Prenatal DDT Exposure Tied to Testicular Cancer Risk

Mothers of sons who developed cancer had a higher DDT to DDE ratio but lower levels of o,p'-DDT

FRIDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- In the early postpartum period, maternal serum DDT-related compounds appear to be associated with sons' risk of testicular cancer three decades later, according to a study in the July issue of the Archives of Environmental & Occupational Health.

In a nested case-control study, Barbara A. Cohn, Ph.D., of the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, Calif., and colleagues evaluated maternal serum levels of DDT-related compounds -- measured early in the postpartum period -- in relation to sons' risk of testicular cancer 30 years later. Their study included 15 of 9,744 live-born sons; the 15 were diagnosed with germ cell testicular cancer and had maternal serum samples available. The cases were each matched to three controls by birth year and race.

Despite a small sample size, the investigators found that mothers of sons diagnosed with germ cell testicular cancer had a significantly higher ratio of p,p'-DDT to p,p'-DDE and lower o,p'-DDT levels.

"Whether these associations could be direct, or operate via other pathways is unknown," the authors write. "Further research on interindividual differences in DDT metabolism could provide clues to testicular cancer etiology."

Full Text

Physician's Briefing