Organochlorine compounds (DDE and PCB) in plasma and breast cyst fluid of women with benign breast disease
Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention
The organochlorines, dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane and polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) are pervasive environmental contaminants. Results from previous studies have been conflicting regarding the relationship between the internal dose of these organochlorine residues and breast cancer risk. To determine whether these compounds are present in breast cyst fluids and whether cyst fluid and plasma concentrations are correlated, we analyzed organochlorines in paired cyst fluid and plasma samples
... nd plasma samples from 24 subjects using gas chromatography and electron capture detection. All but one of the women had a history of multiple cysts, suggesting that they were at elevated risk for future breast cancer. DDE (a metabolite of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was present in 22 of the cyst samples and PCB was detected in 19 of the cyst samples. Organochlorine levels were more concentrated in the plasma than in breast cyst fluids. Levels of DDE in plasma were significantly correlated with those in cyst fluid (r = 0.73; P < 0.001); in contrast to PCB levels in cyst and plasma (r = 0.37; P = 0.12). Congener specific analysis of the PCBs showed that some individual congeners were preferentially excluded from or concentrated in the cyst fluid. To our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that PCB and DDE are present in cyst fluids and thus in contact with the ductal epithelium of the breast. These results support the use of plasma DDE as a proxy for DDE in the target tissue in research on the role of environmental factors in breast cancer.