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Purpose: Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Catalase is one of the main defense mechanisms against oxidative stress. To exam ine the possible relationship between oxidative stress, and gastric and hepatocellular carcinomas, HinfI restriction length polymorphism (RFLP) in the human catalase gene was assessed. Materials and Methods: The genotype and allele frequencies in the promoter region of the catalase gene were studied by PCR-RFLP in 108 Korean controls, 80 Korean gastric carcinoma (GC) and 106 Korean hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. Results: No statistically significant differences were found in the genotypic distribution and allelic frequencies between the controls and both types of carcinoma patient. Conclusion: To address the possible contribution of oxidative stresses to the pathogenesis of gastric and hepatocellular carcinomas, the associations between the catalase gene polymorphism and GC and HCC susceptibilities were studied. As a result, the catalase gene polymorphism was found not to be determinant of GC and HCC susceptibilities. Further studies are required on various other oxidative stress related genes to elucidate the mechanisms of GC and HCC. (Cancer Res Treat. 2002;34:432-435)