OBJECTIVE Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) deleted on chromosome 10, as a tumor suppressor gene, is crucial for the development of both familial and sporadic breast cancer (BC). The aim of this study was to perform a meta-analysis to evaluate the clinicopathological significance of PTEN promoter hypermethylation in BC. METHODS A comprehensive literature search was made in PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, Chinese database (China National Knowledge Infrastructure [CNKI]), and Web of Science. The analysis of pooled data was performed with Review Manager 5.2. The fixed-effects or random-effects models were used to evaluate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). RESULTS The meta-analysis included eight studies and a total of 923 patients. The frequency of PTEN promoter hypermethylation was significantly increased in ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) compared to normal breast tissues (OR =22.53, P=0.0002 and OR =22.86, P<0.00001, respectively). However, the frequency of PTEN promoter hypermethylation was similar between IDC and DCIS. Additionally, PTEN methylation was not significantly correlated to estrogen receptor (ER) or human epidermal growth factor type 2 (HER-2) status in patients with BC. CONCLUSION PTEN promoter hypermethylation is significantly associated with the risk of DCIS and IDC, suggesting PTEN promoter hypermethylation is a valuable biomarker for diagnosis of BC.