Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
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PCB residues in a breast cancer patient population
Charlier, C., Pitance, F., Plomteux, G. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxico. 2003. 71:5, 887-91.
Topic area
Environmental pollutant - Organochlorine, PCB
Study design
Hospital based case-control
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Pre menopausal
Post menopausal
Number of Controls
Controls: 100
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Cases were women presenting to the clinic for breast cancer related surgery. Control subjects were randomly selected in a population of women consulting for routine vaginal cytological examinations.
Exposures investigated
Serum organochlorine concentrations
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Confounding was not controlled for.
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
The frequency of various PCB congeners in serum samples was assessed. Concentrations of PCB congeners 52, 101, 138, and 153 were compared between breast cancer cases and controls.
Strength of associations reported
No significant differences were found in the concentrations of PCB congeners 52 and 138. Cases has significantly higher levels of congeners 101 and 153.
Odds ratios were not calculated.
Results Comments
Comparisons between cases and controls were not controlled for confounding (for example age or lactation status).
Author address
Clinical Toxicology Laboratory, Sart Tilman University Hospital, University of Liege, 4000 Liege, Belgium.