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The PstI/RsaI and DraI polymorphisms of CYP2E1 and head and neck cancer risk: a meta-analysis based on 21 case-control studies

Kefu Tang12, Yang Li12, Zhao Zhang12, Yunmin Gu1, Yuyu Xiong12, Guoyin Feng4, Lin He123* and Shengying Qin12*

Author Affiliations

1 Bio-X Center, Key Laboratory for the Genetics of Developmental and Neuropsychiatric Disorders (Ministry of Education), Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

2 Institute for Nutritional Sciences, Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

3 Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

4 Shanghai Institute of Mental Health, Shanghai, China

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:575  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-575

Published: 22 October 2010



CYP2E1 encodes a member of the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes which play a central role in activating and detoxifying many carcinogens and endogenous compounds thought to be involved in the development of cancer. The PstI/RsaI and DraI polymorphism are two of the most commonly studied polymorphisms of the gene for their association with risk of head and neck cancer, but the results are conflicting.


We performed a meta-analysis using 21 eligible case-control studies with a total of 4,951 patients and 6,071 controls to summarize the data on the association between the CYP2E1 PstI/RsaI and DraI polymorphism and head and neck cancer risk, especially by interacting with smoking or alcohol.


Compared with the wild genotype, the OR was 1.96 (95% CI: 1.33-2.90) for PstI/RsaI and 1.56 (95% CI: 1.06-2.27) for DraI polymorphism respectively. When stratified according to ethnicity, the OR increased in the Asians for both polymorphisms (OR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.32-3.15 for PstI/RsaI; OR = 2.04, 95% CI: 1.27-3.29 for DraI), suggesting that the risk is more pronounced in Asians.


Our meta-analysis suggests that individuals with the homozygote genotypes of PstI/RsaI or DraI polymorphism might be associated with an increased risk of head and neck cancer, especially in Asians.