Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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Molecular epidemiologic studies of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon-DNA adducts and breast cancer
Rundle, A., Tang, D., Hibshoosh, H., Schnabel, F., Kelly, A., Levine, R., Zhou, J., Link, B., Perera, F. Environ Mol Mutagen. 2002. 39:2-3, 201-7.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - PAHs
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women referred for breast surgery and diagnosed with malignancy or benign breast disease. Healthy women going for routine gynecological exam at clinic.
Exposures investigated
PAH-DNA adducts in tumor, non-tumor, and benign breast tissue and in serum.
Breast cancer outcome investigated
Primary breast cancer
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked “Yes.” “No”, if not.
Description of major analysis
Student's T-test, logistic regression
Strength of associations reported
PAH-DNA adduct scoring was highly reliable, but the technician had a significant effect on scoring. Women with BBD and breast cancer had similar likelihood of having a family history of disease.
Results Comments
Presentation of odds ratios for breast cancer risk factors shows the difficulty of discerning risk factors in this small study: family history is not statistically significantly associated with case control status. "It is not yet clear whether the stronger association seen with measurement in tumor tissue reflects a tumor effect on adduct formation or a potential role of adducts in tumor progression." Use of BBD controls may result in selection bias (selecting more women with family history) and could bias results to the null.
Author address
Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.