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 Table of Contents  
REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 165-167

Mobile phone use and cancer: Does dose really matter?


1 Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA
2 Bhaba Atomic Research Center, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication8-Jan-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. SMJ Mortazavi
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrcr.jrcr_39_17

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  Abstract 

The past decades have witnessed rapid evolution of telecommunication technology and wireless devices. Due to these rapid advances, cell phone usage has remarkably increased the level of human exposure to radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). In the past, it was widely believed that, RF-EMF, in contrast to ionizing radiation, does not have enough energy for ionizing atoms and hence does not cause DNA damage which can lead to cancer. However, substantial evidence now indicates that RF-EMFs increase the reactive oxygen species production and DNA damages which play an important role in the initiation and progression of cancer. Currently, there is no widely accepted answer to this question whether there is a relationship between exposure to RF-EMFs from cell phones and cancer incidence and mortality. Although it seems that this issue is a long-term unsolved problem, new studies have raised new concerns over the safety of mobile phones. Mortazavi have previously studied the health effects of cellular phones, mobile base stations, and Wi-Fi. They have also reviewed reports claiming no link between exposure to RF and brain cancer. They found that in many cases there were large errors and/or major shortcomings in these articles. They have also reported that current controversies may be caused by the key parameter of the large difference in the magnitude of exposures to RF-EMFs in different studies. In this light, in a similar pattern with ionizing radiation, a nonlinear J-shaped dose–response relationship for the carcinogenesis of nonionizing RF-EMF is introduced.

Keywords: Cancer, electromagnetic fields, mobile phone, radiofrequency


How to cite this article:
Mortazavi S, Mishra KP. Mobile phone use and cancer: Does dose really matter?. J Radiat Cancer Res 2017;8:165-7

How to cite this URL:
Mortazavi S, Mishra KP. Mobile phone use and cancer: Does dose really matter?. J Radiat Cancer Res [serial online] 2017 [cited 2018 Jan 23];8:165-7. Available from: http://www.journalrcr.org/text.asp?2017/8/4/165/222441


  Introduction Top


Rapidly growing usage of cell phones has increased the level of human exposure to radiofrequency-electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs). The RF-EMFs produced by mobile phones are currently classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).[1],[2] In the past, it was widely believed that, RF-EMF, in contrast to ionizing radiation, does not have enough energy for ionizing atoms and hence does not cause DNA damage which may lead to cancer. However, numerous reports now indicate that RF-EMFs increase the production of reactive oxygen species.[3] It is well documented that oxidative damage to cellular DNA in turn causes mutations and, through this mechanism, plays a key role in the initiation and progression of multistage carcinogenesis.[4]


  The Controversy of Radiofrequency -Induced Cancers Top


Current data on the relationship between exposure to RF-EMFs from cell phones and cancer incidence are still inconclusive, with some studies indicating that there is an increased risk of brain cancer following exposure to RF-EMF and others suggesting that there is no increased risk. This issue is a long-term unsolved problem. Since the usage of cell phones is continuing to increase worldwide, the possibility that such use may be increasing cancer risk is of considerable concern. Over the past several years, Mortazavi et al. have conducted experiments on the health effects of exposure to some common sources of EMFs such as cellular phones,[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14],[15],[16] mobile base stations,[17],[18] and Wi-Fi routers.[7],[10],[19],[20],[21],[22],[23] Moreover, Mortazavi et al. have recently reviewed currently published papers claiming no link between exposure to RF and brain cancer. They found that in many cases there were large errors and/or major shortcomings in these articles.[6],[24],[25],[26] For example, in one of the articles reviewed by this research group, a 400% difference in brain tumors was ignored due to poor statistics![26]


  J-Shaped Dose–response Relationship Top


Considering the controversies that exist today, Mortazavi et al. have recently reported that these controversies may be caused by several key parameters, especially the large difference in the magnitude of exposures to RF-EMFs in different studies.[27] They have provided substantial evidence indicating that, in a similar pattern with ionizing radiation, the carcinogenesis of nonionizing RF-EMF may have a nonlinear J-shaped dose–response relationship.[27]

It is worth noting that a large-scale study has recently been conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP). This study revealed statistically significant increases in cancer in rodents that had been exposed to Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) signals for 2 years. Moreover, NTP showed that, when the intensity of the radiation increased, the incidence of cancer among the rats also increased.[28] This 25,000,000 USD study that is the most complex study completed by the NTP showed that the occurrence of malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart can be linked to exposure to mobile phone RF radiation (RFR). “The occurrences of two tumor types in male Harlan Sprague-Dawley rats exposed to RFR, malignant gliomas in the brain, and schwannomas of the heart were considered of particular interest and are the subject of this report.”

