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INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY

Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use. This study confirmed previous results of an association between mobile and cordless phone use and malignant brain tumours. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that RF-EMFs play a role both in the initiation and promotion stages of carcinogenesis.

Jueves 26 de septiembre de 2013 · 383 lecturas

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ONCOLOGY

Case-control study of the association between malignant
brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009
and mobile and cordless phone use

Abstract. Previous studies have shown a consistent association
between long-term use of mobile and cordless phones and
glioma and acoustic neuroma, but not for meningioma. When
used these phones emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields
(RF-EMFs) and the brain is the main target organ for the handheld
phone. The International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) classified in May, 2011 RF-EMF as a group 2B, i.e.
a possible’ human carcinogen. The aim of this study was to
further explore the relationship between especially long-term
(>10 years) use of wireless phones and the development of
malignant brain tumours. We conducted a new case-control
study of brain tumour cases of both genders aged 18-75 years
and diagnosed during 2007-2009. One population-based
control matched on gender and age (within 5 years) was used
to each case. Here, we report on malignant cases including
all available controls. Exposures on e.g. use of mobile phones
and cordless phones were assessed by a self-administered
questionnaire. Unconditional logistic regression analysis was
performed, adjusting for age, gender, year of diagnosis and
socio-economic index using the whole control sample. Of the
cases with a malignant brain tumour, 87% (n=593) participated,
and 85% (n=1,368) of controls in the whole study answered the
questionnaire. The odds ratio (OR) for mobile phone use of the
analogue type was 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.04‑3.3,
increasing with >25 years of latency (time since first exposure)
to an OR=3.3, 95% CI=1.6-6.9. Digital 2G mobile phone use
rendered an OR=1.6, 95% CI=0.996-2.7, increasing with
latency >15-20 years to an OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.2-3.6. The results
for cordless phone use were OR=1.7, 95% CI=1.1-2.9, and,
for latency of 15-20 years, the OR=2.1, 95% CI=1.2-3.8. Few
participants had used a cordless phone for >20-25 years. Digital
type of wireless phones (2G and 3G mobile phones, cordless
phones) gave increased risk with latency >1-5 years, then a lower
risk in the following latency groups, but again increasing risk
with latency >15-20 years. Ipsilateral use resulted in a higher
risk than contralateral mobile and cordless phone use. Higher
ORs were calculated for tumours in the temporal and overlapping
lobes. Using the meningioma cases in the same study as
reference entity gave somewhat higher ORs indicating that the
results were unlikely to be explained by recall or observational
bias. This study confirmed previous results of an association
between mobile and cordless phone use and malignant brain
tumours. These findings provide support for the hypothesis that
RF-EMFs play a role both in the initiation and promotion stages
of carcinogenesis.
Introduction
In May, 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer
(IARC) at WHO evaluated the carcinogenic effect to humans
from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF). It
included radiation from mobile phones, and from other devices
that emit similar non-ionising electromagnetic fields. It was
concluded that RF-EMF is a group 2B, i.e. a possible’ human
carcinogen (1,2).
The IARC evaluation of mobile phones was based mainly on
case-control studies from the Hardell group in Sweden and the
IARC Interphone study. Both sets of studies provided corroborative
results, demonstrating an association between two types of
brain tumours, glioma and acoustic neuroma, with exposure to
RF-EMF from wireless phones. There was no consistent pattern
of an association within the studied latency period (time since
first exposure) with the most common benign brain tumour,
meningioma, suggesting specificity for these other tumour
types. However, it should be noted that in Interphone a reduced
risk was found for glioma among regular users of mobile phones
but an increased risk was found in the highest cumulative exposure
group, >1,640 h (3). Clearly an increased risk was found
Case-control study of the association between malignant
brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009
and mobile and cordless phone use

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