MTHFR and ‘XYZ’ Cancer: Is it Related?

Do you wonder if MTHFR is related to a specific cancer?

Many do.

In order to determine if MTHFR and a specific cancer is related, one may search the medical research database, Pubmed.

Here are some results from searching the Pubmed Database on various keywords:

  • MTHFR Cancer = provides over 2,300 articles as of March 12, 2012
  • MTHFR oncology = provides same result
  • MTHFR carcinoma = provides same result
  • “MTHFR Cancer” = provides 0 results because “MTHFR Cancer” is not a specific cancer.

Evaluating the research done MTHFR may not be the best option for a few reasons:

  1. There are not enough studies done on various types of cancer and MTHFR defects
  2. Research is conflicting. One study says, “Yes, MTHFR is a risk factor” and another says, “No relation.”
  3. Time consuming. Digging through 1000’s of studies trying to find the specific cancer and MTHFR may not exist.

Other option is to understand what affect the MTHFR defects have on human function:

MTHFR Defects Lead to HYPOMETHYLATION if untreated

Hypomethylation = decreased methylation

There are many cancers that relate to hypomethylation. The research on hypomethylation is plentiful.

When determining if ‘MTHFR and ‘XYZ’ cancer are linked, using both searching methods is recommended.


“Is there a link between Chondrosarcoma and MTHFR?”

Here is an example of how to search PubMed to see if MTHFR is related to a specific cancer:

  • Chondrosarcoma MTHFR = 1 result which demonstrates no link in Turkish individuals. Small study of n=56. Not significant enough.
  • Chondrosarcoma Hypomethylation = 1 result which used a drug to induce hypomethylation in rats. Results demonstrate a link between hypomethylation and chondrosarcoma.
  • Chondrosarcoma Undermethylation = no results
  • Chondrosarcoma Hypermethylation = 3 articles which vary in their target genes. Methylation, either hyper or hypomethylation, are linked in cancer and it depends on which gene is affected.
Bottom Line:

MTHFR is linked to numerous cancers if methylation is not restored and balanced. Excessive methylation is as harmful as undermethylation. Health requires balance. Balance Methylation.

You are now immediately asking:

How to balance methylation?

Through an understanding of various markers on testing. Currently, this is being evaluated. There are a few laboratories measuring levels of methylation; however, the results are not providing useful information.

Out of all methylation tests I have evaluated, each individual has ‘normal’ methylation. I find this impossible especially since these individuals have MTHFR defects.

Rudimentary Methods to Understand if You’re Hypomethylated or Hypermethylated

  1. Measure blood levels of Histamine. Histamine requires methylation to be processed and broken down. If histamine levels are elevated, you are likely a hypomethylator. If histamine levels are normal, you are a ‘normal’ methylator. If histamine levels are too low, you are a hypermethylator.
  2. Take some Niacin in the form of nicotinic acid. Chew 1/10th a tablet of Niacin and then swallow. Niacin utilizes s-adenosylmethionine (SAM) when breaking down. If you flush strongly on 50 mg, you are likely hypomethylated (lack of SAM). If you do not flush much, you are likely a ‘normal methylator’ (balanced SAM). If you do not flush at all, you may be hypermethylated (excessive SAM).
  3. Side Effects from Methylfolate: If you are taking methylfolate and experiencing these side effects, then you are likely hypermethylated.

Comments? Share your Story. 

15 Responses to “MTHFR and ‘XYZ’ Cancer: Is it Related?”

  1. Tania Lindner-Curran November 26, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

    I have MTHFR Gene – undergone chemo and double mastectomy – on Tamoxifen about to start radiation in 5 weeks Concerned about the Tamoxifen right now along with it all – please help

  2. Gary R. December 10, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    My sister was today diagnosed with breast cancer, and she has the heterozygous C677T polymorphism. I am trying to understand what would influence her action plan for recovery. Let me see if I get this:

    1) to say that folic acid ‘feeds’ the tumor is inaccurate. Instead, high levels of unmetabolized folic acid (UMFA) suppress NK cells, so tumors grow unchecked. Is that it?

    2) CAN someone take 5-hydroxymethylfolate to restore balance to methylation without accelerating tumor growth?

    3) Is it UNIVERSALLY true that anyone with MTHFR polymorphism needs to avoid Chemo because they cannot detoxify? What if the patient is able to bring their methylation back into balance through CORRECT supplementation (see 2)? Could that person not also be a candidate for Chemo?

    4) In reading cancer literature I keep coming across the Riordan Intravenous Vitamin C (IVC) protocol as part of mitigating effects of chemo on the patient, while increasing efficacy against the tumor. It sounds as if the IVC protocol is helping the patient’s body to detox. Is this approach unrelated to MTHFR? Does IVC somehow affect methylation as well?

    Any insight into this balancing act would be much appreciated.


  3. Julie February 21, 2016 at 6:55 am #

    I was wondering if you had any general advice for cancer survivors as they discover methylation gene variants, and attempt to address them with more appropriate supplements. I have already done most of the other lifestyle and environmental changes to optimize my continued good health. I was surprised at my new oncologist’s reaction when I told him I had been dx as compound heterozygous for C677T and A1298C, and was changing some of my vitamin supplements accordingly. He proceeded to tell me that the hemotologist oncologist postition was to not to deal with it, as if I was opening up a Pandora’s box. I have more holistic, alternative, naturopathic, and functional thinking, so I did’t get too concerned, but wanted input from you for all of us who are already dealing with life after cancer. Btw, it was follicular, and later dlbc lymphoma, in my case. Thanks!

  4. Julie February 21, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    One more thing- I did surprise my old oncologist by getting toxic earlier in chemo (R-CHOP) than he thought I would or “should”. I’m glad I stopped it at 6 infusions instead of going the 8 infusions he wanted. Now I know why I reacted that way! The only good thing seems to be that my poorer methylation status may have helped the cancerous cells die quicker? (That was 3+ years ago!) Thanks!


  1. Things That Plague Us: Cancer • MTHFR Living - March 13, 2014

    […] Dr. Ben Lynch explains, it can be difficult to find studies that definitively connect MTHFR and certain cancers. The cancer and methylation connection is much more conclusive. Some examples of cancer research in […]

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