Medical exposure to ionising radiation and the risk of brain tumours: Interphone study group, Germany

Eur J Cancer. 2007 Sep;43(13):1990-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2007.06.020. Epub 2007 Aug 8.


Background: The role of exposure to low doses of ionising radiation in the aetiology of brain tumours has yet to be clarified. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between medically or occupationally related exposure to ionising radiation and brain tumours.

Methods: We used self-reported medical and occupational data collected during the German part of a multinational case-control study on mobile phone use and the risk of brain tumours (Interphone study) for the analyses.

Results: For any exposure to medical ionising radiation we found odds ratios (ORs) of 0.63 (95% confidence interval (CI)=0.48-0.83), 1.08 (95% CI=0.80-1.45) and 0.97 (95% CI=0.54-1.75) for glioma, meningioma and acoustic neuroma, respectively. Elevated ORs were found for meningioma (OR 2.32, 95% CI: 0.90-5.96) and acoustic neuroma (OR 6.45, 95% CI: 0.62-67.16) for radiotherapy to the head and neck regions.

Conclusion: We did not find any significant increased risk of brain tumours for exposure to medical ionising radiation.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Phone*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Radiation, Ionizing
  • Risk Factors