Maternal exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors during pregnancy is associated with pediatric germ cell tumors

By Hou-Wei Lin, Hai-Xia Feng, Lin Chen, Xiao-Jun Yuan, and Zhen Tan
Nagoya J Med Sci
June 30, 2020
DOI: 10.18999/nagjms.82.2.315

Environmental endocrine disruptors (EEDs) are natural or synthetic chemical compounds that interfere with normal endocrine function in both wildlife and humans. Previous studies have indicated that EEDs may contribute to oncogenesis. This study explores the relationship between EEDs and pediatric germ cell tumors (GCTs). A case-control study was conducted in 84 pediatric patients from 2014 to 2017, including 42 subjects with immature teratoma, yolk sac tumor, or germinoma, and 42 controls who experienced pneumonia or trauma. Serum PFASs, including PFBS, PFHpA, PFHxS, PFOA, PFOS, PFNA, PFDA, PFUA, PFOSA, and PFDoA, were measured in each subject, and their history of possible EED exposure was reviewed. Six of the 10 measured PFASs were significantly increased in the GCT group relative to the control group. With respect to lifestyle history, only PFHxS levels were statistically significantly associated with GCTs as determined by logistic regression analysis. The odds ratio for a 1 ng/L increase in PFHxS was 19.47 (95% CI: 4.20-90.26). Furthermore, in the GCT and control groups, both parental consumption of barbecued foods and hair dye use among parents were significantly correlated with elevated serum PFHxS levels (ρ = 0.383, 0.325 in the patient group and ρ = 0.370, 0.339 in the control group; < 0.05). Our study confirmed that children with GCTs from our institute had relatively high serum levels of PFASs relative to those of tumor-free pediatric patients. Serum PFHxS levels were independently associated with germ cell tumor occurrence.

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