Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase C677T polymorphism: Association with risk for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia and response during the initial phase of chemotherapy in greek patients

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As of late, a number of studies have focused on the association of the gene for methyletetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) with risk for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children and in adults, as well as with response to chemotherapy. The degree of this association may vary according to the ethnic background and geographic localization of the population under study, or the phase of treatment when response to chemotherapy is concerned.


We have analyzed the MTHFR C677T polymorphism in 52 patients and 88 control individuals, all ethnic Greek residents of northern Greece, and examined the association of this polymorphism with (a) susceptibility to childhood ALL and (b) the distribution of average plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, white blood cell counts (WBC), and hemoglobin levels (Hb) during the induction and consolidation phases of treatment.

Results and Conclusions.

We were able to detect a statistically significant protective effect, with respect to ALL, associated with carriage of the MTHFR 677T allele [OR = 0.387 (95% CI = 0.193–0.776)]. In addition, we observed a general tendency towards lower values in all three parameters studied, associated with the MTHFR 677CC genotype, which was more evident in the transition from the induction to the consolidation phase, indicating that MTHFR genotyping may be of prognostic value in the early phase of treatment for childhood ALL, in our population. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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