Dimitrios Trichopoulos

Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention

Department of Epidemiology

Department of Epidemiology

677 Huntington Avenue
Kresge Building 901
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617.432.4560


Other Affiliations

Professor of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health; Member, Supreme Academy of Arts and Sciences, Athens, Greece.


M.D., 1963, University of Athens Medical School
M.S., 1968, Harvard School of Public Health
Ph.D., 1971, University of Athens Medical School


Dr. Trichopoulos’ main research interest is the evaluation of the hypothesis that hormone-dependent cancers have their origin in the intrauterine life. This hypothesis is compatible with experimental evidence and can explain why it takes more than two generations for the incidence of breast and prostate cancer in Asian immigrants to the U.S. to reach the four times higher incidence prevailing in the host population. The main postulate is that higher levels of pregnancy hormones favor the generation of a higher number of susceptible stem cells with compromised genomic stability. Research in collaboration with Drs. Cc Hsieh, HO Adami and other colleagues in Boston, Dr. Lagiou at the University of Athens Medical School, Drs. A. Ekbom and P. Hall at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), Dr. Vatten at the University of Trondheim (Norway), Dr. La Vecchia at the Mario Negri Institute (Italy), and other colleagues has provided supportive evidence for the hypothesis.

Dr. Trichopoulos has also studied the multifactorial etiology of hepatocellular cancer, with emphasis on the interactive effects of hepatitis B and C viruses, tobacco smoking and ethanol intake. Moreover, he continues his international collaborative work on the effects of human diet on health and disease and has co-edited two textbooks on epidemiology and cancer etiology published by Oxford University Press.


Selected publications

Trichopoulos D, MacMahon B, Cole P. Menopause and breast cancer risk. J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1972;48:605-613.

Trichopoulos D, Tabor E, Gerety R, Xirouchaki E, Sparos L, Munoz N, Linsell C. Hepatitis B and primary hepatocellular carcinoma in a European population. Lancet 1978;2:1217-1219.

Trichopoulos D, Kalandidi A, Sparos L, MacMahon B. Lung cancer and passive smoking. Int. J. Cancer 1981;27:1-4.

Trichopoulos D, Katsouyanni K, Zavitsanos X, Tzonou A, Dalla-Vorgia P. Psychological stress and fatal heart attack: The Athens (1981) earthquake natural experiment. Lancet 1983;1:441-444.

Trichopoulos D. Hypothesis: Does breast cancer originate in utero? Lancet 1990;335:939-940.

Trichopoulos D, Mollo F, Tomatis L, Agapitos E, Delsedime L, Zavitsanos X, Kalandidi A, Katsouyanni K, Riboli E, Saracci R. Active and passive smoking and pathological indicators of lung cancer risk in an autopsy study. JAMA 1992;268: 1697-1701.

Trichopoulou, A., Costacou, T., Bamia, C., Trichopoulos, D. Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population. N. Engl. J. Med. 2003;348:2599-2608.

Lagiou P, Trichopoulos D. Birth size and the pathogenesis of breast cancer. PLoS Med. 2008;5:e194.

Lagiou P, Hsieh CC, Lipworth L, Samoli E, Okulicz W, Troisi R, Xu B, Hall P, Ekbom A, Adami HO, Trichopoulos D. Insulin-like growth factor levels in cord blood, birth weight and breast cancer risk. Br J Cancer. 2009;100:1794-8.

Lagiou P, Samoli E, Okulicz W, Xu B, Lagiou A, Lipworth L, Georgila C, Vatten L, Adami HO, Trichopoulos D, Hsieh CC. Maternall and cord blood hormone levels in the United States and China and the intrauterine origin of breast cancer. Ann Oncol. 2011;22:1102-8.

Trichopoulos D, Bamia C, Lagiou P, Fedirko V, Trepo E, Jenab M, et al. Hepatocellular carcinoma risk factors and disease burden in a European cohort: a nested case-control study. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2011;103:1686-95.

Samoli E, Trichopoulos D, Lagiou A, Zourna P, Georgila C, Minaki P, Barbouni A, Vassilarou D, Tsikkinis A, Sfikas C, Spanos E, Lagiou P. The hormonal profile of benign breast disease. Br J Cancer. 2013;108:199-204.


Selected books

MacMahon B, Trichopoulos. Epidemiology: Principles and Methods, Second Edition. Boston: Little Brown, 1996. pp. xii+348.

Adami HO, Hunter D, Trichopoulos D, eds. Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology – 2nd Ed. Oxford University Press, New York, 2008. pp. xxxiii+748.

Olsen J, Saracci R, Trichopoulos D, eds. Teaching Epidemiology: a guide for teachers in epidemiology, public health and clinical medicine – 3 ed. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2010. pp 512.