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Chlordecone exposure and risk of prostate cancer
Date:6/22/2010

In an article to be published on 21 June 2010 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers from Inserm (Inserm unit 625 Research Group on Human and Mammalian Reproduction, University of Rennes 1), the CHU (University Hospital Centre) in Pointe Pitre (urology department, University of the French West Indies and Guiana) and from the Center for Analytical Research and Technology (University of Lige, Belgique), show that exposure to chlordecone (also named Kepone), an organochlorine chemical with well defined estrogenic properties used in the French West Indies until 1993, is associated to a significant increased risk of prostate cancer.

Chlordecone is an organochlorine insecticide used in the French West Indies from 1973 to 1993 to control the banana root borer. Permanently polluted soils and waters have remained the primary source of foodstuff contamination, and humans being continue to be exposed to this chemical. Chlordecone is recognized as endocrine disruptor, and is classified by IARC/WHO as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

Research results to be published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology come from an interdisciplinary prostate cancer epidemiology program named Karuprostate (from Karukera, the original Caribbean name of Guadeloupe). A case control study compared the characteristics of 709 consecutive incident cases of prostate cancer and 723 controls without prostate cancer. One of the main objectives of the research programme was to test the hypothesis that chlordecone exposure favors the development of prostate cancer in the French West Indies. Chlordecone exposure was evaluated by measuring its concentration in the blood.

The analysis of the results by the researchers shows that chlordecone exposure is associated to a significant increase in the risk of prostate cancer with increasing plasma chlordecone concentration. These results are supported by the fact that men, presenting genetic variations which
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Contact: Luc Multigner
luc.multigner@inserm.fr
33-144-236-086
INSERM (Institut national de la sant et de la recherche mdicale)
Source:Eurekalert

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