Hormone use and risk for lung cancer: A pooled analysis from the International Lung Cancer Consortium (ILCCO)

A. C. Pesatori, M. Carugno, D. Consonni, R. J. Hung, A. Papadoupolos, M. T. Landi, H. Brenner, H. Müller, C. C. Harris, E. J. Duell, A. S. Andrew, J. R. McLaughlin, A. G. Schwartz, A. S. Wenzlaff, I. Stucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:The association between oral contraceptive (OC) use, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and lung cancer risk in women is still debated.Methods:We performed a pooled analysis of six case-control studies (1961 cases and 2609 controls) contributing to the International Lung Cancer Consortium. Potential associations were investigated with multivariable unconditional logistic regression and meta-analytic models. Multinomial logistic regressions were performed to investigate lung cancer risk across histologic types.Results:A reduced lung cancer risk was found for OC (odds ratio (OR)=0.81; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.68-0.97) and HRT ever users (OR=0.77; 95% CI: 0.66-0.90). Both oestrogen only and oestrogen+progestin HRT were associated with decreased risk (OR=0.76; 95% CI: 0.61-0.94, and OR=0.66; 95% CI: 0.49-0.88, respectively). No dose-response relationship was observed with years of OC/HRT use. The greatest risk reduction was seen for squamous cell carcinoma (OR=0.53; 95% CI: 0.37-0.76) in OC users and in both adenocarcinoma (OR=0.79; 95% CI: 0.66-0.95) and small cell carcinoma (OR=0.37; 95% CI: 0.19-0.71) in HRT users. No interaction with smoking status or BMI was observed.Conclusion:Our findings suggest that exogenous hormones can play a protective role in lung cancer aetiology. However, given inconsistencies with epidemiological evidence from cohort studies, further and larger investigations are needed for a more comprehensive view of lung cancer development in women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1964
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2013


  • exogenous hormones
  • hormone replacement therapy
  • lung cancer
  • oral contraceptives
  • pooled analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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