Background: Interleukin-16 (IL-16) is a multifunctional cytokine which plays a key role in inflammatory andautoimmune diseases as well as in cancer. Genetic polymorphisms of IL-16 have been implicated in susceptibilityto cancer. However, associations remain inconclusive. The present meta-analysis was therefore carried out toestablish a more conclusive association of IL-16 polymorphisms with cancer risk. Materials and
Methods: Relevantstudies were searched through the PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Google Scholar and Wan fang electronicdatabases updated in October 2013. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used toassess the association between IL-16 polymorphisms and cancer risk.
Results: Eight eligible studies (rs4778889T/C: 8, rs11556218 T/G: 7, rs4072111 C/T: 6) that met our selection criteria were included. The meta-analysisindicated that rs11556218 T/G was associated with a significant increased risk of cancer (G vs. T, OR=1.321,95% CI=1.142-1.528, P ﹤0.001; TG vs. TT, OR=1.665, 95% CI=1.448-1.915, P﹤0.001; GG+TG vs. TT, OR=1.622,95% CI=1.416-1.858, P﹤0.001),as well as nasopharyngeal carcinoma and colorectal cancer. Furthermore, in thesubgroup of Chinese, significant associations were found between rs11556218 polymorphism and cancer risk.There was no statistically significant association between the other two variants (rs4778889, rs4072111) and riskof cancer.
Conclusions: This meta-analysis suggests that the IL-16 rs11556218 polymorphism is associated withincreased cancer risk. Large well-designed studies involving various cancer types and different populations arenow needed.