Background Heat shock protein 70-2 (HSP70-2) has a cytoprotective role in various conditions and also protects the gastric mucosa. Recently, polymorphism of HSP70-2 at position 1267 was suggested to be associated with carcinogenesis. We investigated the association of this polymorphism with the risk of gastric cancer in the present study. Methods We examined 223 patients (159 men and 64 women, mean age 64.8 years) with gastric cancer who underwent gastrointestinal endoscopy at our department. The controls were 200 age-matched patients (140 men and 60 women) without gastric cancer diagnosed by gastrointestinal endoscopy. Genotyping was done by PCR-based restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, and the PCR products were digested with PstI. The two allelic forms, corresponding to the presence or absence of the PstI site, were designated as the P1 allele and P2 allele, respectively. Logistic regression analysis was performed to calculate an odds ratios (ORs) for differences of HSP70-2 polymorphism between the two groups. Results Among the 223 patients with gastric cancer, 46 (20.6%) had P1/P1, 177 (79.4%) were P1 carriers, and 6 (2.7%) were P2/P2. In the control group, 33 (16.5%) patients had P1/P1 polymorphism, 167 (83.5%) were P1 carriers, and 12 (6.0%) were P2/P2. The OR for gastric cancer of subjects with P2/P2 polymorphism relative to P1 carriers was 0.43 (95% CI = 0.16-1.17) (P = 0.097). Among females, the OR for gastric cancer of subjects with P2/P2 polymorphism relative to P1 carriers was 0.10 (95% CI = 0.012-0.838) (P = 0.014). This polymorphism was also associated with a lower risk of middle third cancer (OR = 0.13; 95% CI = 0.02-1.00). Conclusions P2/P2 polymorphism of HSP70-2 at position 1267 was associated with a lower risk of gastric cancer in females.
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