Adipose Concentrations of Organochlorine Compounds and Breast Cancer Recurrence in Long Island, New York

Joshua E. Muscat, Julie A. Britton, Mirjana V. Djordjevic, Marc L. Citron, Margaret Kemeny, Erna Busch-Devereaux, Brian Pittman, Steven D. Stellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


Several studies have measured the association between blood or adipose concentrations of organochlorinated compounds (OCs), such as pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and breast cancer. The estrogenic effects of OCs might adversely affect breast cancer recurrence. The participants were 224 women with nonmetastatic breast cancer enrolled in a New York-based case-control study. Supercritical fluid extraction followed by gas chromatography was conducted on adipose surgical specimens to determine OC concentrations. The mean follow-up time from surgery was 3.6 years. Thirty women (13.4%) were diagnosed with a recurrence. The concentration of pesticides and PCBs was correlated with baseline age and body mass index, but not with cancer stage. The highest tertile of total PCB concentration was associated with an increased risk of recurrence [relative risk (RR), 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.02-8.2 versus the lowest tertile]. The risk for the highest tertile of the PCB congener Ballschmiter and Zell 118 was 4.0 (95% CI, 1.3-4.9). There was an increased risk for the middle level of the most abundant pesticide, 1,1-dichloro-2,2-di(4-chlorophenyl)ethylene (RR, 2.3; 95% CI, 0.9-5.7), and for β-hexachlorocyclohexane, but not for their highest levels. Self-reported home termiticide exposure, alcohol consumption (≥1 drink/day), and race were not associated with prognosis. The RR for current cigarette smoking at diagnosis was 2.1 (95% CI, 0.9-5.1). In contrast to previous data showing no relationship between OC exposure and risk of breast cancer in these women, adipose PCB concentrations were associated with tumor recurrence. Pesticide levels were not related to recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1474-1478
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Adipose Concentrations of Organochlorine Compounds and Breast Cancer Recurrence in Long Island, New York'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this