Agricultural risk factors for t(14;18) subtypes of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

Jane C. Schroeder, Andrew F. Olshan, Ralph Baric, Georgette A. Dent, Clarice R. Weinberg, Boyd Yount, James R. Cerhan, Charles F. Lynch, Leonard M. Schuman, Paige E. Tolbert, Nathaniel Rothman, Kenneth P. Cantor, Aaron Blair

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103 Scopus citations


The t(14;18) translocation is a common somatic mutation in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) that is associated with bcl-2 activation and inhibition of apoptosis. We hypothesized that some risk factors might act specifically along t(14;18)-dependent pathways, leading to stronger associations with t(14;18)-positive than t(14;18)-negative non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Archival biopsies from 182 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cases included in a case-control study of men in Iowa and Minnesota (the Factors Affecting Rural Men, or FARM study) were assayed for t(14;18) using polymerase chain reaction amplification; 68 (37%) were t (14;18)-positive. We estimated adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for various agricultural risk factors and t(14;18)-positive and -negative cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, based on polytomous logistic regression models fit using the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm. T(14;18)-positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma was associated with farming (OR 1.4, 95% CI = 0.9-2.3), dieldrin (OR 3.7, 95% CI = 1.9-7.0), toxaphene (OR 3.0, 95% CI = 1.5-6.1), lindane (OR 2.3, 95% CI = 1.3-3.9), atrazine (OR 1.7, 95% CI = 1.0-2.8), and fungicides (OR 1.8, 95% CI = 0.9-3.6), in marked contrast to null or negative associations for the same self-reported exposures and t(14;18)-negative non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Causal relations between agricultural exposures and t(14;18)-positive non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are plausible, but associations should be confirmed in a larger study. Results suggest that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma classification based on the t(14;18) translocation is of value in etiologic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)701-709
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2001


  • Agriculture
  • Bcl-2
  • Case-control studies
  • EM algorithm
  • Genes
  • Lymphoma
  • Molecular
  • Non-Hodgkin
  • Pesticides
  • Translocation (genetics)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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