Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and hexachlorobenzene, semen quality and testicular cancer risk

D. Paoli, F. Giannandrea, M. Gallo, R. Turci, M. S. Cattaruzza, F. Lombardo, A. Lenzi, L. Gandini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We carried out a case-control study to investigate the possible role of occupational and environmental exposure to endocrine disruptors in the onset of testicular cancer (TC). Methods: We evaluated 125 TC patients and 103 controls. Seminal fluid examination and organochlorine analysis were performed in all subjects. Cases and controls were also interviewed using a structured questionnaire to collect demographic information, residence, andrological medical history and dietary information. Results: We found that a higher level of reproductive tract birth defects was associated with a higher risk of TC. With regard to diet, cases reported a higher consumption of milk and dairy products than controls. Overall, there was a statistically significant increase in TC risk in cases with detectable values of total polychlorinated organic compounds against controls (14.4 vs. 1.0 %; p <0.001). TC patients with detectable levels of organochlorines had lower mean semen parameters than those with undetectable levels, although this difference was not statistically significant. Conclusion: The International Agency for Research on Cancer recently included dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in Group 1 of known human carcinogens. Our study confirmed and identified various risk factors for testicular cancer: cryptorchidism, consumption of milk and dairy products, parents' occupation and serum concentration of hexachlorobenzene and PCBs and, for the first time, we showed the correlation between semen quality and the serum concentration of these pollutants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)745-752
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Endocrinological Investigation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2015


  • Environmental exposure
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Semen quality
  • Testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls and hexachlorobenzene, semen quality and testicular cancer risk'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this