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Cancers (Basel). 2019 Jul 27;11(8). pii: E1063. doi: 10.3390/cancers11081063.

Persistent Organic Pollutants and Breast Cancer: A Systematic Review and Critical Appraisal of the Literature.

Ennour-Idrissi K1,2,3,4, Ayotte P3,5,6, Diorio C7,8,9,10.

Author information

1
Axe Oncologie, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1E 6W2, Canada.
2
Centre de Recherche sur le Cancer, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1R 3S3, Canada.
3
Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada.
4
Centre des Maladies du Sein Deschênes-Fabia, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement, Quebec City, QC G1S 4L8, Canada.
5
Axe santé des Populations et Pratiques Optimales en Santé, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1E 6W2, Canada.
6
Centre de Toxicologie du Québec (CTQ), INSPQ, Quebec City, QC G1V 5B3, Canada.
7
Axe Oncologie, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec-Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1E 6W2, Canada. Caroline.Diorio@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca.
8
Centre de Recherche sur le Cancer, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1R 3S3, Canada. Caroline.Diorio@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca.
9
Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec City, QC G1V 0A6, Canada. Caroline.Diorio@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca.
10
Centre des Maladies du Sein Deschênes-Fabia, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement, Quebec City, QC G1S 4L8, Canada. Caroline.Diorio@crchudequebec.ulaval.ca.

Abstract

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) bioaccumulate in the food chain and have been detected in human blood and adipose tissue. Experimental studies demonstrated that POPs can cause and promote growth of breast cancer. However, inconsistent results from epidemiological studies do not support a causal relationship between POPs and breast cancer in women. To identify individual POPs that are repeatedly found to be associated with both breast cancer incidence and progression, and to demystify the observed inconsistencies between epidemiological studies, we conducted a systematic review of 95 studies retrieved from three main electronic databases. While no clear pattern of associations between blood POPs and breast cancer incidence could be drawn, POPs measured in breast adipose tissue were more clearly associated with higher breast cancer incidence. POPs were more consistently associated with worse breast cancer prognosis whether measured in blood or breast adipose tissue. In contrast, POPs measured in adipose tissue other than breast were inversely associated with both breast cancer incidence and prognosis. Differences in biological tissues used for POPs measurement and methodological biases explain the discrepancies between studies results. Some individual compounds associated with both breast cancer incidence and progression, deserve further investigation.

KEYWORDS:

breast cancer; breast cancer prognostic; breast cancer risk; persistent organic pollutants; systematic review

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