Franke et al., 2021

Franke, Adrian A., Li, Xingnan, Shvetsov, Yurii B., & Lai, Jennifer F.; “Pilot study on the urinary excretion of the glyphosate metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid and breast cancer risk: The Multiethnic Cohort study;” Environmental Pollution, 2021, 277, 116848; DOI:


Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed female cancer and the second leading cause of death in women in the US, including Hawaii. Accumulating evidence suggests that aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), the primary metabolite of the herbicide glyphosate—a probable human carcinogen, may itself be carcinogenic. However, the relationship between urinary AMPA excretion and breast cancer risk in women is unknown. In this pilot study, we investigated the association between pre-diagnostic urinary AMPA excretion and breast cancer risk in a case-control study of 250 predominantly postmenopausal women: 124 cases and 126 healthy controls (individually matched on age, race/ethnicity, urine type, date of urine collection, and fasting status) nested within the Hawaii biospecimen subcohort of the Multiethnic Cohort. AMPA was detected in 90% of cases and 84% of controls. The geometric mean of urinary AMPA excretion was nearly 38% higher among cases vs. controls (0.087 vs 0.063 ng AMPA/mg creatinine) after adjusting for race/ethnicity, age and BMI. A 4.5-fold higher risk of developing breast cancer in the highest vs. lowest quintile of AMPA excretion was observed (ORQ5 vs. Q1: 4.49; 95% CI: 1.46–13.77; ptrend = 0.029). To our knowledge, this is the first study to prospectively examine associations between urinary AMPA excretion and breast cancer risk. Our preliminary findings suggest that AMPA exposure may be associated with increased breast cancer risk; however, these results require confirmation in a larger population to increase study power and permit careful examinations of race/ethnicity differences.