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Arch Environ Occup Health. 2010 Jul-Sep;65(3):127-34. doi: 10.1080/19338241003730887.

Prenatal DDT exposure and testicular cancer: a nested case-control study.

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Child Health and Development Studies, Center for Research on Women's and Children's Health, The Public Health Institute, Berkeley, California, USA.


The authors examined maternal serum levels of DDT-related compounds in relation to son's risk of testicular cancer 30 years later. Fifteen of 9,744 live-born sons were diagnosed with germ cell testicular cancer and had maternal serum samples. Cases were matched to three controls on race and birth year. Maternal serum DDT-related compounds, measured in the early postpartum, were associated with her son's risk of testicular cancer. Despite low statistical power, we observed that mothers of cases had a significantly higher ratio of p,p'-DDT (1,1,1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane) to p,p'-DDE (1,1'-dichloro-2,2'-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethylene) and lower o,p'-DDT (1,1,1-tricholoro-2-(p-chlororphenyl)-2-(o-chlorophenyl)ethane). These findings are consistent with earlier exposure to DDT and with slower p,p'-DDT elimination among mothers of cases. Whether these associations could be direct, or operate via other pathways is unknown. Further research on interindividual differences in DDT metabolism could provide clues to testicular cancer etiology.

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