.85–0.97). As regards the TNF-α-238 polymorphism, the OR values (95% CI) were 0.99 (0.94–1.05), 0.94 (0.78–1.14), and 1.00 (0.95–1.05) for the overall, Asian, and Caucasian studies, respectively. No significant associations were found for other polymorphisms. Furthermore, there was a coincidence in the sensitivity analysis of these associations. No publication bias was detected in this study. To sum up, no significant associations were found between the TNF-α-308, -238, -857, -863, -1031, -1210 polymorphisms and the risk for BC in overall populations, whereas a negative association was found between TNF-α-308 polymorphism and BC in Caucasian populations.


Meta-analysis Polymorphism TNF-α Breast cancer 



This work was supported by Harbin Special Funds for Research of Scientific and Technological Innovative Talents (No. RC2011QN004139), the Heilongjiang Province Natural Science Fund of China (No. D200862) and the Key Technologies R & D Program of Heilongjiang Provincial Government in China (No. GB05C401-03).

Conflict of interest



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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OncologyThe Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public HealthHarbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.The Central Laboratory & Department of NeurologyThe First Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical UniversityHarbinPeople’s Republic of China

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