Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the population, with over 90% of cases presented as squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC - head and neck squamous cell carcinoma). Its etiology is mightily attributed to alcoholism and smoking . Nevertheless, the pathogenesis of the disease seems to be much more complex, involving genes and polymorphisms of the folate pathway. Such polymorphisms may alter the folate pathway, providing abnormalities in that route and increasing one's propensity to carcinogenesis by three principal means: hypomethylation of DNA, genetic instability and increased deamination of cytosine in DNA methylation sites. These hypotheses were subjects of many studies. However, many of them have discrepant or lagged results, losing the quality of applicability in the practice of clinical medicine. Therefore, the present study tends to collect the data offered in the literature and, through the technique of meta-analysis and systematic review, relate the results to determine if indeed there is a correlation between MTHFR C677T, MTHFR A1298C, MTR A2756G, MTRR A66G, involved in folate metabolism, and greater propensity to develop head and neck cancer.
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