E-poster Presentation 2014 World Cancer Congress

The relationship between Agent Orange and cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis (#1214)

Vinayak Nagaraja 1 , Guy D Eslick 2
  1. Prince of Wales Hospital, University of New South Wales, Westmead, NSW, Australia
  2. Department of Surgery, The Whiteley-Martin Research Centre, Discipline of Surgery, The University of Sydney, Nepean Hospital, Sydney, NSW, Australia


It has been demonstrated that Agent Orange exposure increases the risk of developing several soft tissue malignancies. Nearly 10% of former South Vietnam was sprayed with phenoxy-herbacides as part of the United States campaign in Vietnam. Approximately 19 million gallons of Agent Orange were sprayed beginning in 1962, spraying intensified in 1967, and it was continued until 1971.


A systematic search was conducted using MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, Current Contents Connect, Cochrane library, Google Scholar, Science Direct, and Web of Science. Original data were abstracted from each study and used to calculate a pooled event rate (ER), odd ratio (OR) and 95% confidence interval (95% CI).


We identified 300 potentially eligible articles of which 17 studies proved eligible The search recognized; this included 6 studies that assessed the relationship between Agent Orange and Prostate cancer.  The pooled odds ratio for prostate cancer was 1.92 (95 % CI 1.74-2.13, p = 0.001). It was also observed that these patients developed the cancer earlier compared to their peers (58.37 years vs 61.23 years). However, this did not attain statistical significance.


Individuals who were exposed to Agent Orange had an increased incidence of cancer and evidence is strongest for Prostate cancer. Consideration should be made to classify this group of individuals as 'high risk,' just like patients with a family history of cancer. These observations are particularly important given the maturing of the Vietnam era veterans and their changing healthcare needs.