In a population-based case control study of testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), we reported a strong positive association between serum levels of Wolff's Group 1 (potentially estrogenic) polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs) and risk of TGCT, and the observed associations were similar for both seminoma and non-seminoma. While the observed specific associations between TGCT and Wolff's Group 1 PCBs cannot be easily explained by bias or confounding, a question can still be asked, that is, could the relationship between PCBs and TGCT differ by age at diagnosis? PCBs tend to bioaccumulate, with more heavily chlorinated PCB congeners tending to have longer half-lives. Half-lives of PCB congeners were reported ranging from 4.6 years for PCB-28 to 41.0 years for PCB-156. The half-life for the heavy PCB congeners (17.8 years) was found to be approximately twice that for the light PCBs (9.6 years) in early studies. Therefore, the same PCB concentration measured in a 20-year-old vs. a 55-year-old is unlikely to represent the same lifetime PCB exposure or type of PCB exposure. In this analysis, we stratified the data by median age of diagnosis of TGCT and further stratified by histologic type of TGCT (seminoma vs non-seminoma) to explore if the risk of TGCT associated with PCB exposures differs by age.
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