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The -149C>T and -579G>T, 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms in de novo methyltransferase 3B gene promoter, have been previously reported to potentially alter the promoter activity and to influence cancer risk. However, the results from previous studies remain conflicting rather than conclusive. In view of this, we conducted a case–control study and then a meta-analysis to examine the association between these 2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms with risk of lung and gastric cancer in Chinese population. The genotyping was performed by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism and confirmed by sequencing. In this case–control study, no significant association with lung or gastric cancer risk was observed for -149C>T, while -579G>T was significantly correlated with the risk of gastric cancer but not lung cancer. Moreover, haplotype analysis showed that haplotype -149T/-579 T, which carried the risk -579 T allele, significantly increased the susceptibility to gastric cancer. However, none of the haplotypes was associated with the risk of lung cancer. The following meta-analysis involved only Chinese population and further confirmed the significant association of -579G>T with gastric cancer but not lung cancer and suggested no significant association between -149C>T and risk of lung or gastric cancer. Collectively, DNMT3B -579G>T polymorphism is associated with gastric cancer risk in Chinese population, and the -579G>T may be used as a genetic biomarker to predict the risk of gastric cancer in Chinese population.