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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Medical Genetics 1/2018

The Alu-insertion progesterone receptor gene polymorphism is not associated with breast cancer: a meta-analysis

BMC Medical Genetics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Jun Yao, Xing-ling Qi, Yong Zhang



The role of progesterone receptor (PGR) gene polymorphisms in breast cancer is still controversial. Here, we performed a meta-analysis to determine whether the Alu insertion is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer and, further, whether the Alu insertion contributes to the development of breast cancer.


Using database searches, we selected 10 controlled case studies that met a rigorous set of inclusion criteria; these studies included 2106 cases and 1660 controls. We generated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals in order to determine the strength of the relationship between the Alu insertion and breast cancer incidence. We also performed additional subgroup analyses and sensitivity analyses to further clarify the relationship.


Using a random effects model, we concluded that the Alu insertion was not associated with the risk of breast cancer under the dominant genetic model; the pooled OR was 1.025 (95% CI = 0.526–1.994, p = 0.943). When a subgroup analysis was performed according to ethnicity, we found that the Alu insertion was associated with breast cancer incidence in Indians and Indo-European mixed racial groups, but the association disappeared for patients of Caucasian or Latino decent.


Our meta-analysis showed that the Alu-insertion progesterone receptor gene polymorphism was not associated with breast cancer. These results provide further information regarding the association between the Alu insertion in the PGR gene and the incidence of breast cancer.
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