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A critical review of the epidemiology of Agent Orange/TCDD and prostate cancer.

Authors
  • Chang, Ellen T
  • Boffetta, Paolo
  • Adami, Hans-Olov
  • Cole, Philip
  • Mandel, Jack S
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal of Epidemiology
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Oct 01, 2014
Volume
29
Issue
10
Pages
667–723
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10654-014-9931-2
PMID: 25064616
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

To inform risk assessment and regulatory decision-making, the relationship between 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and prostate cancer requires clarification. This article systematically and critically reviews the epidemiologic evidence on the association between exposure to TCDD or Agent Orange, a TCDD-contaminated herbicide used during the Vietnam War, and prostate cancer risk. Articles evaluated include 11 studies of three cohorts, four case-control or cross-sectional studies, and three case-only studies of military veterans with information on estimated Agent Orange or TCDD exposure; 13 studies of seven cohorts, one case-control study, and eight proportionate morbidity or mortality studies of Vietnam veterans without information on Agent Orange exposure; 11 cohort studies of workers with occupational exposure to TCDD; and two studies of one community cohort with environmental exposure to TCDD. The most informative studies, including those of Vietnam veterans involved in Agent Orange spraying or other handling, herbicide manufacturing or spraying workers with occupational TCDD exposure, and community members exposed to TCDD through an industrial accident, consistently reported no significant increase in prostate cancer incidence or mortality. Only some potentially confounded studies of Vietnam veterans compared with the general population, studies with unreliable estimates of Agent Orange exposure, and analyses of selected subgroups of Vietnam veterans reported positive associations. Overall, epidemiologic research offers no consistent or convincing evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to Agent Orange or TCDD and prostate cancer. More accurate exposure assessment is needed in large epidemiologic studies to rule out a causal association more conclusively.

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