No increase in brain tumours in the Nordic countries

January 18, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- The incidence of glioma - the most common form of brain tumour - is not increasing in the Nordic countries, contradicting the claim that mobile phone use is a cause of the disease. This according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet published in the scientific journal Epidemiology. The analyses presented by the researchers also show that the increased risks previously reported to be associated with mobile telephony in a few individual studies should have been observable in the general cancer statistics if mobile phone use had indeed been associated with a true risk increase.

"People living in the Nordic countries were quick to adopt and mobile phones have been used by a very large percentage of the population," says Professor Maria Feychting of the Institute of at Karolinska Institutet. "All Nordic countries have cancer registries of a very high quality, which provide excellent opportunities for studying changes in the incidence of brain tumours."

The present study shows that there has been no increase in glioma in the Nordic countries since the introduction of mobile phones, and that the risk increases reported in a few individual studies are inconsistent with the cancer statistics. The paper is an update of a previous study on the incidence of glioma in the . The analyses now cover the years up to 2008 and still show no sign of an increase in the disease in the age groups that have been using mobile phones.

The researchers also analyse how likely it is that a potential risk increase associated with would be detectable in the Nordic cancer statistics. Their results show that the increased risks reported in a few studies would definitely have been seen in the statistics if such risk increases were real. The increased risk reported among the approximately ten per cent heaviest (>1,640 hours total use) in the Interphone study would have been observed in the cancer statistics with a 98 per cent probability. Since no upward trend was found in the cancer statistics, it strongly challenges the validity of the increased risks reported in a few studies, the researchers conclude.

"However, these analyses do not give information about potential risk increases after 20 or 30 years or longer, which makes it necessary to continue to monitor brain tumor incidence trends in cancer registries" says Professor Feychting. "The WHO, EU and other bodies have recommended that this type of trend analysis of national cancer data be conducted and compared with changes in mobile phone use; other types of study designs have been shown to have major methodological problems and need to be complemented with such trend analyses."

Explore further: Biggest ever study shows no link between mobile phone use and tumors

More information: Isabelle Deltour, Anssi Auvinen, Maria Feychting, Christoffer Johansen, Lars Klaeboe, Risto Sankila & Joachim Schüz, Mobile Phone Use and Incidence of Glioma in the Nordic Countries 1979-2008, Epidemiology, online 16 January 2012, doi: 10.1097/EDE.0b013e3182448295, paper issue Vol. 23, Nr 2, March 2012.

Related Stories

Biggest ever study shows no link between mobile phone use and tumors

October 21, 2011
There is no link between long-term use of mobile phones and tumours of the brain or central nervous system, finds new research published in the British Medical Journal today.

Children and adolescent mobile phone users at no greater risk of brain cancer than non-users

July 27, 2011
Children and adolescents who use mobile phones are not at a statistically significant increased risk of brain cancer compared to their peers who do not use mobile phones, according to a study published July 27 in the Journal ...

Recommended for you

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

Novel CRISPR-Cas9 screening enables discovery of new targets to aid cancer immunotherapy

July 19, 2017
A novel screening method developed by a team at Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center—using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology to test the function of thousands of tumor genes in mice—has ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.