Purpose: The majority of previous studies have observed an increased risk of mucinous ovarian tumors associated with cigarette smoking, but the association with other histological types is unclear. In a large pooled analysis, we examined the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer associated with multiple measures of cigarette smoking with a focus on characterizing risks according to tumor behavior and histology.
Methods: We used data from 21 case-control studies of ovarian cancer (19,066 controls, 11,972 invasive and 2,752 borderline cases). Study-specific odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) were obtained from logistic regression models and combined into a pooled odds ratio using a random effects model.
Results: Current cigarette smoking increased the risk of invasive mucinous (OR = 1.31; 95 % CI: 1.03-1.65) and borderline mucinous ovarian tumors (OR = 1.83; 95 % CI: 1.39-2.41), while former smoking increased the risk of borderline serous ovarian tumors (OR = 1.30; 95 % CI: 1.12-1.50). For these histological types, consistent dose-response associations were observed. No convincing associations between smoking and risk of invasive serous and endometrioid ovarian cancer were observed, while our results provided some evidence of a decreased risk of invasive clear cell ovarian cancer.
Conclusions: Our results revealed marked differences in the risk profiles of histological types of ovarian cancer with regard to cigarette smoking, although the magnitude of the observed associations was modest. Our findings, which may reflect different etiologies of the histological types, add to the fact that ovarian cancer is a heterogeneous disease.