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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

The contribution of the ABCG2 C421A polymorphism to cancer susceptibility: a meta-analysis of the current literature

Pin Chen1, Lin Zhao1, Peng Zou1, Haitao Xu1, Ailin Lu1 and Peng Zhao12*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of neurosurgery, the First Affiliated Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China

2 The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing, 210029, China

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BMC Cancer 2012, 12:383  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-383

Published: 1 September 2012



ABCG2, also known as BCRP, is a half ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter that localizes to plasma membranes. Recently, a number of studies have investigated the relationship between the C421A polymorphism in ABCG2 and cancer risk in multiple populations and various types of cancers; however, this relationship remains unclear. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to further explore this association.


The meta-analysis incorporated 10 studies involving a total of 3593 cases and 5875 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated based on the date extracted from the studies to evaluate the strength of association. We also analyzed the heterogeneity and sensitivity of each report and the publication bias of the studies.


Overall, our results showed that there appeared to be a significant association between the ABCG2 C421A polymorphism and decreased cancer susceptibility (heterozygote-AC versus CC: OR = 0.759, 95%CI = 0.620-0.930; dominant effects model-AA/AC versus CC: OR = 0.771, 95%CI = 0.634-0.938; additive effects model-A allele versus C allele: OR = 0.809, 95%CI = 0.687-0.952). Similarly, decreased cancer risk was also found after stratification of the SNP data by cancer type, ethnicity and source of controls in heterozygote model, dominant effects model and additive effects model.


We found that the ABCG2 C421A polymorphism is a protective factor for developing cancer. The same relationship was found when the studies were stratified by cancer type, ethnicity and source of controls.