Thursday, February 18, 2021
MOBI-KIDS: Childhood Brain Tumor Risk & Mobile Phone Use Study
When will we learn whether mobile phone use was associated with increased risk of brain tumors or neurological disorders in the Mobi-Kids study?
February 15 was #InternationalChildhoodCancerDay which reminded me that we have yet to see publication of the most important results from the Mobi-Kids Childhood Brain Tumor Risk & Mobile Phone Use Study.
This project is the largest case-control study to examine the risk of a young person developing brain cancer in relation to his/her exposure to electromagnetic fields and wireless radiation from mobile phones. This 14-nation case-control study was funded by the European Commission (EC) from March 2009 to February 2016. The EC contributed 58% of the total budget for this €6.1 million ($7.4 million) project. The EC funding for this 7-year project ended five years ago!
Was mobile phone use associated with increased risk of brain tumors or neurological disorders among these youth?
Clinical presentation of young people (10-24 years old) with brain tumors: results from the international MOBI-Kids study
Angela Zumel-Marne et al. Clinical presentation of young people (10-24 years old) with brain tumors: results from the international MOBI-Kids study. J Neurooncol. 2020 Apr;147(2):427-440. doi: 10.1007/s11060-020-03437-4. Epub 2020 Mar 3. DOI: 10.1007/s11060-020-03437-4.
Introduction: We used data from MOBI-Kids, a 14-country international collaborative case-control study of brain tumors (BTs), to study clinical characteristics of the tumors in older children (10 years or older), adolescents and young adults (up to the age of 24).
Methods: Information from clinical records was obtained for 899 BT cases, including signs and symptoms, symptom onset, diagnosis date, tumor type and location.
Results: Overall, 64% of all tumors were low-grade, 76% were neuroepithelial tumors and 62% gliomas. There were more males than females among neuroepithelial and embryonal tumor cases, but more females with meningeal tumors. The most frequent locations were cerebellum (22%) and frontal (16%) lobe. The most frequent symptom was headaches (60%), overall, as well as for gliomas, embryonal and ‘non-neuroepithelial’ tumors; it was convulsions/seizures for neuroepithelial tumors other than glioma, and visual signs and symptoms for meningiomas. A cluster analysis showed that headaches and nausea/vomiting was the only combination of symptoms that exceeded a cutoff of 50%, with a joint occurrence of 67%. Overall, the median time from first symptom to diagnosis was 1.42 months (IQR 0.53-4.80); it exceeded 1 year in 12% of cases, though no particular symptom was associated with exceptionally long or short delays.
Conclusions: This is the largest clinical epidemiology study of BT in young people conducted so far. Many signs and symptoms were identified, dominated by headaches and nausea/vomiting. Diagnosis was generally rapid but in 12% diagnostic delay exceeded 1 year with none of the symptoms been associated with a distinctly long time until diagnosis.
Open access paper: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7136306/