The findings of INTERPHONE study which was undertaken as a collaborative effort between a number of partner institutions, co-ordinated by IARC, failed to show a link between mobile phone usage and cancer. “No elevated odds ratio (OR) for glioma or meningioma was observed ≥10 years after the first phone use. There were suggestions of an increased risk of glioma, and much less so in meningioma, in the highest decile of cumulative call time, in individuals who reported usual phone use on the same side of the head as their tumor, and for glioma, for tumors in the temporal lobe. Biases and errors limit the strength of the conclusions that can be drawn from these analyses and prevent a causal interpretation.[29] However, recently, Momoli et al.[30] have performed a re-analysis of the Canadian data from the 13-country INTERPHONE case–control study, and when they applied a probabilistic multiple bias model to address possible biases simultaneously, the OR for glioma comparing the highest quartile of use (>558 cumulative lifetime hours of use) to nonregular users was 2.0 (95% confidence interval: 1.2, 3.4). When adjusted for selection and recall biases, the OR was 2.2 (95% confidence interval: 1.3, 4.1).


  Conclusion Top


It can be concluded that at least some of the reports claiming no link between exposure to RF and brain cancer have shortcomings. Current controversies regarding the relationship between mobile phone usage and cancer may be caused by the key parameter of the large difference in the magnitude of exposures to RF-EMFs in different studies. Therefore, a nonlinear J-shaped dose–response relationship for the carcinogenesis of nonionizing RF-EMF is introduced. This J-shaped dose–response relationship shows that the possibility of detecting RF-induced brain cancers at low doses is very low. Furthermore, this model can reduce the irrational fear of the risks associated with exposure to very low levels of RF-EMFs in people who are only occasional users of mobile phones.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Atasoy HI, Gunal MY, Atasoy P, Elgun S, Bugdayci G. Immunohistopathologic demonstration of deleterious effects on growing rat testes of radiofrequency waves emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices. J Pediatr Urol 2013;9:223-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.
Dasdag S, Taş M, Akdag MZ, Yegin K. Effect of long-term exposure of 2.4GHz radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi equipment on testes functions. Electromagn Biol Med 2015;34:37-42.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Desai NR, Kesari KK, Agarwal A. Pathophysiology of cell phone radiation: Oxidative stress and carcinogenesis with focus on male reproductive system. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2009;7:114.  Back to cited text no. 3
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4.
Waris G, Ahsan H. Reactive oxygen species: Role in the development of cancer and various chronic conditions. J Carcinog 2006;5:14.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
5.
Mortazavi SM, Rahimi S, Talebi A, Soleimani A, Rafati A. Survey of the effects of exposure to 900 MHz radiofrequency radiation emitted by a GSM mobile phone on the pattern of muscle contractions in an animal model. J Biomed Phys Eng 2015;5:121-32.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    
6.
Mortazavi SA, Mortazavi G, Mortazavi SM. Comments on “Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and some cancers of unknown etiology: An ecological study”. Sci Total Environ 2017;609:1.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
Zarei S, Mortazavi SM, Mehdizadeh AR, Jalalipour M, Borzou S, Taeb S, et al. A challenging issue in the etiology of speech problems: The effect of maternal exposure to electromagnetic fields on speech problems in the offspring. J Biomed Phys Eng 2015;5:151-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
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8.
Mokarram P, Sheikhi M, Mortazavi SM, Saeb S, Shokrpour N. Effect of exposure to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone radiofrequency radiation on estrogen receptor methylation status in colon cells of male Sprague Dawley rats. J Biomed Phys Eng 2017;7:79-86.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.
Eghlidospour M, Ghanbari A, Mortazavi SM, Azari H. Effects of radiofrequency exposure emitted from a GSM mobile phone on proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of neural stem cells. Anat Cell Biol 2017;50:115-23.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.
Taheri M, Mortazavi SM, Moradi M, Mansouri S, Hatam GR, Nouri F, et al. Evaluation of the effect of radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi router and mobile phone simulator on the antibacterial susceptibility of pathogenic bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli. Dose Response 2017;15:1-8. Doi: 10.1177/1559325816688527.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.
Mortazavi SA, Mortazavi SM, Paknahad M. The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders. J Chem Neuroanat 2016;77:78-9.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.
Mortazavi SM, Rouintan MS, Taeb S, Dehghan N, Ghaffarpanah AA, Sadeghi Z, et al. Human short-term exposure to electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones decreases computer-assisted visual reaction time. Acta Neurol Belg 2012;112:171-5.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.
Mortazavi SM. Subjective symptoms related to GSM radiation from mobile phone base stations: A cross-sectional study. J Biomed Phys Eng 2014;4:39-40.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.
Mortazavi SM, Motamedifar M, Namdari G, Taheri M, Mortazavi AR, Shokrpour N, et al. Non-linear adaptive phenomena which decrease the risk of infection after pre-exposure to radiofrequency radiation. Dose Response 2014;12:233-45.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.
Mortazavi SM, Mahbudi A, Atefi M, Bagheri SH, Bahaedini N, Besharati A, et al. An old issue and a new look: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity caused by radiations emitted by GSM mobile phones. Technol Health Care 2011;19:435-43.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.
Mortazavi SM, Ahmadi J, Shariati M. Prevalence of subjective poor health symptoms associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields among university students. Bioelectromagnetics 2007;28:326-30.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.
Mortazavi S. Safety issues of mobile phone base stations. J Biomed Phys Eng 2013;3:1-2.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.
Parsaei H, Faraz M, Mortazavi S. A multilayer perceptron neural network-based model for predicting subjective health symptoms in people living in the vicinity of mobile phone base stations. Ecopsychology 2017;9:99-105.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.
Mortazavi G, Mortazavi SM. Increased mercury release from dental amalgam restorations after exposure to electromagnetic fields as a potential hazard for hypersensitive people and pregnant women. Rev Environ Health 2015;30:287-92.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.
Mortazavi SA, Taeb S, Mortazavi SM, Zarei S, Haghani M, Habibzadeh P, et al. The fundamental reasons why laptop computers should not be used on your lap. J Biomed Phys Eng 2016;6:279-84.  Back to cited text no. 20
    
