A case-control study of childhood brain tumors and fathers' hobbies: a Children's Oncology Group study

Cancer Causes Control. 2008 Dec;19(10):1201-7. doi: 10.1007/s10552-008-9189-7. Epub 2008 Jun 17.


Objective: A comprehensive case-control study was conducted to evaluate parental risk factors for medulloblastoma (MB) and primitive neuroectodermal tumor (PNET). This analysis was conducted to evaluate associations between fathers' hobbies and risk of their children developing MB/PNET. The hobbies chosen for study were those with similar exposures as occupations associated with childhood cancers.

Methods: Cases were 318 subjects under six years of age at diagnosis between 1991 and 1997 and registered with the Children's Cancer Group. An equal number of controls were selected through random digit dialing and individually matched to cases.

Results: In multivariate analyses, a significant association was seen for lawn care with pesticides [during pregnancy: odds ratio (OR) = 1.6, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.0, 2.5; after birth: OR = 1.8, 95% CI: 1.2, 2.8] and a weak association was seen for stripping paint [during pregnancy: OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 0.8, 2.6; after birth: OR = 1.4, 95% CI: 0.7, 2.6].

Conclusions: This study suggests that household exposures from hobbies, particularly pesticides, may increase risk of MB/PNET in children; previous research has been mostly limited to occupational exposures.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Fathers*
  • Female
  • Hobbies*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / chemically induced*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neuroectodermal Tumors, Primitive / chemically induced*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pesticides / adverse effects


  • Pesticides