Epidemiologic Evidence on Mobile Phones and Tumor Risk A Review

Department of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) (Impact Factor: 6.2). 08/2009; 20(5):639-52. DOI: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3181b0927d
Source: PubMed


This review summarizes and interprets epidemiologic evidence bearing on a possible causal relation between radiofrequency field exposure from mobile phone use and tumor risk. In the last few years, epidemiologic evidence on mobile phone use and the risk of brain and other tumors of the head in adults has grown in volume, geographic diversity of study settings, and the amount of data on longer-term users. However, some key methodologic problems remain, particularly with regard to selective nonresponse and inaccuracy and bias in recall of phone use. Most studies of glioma show small increased or decreased risks among users, although a subset of studies show appreciably elevated risks. We considered methodologic features that might explain the deviant results, but found no clear explanation. Overall the studies published to date do not demonstrate an increased risk within approximately 10 years of use for any tumor of the brain or any other head tumor. Despite the methodologic shortcomings and the limited data on long latency and long-term use, the available data do not suggest a causal association between mobile phone use and fast-growing tumors such as malignant glioma in adults (at least for tumors with short induction periods). For slow-growing tumors such as meningioma and acoustic neuroma, as well as for glioma among long-term users, the absence of association reported thus far is less conclusive because the observation period has been too short.

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Available from: Leeka Kheifets, Oct 05, 2015
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    • "From a communications standpoint, it is necessary to clearly and transparently inform about the pro and contra arguments for the classification based on the selected evidence. The other positive study [Hardell et al., 2009] was clearly demonstrated [Ahlbom et al., 2009] to be an outlier compared with the majority of other epidemiological studies. While IARC's definition of 2B was technically complied with, because two epidemiology studies showed positive results, there is considerable doubt about the interpretation of what is a positive effect. "
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    ABSTRACT: In May 2011, the International Agency on Cancer in Research (IARC) issued an official statement concluding that cell phone usage was “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” There have been considerable doubts that non-experts and experts alike fully understood what IARC's categorization actually meant, as “possibly carcinogenic” can be interpreted in many ways. The present study is based on an online survey indicating that both the characterization of the probability of carcinogenicity, as well as the description of the risk increase given in the IARC press release, was mostly misunderstood by study participants. Respondents also greatly overestimated the magnitude of the potential risk. Our study results showed that IARC needs to improve their scientific communications. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Bioelectromagnetics 07/2014; 35(5). DOI:10.1002/bem.21851 · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    • "The case–control design is widely accepted as one of the most useful methods to analyze the relationship between mobile phone use and vestibular schwannoma. However, these studies are known to be vulnerable to selection and recall biases [5, 19]. The case–case study design is also vulnerable to selection and recall biases, but the situation is less complicated than in case–control studies [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Vestibular schwannomas (VSs) grow in the region where the energy from mobile phone use is absorbed. We examined the associations of VSs with mobile phone use. This study included 119 patients who had undergone surgical tumor removal. We used two approaches in this investigation. First, a case–control study for the association of mobile phone use and incidence of VSs was conducted. Both cases and controls were investigated with questions based on INTERPHONE guidelines. Amount of mobile phone use according to duration, daily amount, and cumulative hours were compared between two groups. We also conducted a case–case study. The location and volume of the tumors were investigated by MRI. Associations between the estimated amount of mobile phone use and tumor volume and between the laterality of phone use and tumor location were analyzed. In a case–control study, the odds ratio (OR) of tumor incidence according to mobile phone use was 0.956. In the case–case study, tumor volume and estimated cumulative hours showed a strong correlation (r2 = 0.144, p = 0.002), and regular mobile phone users showed tumors of a markedly larger volume than those of non-regular users (p < 0.001). When the analysis was limited to regular users who had serviceable hearing, laterality showed a strong correlation with tumor side (OR = 4.5). We found that tumors may coincide with the more frequently used ear of mobile phones and tumor volume that showed strong correlation with amount of mobile phone use, thus there is a possibility that mobile phone use may affect tumor growth. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s13277-013-1081-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    Tumor Biology 08/2013; 35(1). DOI:10.1007/s13277-013-1081-8 · 3.61 Impact Factor
    • "The results of epidemiological studies on RF and disease risk published to date have not been entirely consistent, reflecting methodological differences and limitations, and hence the need for more rigorous studies [2] [3] [4] [5]. To date the largest epidemiological study on the possible relation between RF and brain cancer has been the Interphone study. "
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    ABSTRACT: Chrysotile, a serpentine asbestos fibre, is the only type of asbestos produced and consumed in the world today. It is an established human carcinogen. We have begun fieldwork on a retrospective cohort study of employees of one of the world's largest chrysotile mine and mills, situated in Asbest, Russia. The primary aim of the study is to better characterize and quantify the risk of cancer mortality in terms of (i) the dose-response relationship of exposure with risk; (ii) the range of cancer sites affected, including female-specific cancers; and (iii) effects of duration of exposure and latency periods. This information will expand our understanding of the scale of the impending cancer burden due to chrysotile, including if chrysotile use ceased worldwide forthwith. Herein we describe the scientific rationale for conducting this study and the main features of its study design.
    04/2013; 37(4). DOI:10.1016/j.canep.2013.03.001
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