Decreased survival in pancreatic cancer patients with high concentrations of organochlorines in adipose tissue

Biomed Pharmacother. 2007 Dec;61(10):659-64. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2007.04.006. Epub 2007 May 22.


We analysed adipose tissue concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in 21 cases with exocrine pancreatic cancer. The comparison group consisted of 59 subjects. Significantly increased concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB), sum of chlordanes and polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) were found in the cases. For 1,1,-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p'-DDE) no significant difference was seen. For PCBs no odds ratio (OR) could be calculated since all cases had concentration>median in controls used as a cut-off. HCB yielded OR=53.0, 95% confidence interval (CI)=4.64-605 and sum of chlordanes OR=18.4, 95% CI=2.71-124 whereas OR was not significantly increased for p,p'-DDE or PBDEs. Body mass index (BMI) at the time of tissue sampling was significantly lower for the cases. This might have influenced the results. Using BMI one year previously or decreasing the concentrations of POPs with the same percentage as weight loss among the cases did not change the results. Survival of the cases was shorter in the group with the concentration of POPs>median among cases, significantly so for the sum of PCBs (147 vs. 294 days), p,p'-DDE (134 vs. 302 days), and sum of chlordanes (142 vs. 294 days) in the high and low group, respectively. The results were based on a low number of cases and should be interpreted with caution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chlordan / analysis
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated / metabolism
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / analysis
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / metabolism*
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Pesticide Residues / analysis
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survival
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Hydrocarbons, Brominated
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Pesticide Residues
  • Chlordan
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls