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World's biggest study on cell phones and brain cancer inconclusive
Date:5/17/2010

This release is available in French.

Montreal, May 17, 2010 The world's biggest investigation on possible links between cell phone use and brain tumours is inconclusive, according to a Canadian scientist who collaborated on the Interphone International Study Group. Jack Siemiatycki, a professor at the University of Montreal and an epidemiologist at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center, says restricted access to participants compromised the validity of results of the study to be published in the May 18 International Journal of Epidemiology. "The findings of the Interphone Study are ambiguous, surprising and puzzling," he says.

The Interphone International Study Group, which examined whether cellular radio frequencies could be correlated to brain tumours, was coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The investigation was led by 21 epidemiologists from Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Over 10,000 people took part in the study: cell phone users; non cell phone users; cell phone users who survived brain cancer as well as brain cancer survivors who had never used cell phones.

Paradoxical findings

"If we combine all users and compare them with non-users, the Interphone Study found no increase in brain cancer among users. In fact, surprisingly, we found that when we combine users independently of the amount of use, they had lower brain cancer risks than non-users," says Dr. Siemiatycki, who teaches in the University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine. "However, the study also found heavy users of cell phones appeared to be at a higher risk of brain tumours than non-users."

Why the discrepancy? Simply put, scientists are unsure. Attention has focused on the methodology of the study and, in
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Contact: Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins
sylvain-jacques.desjardins@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

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