21.
Paknahad M, Mortazavi SM, Shahidi S, Mortazavi G, Haghani M. Effect of radiofrequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations. J Environ Health Sci Eng 2016;14:12.  Back to cited text no. 21
    
22.
Shekoohi-Shooli F, Mortazavi SM, Shojaei-Fard MB, Nematollahi S, Tayebi M. Evaluation of the protective role of Vitamin C on the metabolic and enzymatic activities of the liver in the male rats after exposure to 2.45 GHz of Wi-Fi routers. J Biomed Phys Eng 2016;6:157-64.  Back to cited text no. 22
    
23.
Taheri M, Mortazavi SM, Moradi M, Mansouri SH, Nouri F, Mortazavi SA, et al. Klebsiella pneumonia, a microorganism that approves the non-linear responses to antibiotics and window theory after exposure to Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz electromagnetic radiofrequency radiation. J Biomed Phys Eng 2015;5:115-20.  Back to cited text no. 23
    
24.
Mortazavi SA, Mortazavi G, Mortazavi SM. Use of cell phones and brain tumors: A true association? Neurol Sci 2017;38:2059-60.  Back to cited text no. 24
    
25.
Mortazavi S, Mortazavi S, Paknahad M. Correspondence” cancers of the brain and CNS: Global patterns and trends in incidence” – Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) and cancer. J Biomed Phys Eng. [In press].  Back to cited text no. 25
    
26.
Mortazavi S. Comments on “analysis of mobile phone use among young patients with brain tumors in Japan”. Bioelectromagnetics 2017;38:653-654.  Back to cited text no. 26
    
27.
Mortazavi SM, Mortazavi SA, Haghani M. Evaluation of the validity of a nonlinear J-shaped dose-response relationship in cancers induced by exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. J Biomed Phys Eng. [In press].  Back to cited text no. 27
    
28.
Wyde M, Cesta M, Blystone C, Elmore S, Foster P, Hooth M, et al. Report of Partial Findings from the National Toxicology Program Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation in Hsd: Sprague Dawley® SD Rats (Whole Body Exposure). BioRxiv; 2016. p. 1-25.  Back to cited text no. 28
    
29.
International Agency for Research on Cancer. Interphone study reports on mobile phone use and brain cancer risk. World Health Organization; 2010.  Back to cited text no. 29
    
30.
Momoli F, Siemiatycki J, McBride ML, Parent MÉ, Richardson L, Bedard D, et al. Probabilistic multiple-bias modeling applied to the Canadian data from the interphone study of mobile phone use and risk of glioma, meningioma, acoustic neuroma, and parotid gland tumors. Am J Epidemiol 2017;186:885-93.  Back to cited text no. 30
    




 

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Introduction
The Controversy ...
J-Shaped Dose...
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