Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 387–397 | Cite as

Maternal diet during pregnancy and unilateral retinoblastoma

  • Christina Lombardi
  • Arupa Ganguly
  • Greta R. Bunin
  • Saeedeh Azary
  • Vivian Alfonso
  • Beate Ritz
  • Julia E. Heck
Original Paper



Previous studies have suggested a role for parental diet in childhood cancer prevention, but there are few studies of retinoblastoma. The aim of this study was to examine the relation between maternal diet and unilateral retinoblastoma.


A case–control study of 163 unilateral RB cases and 136 controls ascertained information on maternal diet during pregnancy using a standardized food frequency questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to assess the relation between retinoblastoma and food groups and dietary patterns.


We observed a negative association between retinoblastoma and intake of fruit [odds ratio (OR) 0.38, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.14–1.02]. Positive associations were seen with intake of cured meats (OR 5.07, 95 % CI 1.63–15.70) and fried foods (OR 4.89, 95 % CI 1.72–13.89). A food pattern of high fruits and vegetables and low fried food and sweets was negatively associated with disease (OR 0.75, 95 % CI 0.61–0.92).


Our study provides preliminary evidence that mothers who consume diets higher in fruit and lower in fried foods and cured meats during pregnancy may reduce the risk of unilateral retinoblastoma in their offspring.


Retinoblastoma Risk factors Childhood cancer epidemiology Diet Fruit Fried food 



The authors would like to thank Negar Omidakhsh for her help with the manuscript. This work was supported in part by Grants from NIH/NCI (RO1-CA118580), NIH/NIEHS (R03ES021643, R21ES019986), and ARRA supplement (CA-118580-03S1). Dr. Azary was supported by a Grant from the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation/UCLA. Christina Lombardi was supported by the UCLA Career Development Program in Population-Based Cancer Prevention and Control Research (National Cancer Institute, R25CA087949).

Conflict of interest

The authors also state that there is no conflict of interest with respect to the contents of this manuscript for any individual author.

Supplementary material

10552_2014_514_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 31 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Lombardi
    • 1
  • Arupa Ganguly
    • 2
  • Greta R. Bunin
    • 3
  • Saeedeh Azary
    • 1
  • Vivian Alfonso
    • 1
  • Beate Ritz
    • 1
  • Julia E. Heck
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyUCLA Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public HealthLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Division of Oncology, Center for Childhood Cancer ResearchChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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