Purpose: To provide a comprehensive account of the association of five LTA gene polymorphisms (rs1041981, rs2229094, rs2239704, rs746868, rs909253) with susceptibility to cancer. Methods: A literature search for eligible candidate gene studies published before May 20, 2019 was conducted in the PubMed, Medline, Google Scholar and Web of Science. The following combinations of main keywords were used: (LTA OR Lymphotoxin alpha OR TNF-β OR tumor necrosis factor-beta) AND (polymorphism OR mutation OR variation OR SNP OR genotype) AND (cancer OR tumor OR neoplasm OR malignancy OR carcinoma OR adenocarcinoma). Potential sources of heterogeneity were sought out via subgroup and sensitivity analysis, and publication bias were estimated. Results: Overall, a total of 24 articles with 24,577 cases and 33,351 controls for five polymorphisms of LTA gene were enrolled. We identified that rs2239704 was associated with a reduced risk of cancer. While for other polymorphisms, the results showed no significant association with cancer risk. In the stratified analysis of rs1041981, we found that Asians might have less susceptibility to cancer. At the same time, we found that rs2239704 was negatively correlated with NHL. While, for rs909253, an increased risk of cancer for Caucasians and HCC susceptibility were uncovered in the stratified analysis of by ethnicity and cancer type. Conclusion: LTA rs2239704 polymorphism is inversely associated with the risk of cancer. LTA rs1041981 polymorphism is negative associated with cancer risk in Asia. While, LTA rs909253 polymorphism is a risk factor for HCC in Caucasian population.

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