Persistent organochlorine chemicals in plasma and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Anneclaire J. De Roos, Patricia Hartge, Jay H. Lubin, Joanne S. Colt, Scott Davis, James R. Cerhan, Richard K. Severson, Wendy Cozen, Donald G. Patterson, Larry L. Needham, Nathaniel Rothman

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123 Scopus citations


Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) have been suspected as possible contributors to increasing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma incidence during the latter half of the 20th century based on their toxicologic properties and provocative epidemiologic reports. We investigated PCBs and other organochlorines and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in a population-based case-control study in the United States. Congeners of PCBs (including coplanar congeners), dioxins, furans and pesticides or pesticide metabolites were measured in plasma of 100 untreated cases and 100 control subjects. We used a multiple imputation procedure to fill in missing values of levels determined to be below the detection limits. Risks of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma associated with each analyte were estimated using conditional logistic regression for the continuous measure, exposure quartiles, trend across quartile categories, and exposures above the 95th percentile. Certain PCB congeners were associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, including coplanar PCBs 156, 180, and 194, with odds ratios for the highest versus lowest quartile ranging from 2.7 to 3.5, and significant trends. Each of the furan congeners was associated with risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, as were total furans, with 3.5-fold increased risk for the highest versus lowest quartile and a significant trend across quartiles (P = 0.006). The toxic equivalency quotient (TEQ), a summed metric that weights congeners by their dioxin-like potency, was associated with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, with 35% increased risk per 10 TEQ pg/g lipid (95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.79). Our results add to existing literature, which suggests that exposure to organochlorines contributes to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk; these risks were most apparent for certain PCBs and furans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11214-11226
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Research
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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