Organochlorine pesticides accumulation and breast cancer: A hospital-based case-control study

Tumour Biol. 2017 May;39(5):1010428317699114. doi: 10.1177/1010428317699114.


The aim of this study is to detect the accumulation status of organochlorine pesticides in breast cancer patients and to explore the relationship between organochlorine pesticides contamination and breast cancer development. We conducted a hospital-based case-control study in 56 patients with breast cancer and 46 patients with benign breast disease. We detected the accumulation level of several organochlorine pesticides products (β-hexachlorocyclohexane, γ-hexachlorocyclohexane, polychlorinated biphenyls-28, polychlorinated biphenyls-52, pentachlorothioanisole, and pp'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane) in breast adipose tissues of all 102 patients using gas chromatography. Thereafter, we examined the expression status of estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), and Ki-67 in 56 breast cancer cases by immunohistochemistry. In addition, we analyzed the risk of breast cancer in those patients with organochlorine pesticides contamination using a logistic regression model. Our data showed that breast cancer patients suffered high accumulation levels of pp'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane and polychlorinated biphenyls-52. However, the concentrations of pp'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane and polychlorinated biphenyls-52 were not related to clinicopathologic parameters of breast cancer. Further logistic regression analysis showed polychlorinated biphenyls-52 and pp'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethane were risk factors for breast cancer. Our results provide new evidence on etiology of breast cancer.

Keywords: Breast cancer; case-control study; organochloride pesticides.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / chemistry
  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chlorobenzenes / isolation & purification
  • Chlorobenzenes / toxicity
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Female
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / isolation & purification
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / isolation & purification
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / toxicity*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pesticides / isolation & purification
  • Pesticides / toxicity*
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / isolation & purification
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / toxicity


  • Chlorobenzenes
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Pesticides
  • Hexachlorocyclohexane
  • pentachloromethylthiobenzene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls
  • beta-hexachlorocyclohexane