Research Papers:

The TERT rs2736100 polymorphism increases cancer risk: A meta-analysis

Hui Li, Yanyan Xu, Hua Mei, Liang Peng, Xiaojie Li and Jianzhou Tang _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:38693-38705. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16309

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Hui Li1,*, Yanyan Xu2,*, Hua Mei3, Liang Peng4, Xiaojie Li5 and Jianzhou Tang4,5

1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School of Jishou University, Jishou 416000, Hunan, China

2Department of Molecular Pathology, Guangzhou Kingmed Center for Clinical Laboratory, Guangzhou 510000, China

3Department of Somatic Stem Cell, Hunan Guangxiu Hospital, Changsha 410002, Hunan, China

4Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, Changsha University, Changsha 410003, Hunan, China

5College of Animal Science and Technology of Hunan Agriculture University, Changsha 410128, Hunan, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work and should be considered as co-first authors

Correspondence to:

Jianzhou Tang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: TERT, cancer, risk, meta-analysis, telomerase

Received: December 27, 2016    Accepted: February 15, 2017    Published: March 17, 2017


Abnormal telomerase activity is implicated in cancer initiation and development. The rs2736100 T > G polymorphism in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene, which encodes the telomerase catalytic subunit, has been associated with increased cancer risk. We conducted a meta-analysis to more precisely assess this association. After a comprehensive literature search of the PubMed and EMBASE databases up to November 1, 2016, 61 articles with 72 studies comprising 108,248 cases and 161,472 controls were included in our meta-analysis. Studies were conducted on various cancer types. The TERT rs2736100 polymorphism was associated with increased overall cancer risk in five genetic models [homozygous model (GG vs. TT): odds ratio (OR) = 1.39, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) = 1.26-1.54, P < 0.001; heterozygous model (TG vs. TT): OR = 1.16, 95% CI = 1.11-1.23, P < 0.001; dominant model (TG + GG vs. TT): OR = 1.23, 95% CI = 1.15-1.31, P < 0.001; recessive model (GG vs. TG + TT): OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.16-1.35, P < 0.001; and allele contrast model (G vs. T): OR = 1.17, 95% CI = 1.12-1.23, P < 0.001]. A stratified analysis based on cancer type associated the polymorphism with elevated risk of thyroid cancer, bladder cancer, lung cancer, glioma, myeloproliferative neoplasms, and acute myeloid leukemia. Our results confirm that the TERT rs2736100 polymorphism confers increased overall cancer risk.

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