International study finds no overall evidence of increased risk of childhood brain cancer

The first international study of mobile phone use and childhood brain cancer was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute and finds no overall evidence of increased risk of brain cancer.

The authors conclude:

‘The absence of an exposure–response relationship either in terms of the amount of mobile phone use or by localization of the brain tumor argues against a causal association.’

The study of almost 1,000 children is known as CEFALO and was conducted in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland. The subjects were children and adolescents aged 7–19 years who were diagnosed with a brain tumour between 2004 and 2008. It was funded by national authorities in each of the countries.

The authors note that in a subset (about 33%) of study participants for whom operator recorded data were available, there was a statistical association between brain tumour risk and time elapsed since the mobile phone subscription was started but not to amount of use. The authors state that a lack of evidence for an increased risk in the highest exposed areas of the brain argues against a causal relationship.

An accompaning editorial notes that no cancer mechanism has been identified and that brain tumour incidence rates remain unchanged.

The authors of the editorial conclude:

'Nonetheless, if an individual is still concerned about remote possibilities, he or she might consider keeping calls short and using an earpiece or speaker option on the cell phone. And, heeding what is known about real risks, one should avoid using a cell phone while driving a car, because such distractions have been clearly documented to increase the risk of accidents and serious injuries.'

Click here for the CEFALO Paper

Click here for the CEFALO Editorial