05/25/2010 - News

Update on Cell Phones and Brain Tumors

By: June Chen, MD


About 30 studies have tried to evaluate the possible association between cell phones and the risk of brain tumors, but the results have been inconsistent. Conclusions from the INTERPHONE project, the largest study ever conducted on the use of cell phones and cancer risk were published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology. Although the results have been eagerly anticipated, it seems that the link between cell phones and brain tumors is still in question.

The INTERPHONE project includes data from 13 countries on the association between use of cell phones and the risk of brain tumors. Overall, the authors of the study report that there was no increase in risk for glioma or meningioma in conjunction with the use of cell phones, even among individuals who used cell phones for more than 10 years. It seems that there might be increased risk for glioma among people with the highest levels of cell phone use, but the study was not powered to prove a causal link between frequent use of cell phones and cancer risk, especially because the majority of study participants were not heavy cell phone users.

The study authors noted that the patterns of cell phone use have changed since the INTERPHONE project began. In particular, the use of cell phones among young people has increased, so further investigation of cell phones and brain cancer risk is needed to evaluate the effects of cumulative cell phone use. Another long-term study called the COSMOS study is ongoing, and it will follow the health of 250,000 cell phone users for a period of 20 to 30 years.



Int J Epidemiol. Published online 17 May 2010.


Created on: 05/25/2010
Reviewed on: 05/25/2010

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