Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 5, pp 567–580

Serum organochlorines and breast cancer risk in Japanese women: a case–control study

  • Hiroaki Itoh
  • Motoki Iwasaki
  • Tomoyuki Hanaoka
  • Yoshio Kasuga
  • Shiro Yokoyama
  • Hiroshi Onuma
  • Hideki Nishimura
  • Ritsu Kusama
  • Shoichiro Tsugane
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-008-9265-z

Cite this article as:
Itoh, H., Iwasaki, M., Hanaoka, T. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2009) 20: 567. doi:10.1007/s10552-008-9265-z

Abstract

Objective

Most epidemiological studies of the association between breast cancer risk and exposure to organochlorine pesticides or polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are suspected endocrine disrupters and potential risk factors for human breast cancer, have been conducted in western countries, and the majority of results have been null and the rest inconsistent. Here, we examined these associations in Japanese women in the largest study in Asian women to date.

Methods

The study was a matched case–control study of breast cancer with 403 eligible matched pairs from May 2001 to September 2005 at four hospitals in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Measurements

Serum samples were measured for PCBs and nine pesticide-related organochlorines, including dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Odds ratios of breast cancer or its hormone-receptor-defined subtypes according to serum organochlorines were calculated.

Results

No increase in the risk of breast cancer was seen among women with higher serum concentrations of any organochlorine: o,p′-DDT, p,p′-DDT, p,p′-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene, hexachlorobenzene, β-hexachlorocyclohexane, trans-nonachlor, cis-nonachlor, oxychlordane, mirex, or PCBs. Rather, higher serum levels of cis-nonachlor, mirex, or total PCBs were associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer

Conclusions

Overall, these results suggest that breast cancer risk in Japan, a low-incidence country, is similar to that in western countries in terms of organochlorine exposure.

Keywords

Hormone receptorPCBsDDTDDEMirex

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Itoh
    • 1
  • Motoki Iwasaki
    • 1
  • Tomoyuki Hanaoka
    • 1
  • Yoshio Kasuga
    • 2
    • 3
  • Shiro Yokoyama
    • 4
  • Hiroshi Onuma
    • 4
  • Hideki Nishimura
    • 5
  • Ritsu Kusama
    • 6
  • Shoichiro Tsugane
    • 1
  1. 1.Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and ScreeningNational Cancer CenterChuo-kuJapan
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryNagano Matsushiro General HospitalMatsushiro-cho, Nagano CityJapan
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryShinshu University School of MedicineMatsumotoJapan
  4. 4.Department of Breast and Thyroid SurgeryNagano Red Cross HospitalNagano CityJapan
  5. 5.Department of Respiratory SurgeryNagano Municipal HospitalNagano CityJapan
  6. 6.Department of SurgeryHokushin General HospitalNakano CityJapan