Systematic Review of Wireless Phone Use and Brain Cancer and Other Head Tumors

Department of Information Engineering, Electronics and Telecommunications, "La Sapienza" University of Rome, Italy.
Bioelectromagnetics (Impact Factor: 1.71). 04/2012; 33(3):187-206. DOI: 10.1002/bem.20716
Source: PubMed


We conducted a systematic review of scientific studies to evaluate whether the use of wireless phones is linked to an increased incidence of the brain cancer glioma or other tumors of the head (meningioma, acoustic neuroma, and parotid gland), originating in the areas of the head that most absorb radiofrequency (RF) energy from wireless phones. Epidemiology and in vivo studies were evaluated according to an agreed protocol; quality criteria were used to evaluate the studies for narrative synthesis but not for meta-analyses or pooling of results. The epidemiology study results were heterogeneous, with sparse data on long-term use (≥ 10 years). Meta-analyses of the epidemiology studies showed no statistically significant increase in risk (defined as P < 0.05) for adult brain cancer or other head tumors from wireless phone use. Analyses of the in vivo oncogenicity, tumor promotion, and genotoxicity studies also showed no statistically significant relationship between exposure to RF fields and genotoxic damage to brain cells, or the incidence of brain cancers or other tumors of the head. Assessment of the review results using the Hill criteria did not support a causal relationship between wireless phone use and the incidence of adult cancers in the areas of the head that most absorb RF energy from the use of wireless phones. There are insufficient data to make any determinations about longer-term use (≥ 10 years).

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    • "The huge diffusion of communication technologies based on radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) fields, such as mobile communications (GSM, UMTS) and wireless data transfer (Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, Bluetooth, ZigBee, etc.), and their massive use in crowded environments, where people last for long time periods, as schools, hospitals, offices, and transportation means, have led to concern on possible health effects of this kind of low-level multiple exposure. As a consequence, a lot of in vitro, in vivo, and epidemiological studies have been carried out, often leading to conflicting results, as evident from literature reviews [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies identified the train compartment as the place where people can experience the highest exposure levels (still below the international guideline limits) to electromagnetic fields in the radiofrequency range. Here a possible scenario of a train compartment has been reproduced and characterized, both numerically and experimentally. A good agreement between the simulated electric field distributions and measurements has been found. Results indicate that the higher values of exposure in specific positions inside the train compartment depend on the number of active cell phones, the bad coverage condition, the cell orientation, and the presence of metallic walls. This study shows that the proposed approach, based on the scenarios characterization, may efficiently support the assessment of the individual electromagnetic exposure.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · BioMed Research International
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    • "The issue related to RF emitted from mobile phone use and the development of brain cancer was examined in several epidemiological investigations. The data were controversial: some suggested increased incidence of brain and other types of cancers while the others did not (reviewed in Repacholi et al. 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is widespread concern among the general public regarding the ever increasing use of mobile phones. The concern is mainly because the antenna which transmits nonionizing radiofrequency fields is held close to the head during use and thus might cause brain cancer. By far, the largest epidemiological study was conducted by the INTER-PHONE study group and the results were published in 2011. The author's conclusions were (i) no increased risk of meningioma and glioma in mobile phone users and (ii) there were suggestions of an increased risk for glioma at the highest exposure levels but, bias and error prevented a causal interpretation. We have carefully examined all of the odd ratios presented in the INTERPHONE study publication: our results showed 24.3% decreased and 0.7% increased risk for meningioma and 22.1% decreased and 6.6% increased risk for glioma. Hence, we hypothesize that the overwhelming evidence for the decreased risk for both diseases may be due to the induction of 'adaptive response' which is well-documented in scientific literature.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2014 · Dose-Response
    • "After entering the " Overviews " page in the EMF-portal, the group of " mobile phone related epidemiological studies " was accessed (160 papers), and the " brain cancer " subgroup was selected (75 articles). The completeness of the EMF-Portal list was evaluated by cross-checking it with references stored in our personal archives and with those quoted by recent reviews [Repacholi et al., 2012; Advisory Group on Non- Ionizing Radiation (AGNIR), 2012]. Eight additional relevant papers were identified and their main features recorded in our study-file, which in the end consisted of 83 papers. "
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    ABSTRACT: A meta-analysis of studies on intracranial tumors and mobile phone use published by the end of 2012 was performed to evaluate the overall consistency of findings, assess the sensitivity of results to changes in the dataset, and try to detect the sources of between-study heterogeneity. Twenty-nine papers met our inclusion criteria. These papers reported on 47 eligible studies (17 on glioma, 15 on meningioma, 15 on acoustic neuroma), consisting of either primary investigations or pooled analyses. Five combinations of non-overlapping studies per outcome were identified. The combined relative risks (cRRs) in long-term mobile phone users (≥10 years) ranged between 0.98 (0.75-1.28) and 1.11 (0.86-1.44) for meningioma, with little heterogeneity across studies. High heterogeneity was detected across estimates of glioma and acoustic neuroma risk in long term users, with cRRs ranging between 1.19 (95% CI 0.86-1.64) and 1.40 (0.96-2.04), and from 1.14 (0.65-1.99) to 1.33 (0.65-2.73), respectively. A meta-regression of primary studies showed that the methodological differences embedded in the variable "study-group" explained most of the overall heterogeneity in results. Summary risk estimates based on heterogeneous findings should not be over-interpreted. Overall, the results of our study detract from the hypothesis that mobile phone use affects the occurrence of intracranial tumors. However, reproducibility (or lack of) is just one clue in the critical appraisal of epidemiological evidence. Based on other considerations, such as the limited knowledge currently available on risk beyond 15 years from first exposure, or following mobile phone use started in childhood, the pursuance of epidemiological surveillance is warranted. Bioelectromagnetics. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2014 · Bioelectromagnetics
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