Background: The aetiology of glioma remains largely unknown. Occupational solvent exposure has been suggested as a putative cause of glioma, but past studies have been inconsistent. We examined the association between a range of solvents and glioma risk within the INTEROCC project, a study of brain tumours and occupational exposures based on data from seven national case-control studies conducted in the framework of the INTERPHONE study. We also investigated associations according to tumour grade.
Methods: Data from the seven countries were standardised and then combined into one aggregate data set. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) were estimated for adjusted models that included sex, age, country-region of residence and level of educational attainment. Exposures to any solvent or 11 specific solvents or subgroups were assessed using a modified version of the FINJEM job exposure matrix (JEM) specifically developed for the study, called INTEROCC-JEM.
Results: Analysis included 2000 glioma cases and 5565 controls. For glioma and ever/never exposure to any solvent, the OR was 0.91 (95% confidence interval: 0.74-1.11). All ORs were <1.0 for specific solvents/subgroups. There were no increases in risk according to high or low grade of tumour.
Conclusions: The results of this study show no consistent associations for any solvent exposures overall or by grade of tumour.