Organochlorine compounds in human breast fat from deceased with and without breast cancer and in a biopsy material from newly diagnosed patients undergoing breast surgery

Environ Res. 1984 Jun;34(1):24-8. doi: 10.1016/0013-9351(84)90072-0.


Epidemiological studies have related the incidence of mammary cancer to the dietary intake of fat and/or meat. Since organochlorine compounds (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) and DDT (and its metabolite DDE] are accumulated in the adipose tissue it was tempting to suggest a relationship between levels of PCB and "DDT" (i.e., DDT + DDE) in breast fat tissue and the occurrence of mammary cancer. To elucidate this theory, the organochlorine levels of 14 breast fat tissue samples from breast cancer patients and similar samples from 18 deceased mammary cancer patients were compared to that of 21 similar samples from noncancer patients and finally to adipose tissue samples from 35 non-cancer autopsy specimens. No significant differences were traced. Thus it seems that the accumulation of PCB and DDT measured in breast fat tissue do not relate to the occurrence of mammary cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / analysis*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Biopsy
  • Breast / analysis*
  • Breast / surgery
  • Breast Neoplasms / analysis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery
  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / analysis*


  • Dichlorodiphenyl Dichloroethylene
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls