Introduction The risk of brain tumours related to mobile phone use has been assessed in several studies without conclusive results. As the radiofrequency field emitted by the phone depends strongly on the distance from the source, any effect should be highly localised and occur mainly in the part of the brain absorbing most of the energy. We assessed the distance from the exposure source (typical location of mobile phone when in use) and the mid-point of the glioma recorded in blinded fashion from radiologic images.
Methods A total of 888 cases aged 18–69 years from seven European centers (Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Sweden and UK) of the international collaborative Interphone study were included. Information on mobile phone use was obtained from interviews. Unconditional logistic regression was used with distance <5 cm between tumour and mobile phone location (line from the corner of the mouth to the ear) as the outcome.
Results Majority of the gliomas were located in frontal and temporal lobes in both regular mobile phone users and never regular users of mobile phones (43% vs 37% in frontal and 30% vs 28% temporal lobe). The proportion of tumours with a distance <5 cm between the putative source of exposure and mid-point of glioma was 22% among regular users (mean 6.3 cm) and 24% among non-users (mean 6.2 cm). Cumulative call-time (hours) and duration of use (years) were not associated with proximity of tumours to the source of exposure.
Conclusion Tumour location is unaffected by mobile phone use.