Association of colorectal polyps and cancer with low-dose persistent organic pollutants: A case-control study.
PLoS One. 2018 ;13(12):e0208546. Epub 2018 Dec 6. PMID: 30521631
BACKGROUND: Low-dose persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have recently been linked to immunosenescence, a key mechanism in carcinogenesis, as well as many aging-related chronic diseases. Since feces are the main excretion route of POPs, the large intestine is a potential target organ for these pollutants. We performed a case-control study to evaluate whether exposure to low-dose POPs is related to the risk of colorectal polyps and cancer.
METHODS: A total of 277 participants were recruited from one hospital: 99 cancer patients, 102 polyp patients, and 76 control subjects. As typical examples of POPs, we measured the serum concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
RESULTS: Across the tertiles of the summary measure of POPs, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of colorectal polyps and cancer were 2.8 (1.2-6.8) (Ptrend = 0.01) and 3.0 (1.0-8.8) (Ptrend = 0.02), respectively, for subjects in the highest tertile. When OCPs and PCBs were analyzed separately, OCPs were linked to an increased risk of both polyps and cancer; the adjusted ORs were 2.3 (0.9-5.7) (Ptrend = 0.05) for polyps and 3.6 (1.1-11.8) (Ptrend<0.01) for cancer. However, PCBs were only significantly associated with a high risk of polyps but not cancer; the adjusted OR was 2.8 (1.2-6.6) (Ptrend = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Chronic exposure to low-dose POPs may be associated with an increased risk of colorectal polyps and cancer. Our findings suggest the carcinogenic potential of strong lipophilic chemical mixtures such as POPs which are accumulated in adipose tissue, released to circulation, and eliminated through feces.