Clustering of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is associated with increased levels of the environmental toxins benzene and trichloroethylene in the state of Georgia.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma arising in the skin. Geographic clustering of CTCL has recently been reported, but its association with environmental factors is unknown. Benzene and trichloroethylene (TCE) are environmental toxins with carcinogenic properties. The authors investigated associations between geographic clustering of CTCL incidence in the state of Georgia with benzene and TCE exposure. METHODS: The statewide county-level incidence of CTCL within Georgia was obtained from the Georgia Cancer Registry for the years 1999 to 2015. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated by dividing observed cases by expected cases using national incidence rates by age, sex, and race. Clustering of CTCL was analyzed using spatial analyses. County-level concentrations of benzene and TCE between 1996 and 2014 were collected from the Environmental Protection Agency's National Air Toxics Assessment database. Linear regression analyses on CTCL incidence were performed comparing SIRs with levels of benzene and TCE by county. RESULTS: There was significant geographic clustering of CTCL in Georgia, particularly around Atlanta, which was correlated with an increased concentration of benzene and TCE exposure. Among the 4 most populous counties in Georgia, CTCL incidence was between 1.2 and 1.9 times higher than the state average, and benzene and TCE levels were between 2.9 and 8.8 times higher. CONCLUSIONS: The current results demonstrate nonrandom geographic clustering of CTCL incidence in Georgia. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first analysis to identify a correlation between geographic clustering of CTCL and environmental toxic exposures.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Clough, L; Bayakly, AR; Ward, KC; Khan, MK; Chen, SC; Lechowicz, MJ; Flowers, CR; Allen, PB; Switchenko, JM

Published Date

  • April 15, 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 126 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 1700 - 1707

PubMed ID

  • 31943154

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7328827

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0142

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/cncr.32665


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States