Germ cell tumors of the testicle among aircraft repairmen

J Urol. 1986 Oct;136(4):834-6. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)45096-8.


A cluster of testicular germ cell tumors occurred among 3 of 153 white men who worked in a shop engaged in repair of exterior surfaces and electrical components of the airframes of F4 Phantom Jet aircraft. Evaluation of an occupationally identical shop at a second F4 rework facility at which there had been no previous reports of excess neoplasms revealed 4 additional men with a history of testicular germ cell tumors (p less than 0.01, Poisson, compared to the expected number of cases based on national incidence rates). Our investigation raises but does not prove a hypothesis of association between subsequent development of testicular germ cell cancer and history of extensive exposure to a mixture containing dimethylformamide, which had been used in F4 repair work at these facilities in the 1960s and 1970s. This represents the first report of 2 corresponding mini-epidemics of testicular tumors among workers in occupationally identical industrial settings.

MeSH terms

  • Aircraft
  • Dimethylformamide / toxicity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Space-Time Clustering
  • Testicular Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • United States


  • Dimethylformamide