Sunday, March 25, 2018

Trends in Brain Tumor Incidence Outside the U.S.


Rates of Aggressive Brain Cancer Increasing in England

A newly-published study of brain tumor incidence trends in England from 1995 to 2014 found that the trends over time varied by type of cancer, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes.

The study found “a sustained and highly statistically significant” increase in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common brain cancer, across all ages. The rate of GBM more than doubled from 2.4 to 5.0 per 100,000 people. However, this increase was mostly hidden because the overall malignant brain tumor trend was relatively flat due to a reduced incidence of lower grade brain tumors.

In England in 1995, when the tumor site was specified at the time of diagnosis, the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain accounted for 41% of malignant brain tumors. By 2015, these two sites accounted for 60% of the tumors.

One cannot know from tumor registry data alone what caused these differential trends in brain cancer. Based upon epidemiologic research, the most compelling explanation for the increased incidence in these deadly brain tumors, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes, may be exposure to microwave radiation due to widespread adoption of cell phones. However, the increased use of CT imaging scans is an alternative, but less compelling, explanation because far fewer people would have been exposed to this form of ionizing radiation.

In the U.S., Zada and his colleagues (2012) obtained similar results in an analysis of national tumor registry data from 1992 to 2006.

Those who cite statistics which appear to show a flat-line trend in overall brain tumor incidence and argue that cell phone use doesn’t cause brain cancer need to examine data on the location and type of brain tumors over time.

Also see:


Microwave News. “Aggressive Brain Tumors on the Rise in England.” March 25, 2018. http://microwavenews.com/news-center/gbms-rising-uk


Source: Alasdair Philips via Microwave News.

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Brain tumours: rise in Glioblastoma Multiforme incidence in England 1995–2015 suggests an adverse environmental or lifestyle factor

Alasdair Philips, Denis L. Henshaw, Graham Lamburn, and Michael O'Carroll. Brain tumours: rise in Glioblastoma Multiforme incidence in England 1995–2015 suggests an adverse environmental or lifestyle factor. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, in press.

Highlights

• A clear description of the changing pattern in incidence of brain tumour types
• The study used extensive data from an official and recognised quality source
• The study included histological and morphological information
• The study identified a significant and concerning incidence time trend
• Some evidence is provided to help guide future research into causal mechanisms

Abstract

Objective To investigate detailed trends in malignant brain tumour incidence over a recent time period.

Methods UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) data covering 81,135 ICD10 C71 brain tumours diagnosed in England (1995–2015) were used to calculate incidence rates (ASR) per 100k person–years, age–standardised to the European Standard Population (ESP–2013).

Results We report a sustained and highly statistically significant ASR rise in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) across all ages. The ASR for GBM more than doubled from 2.4 to 5.0, with annual case numbers rising from 983 to 2531. Overall, this rise is mostly hidden in the overall data by a reduced incidence of lower grade tumours.

Conclusions The rise is of importance for clinical resources and brain tumour aetiology. The rise cannot be fully accounted for by promotion of lower–grade tumours, random chance or improvement in diagnostic techniques as it affects specific areas of the brain and only one type of brain tumour. Despite the large variation in case numbers by age, the percentage rise is similar across the age groups which suggests widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible.


 Conclusions

1/. We show a linear, large and highly statistically significant increase in primary GBM tumours over 21 years from 1995–2015, especially in frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. This has aetiological and resource implications.
2/. Although most of the cases are in the group over 54 years of age, the age–standardised AAPC rise is strongly statistically significant in all our three main analysis age groups.

3/. The rise in age–standardised incidence cannot be fully accounted for by improved diagnosis as it affects specific areas of the brain and just one type of brain tumour which is generally fatal. We suggest that widespread environmental or lifestyle factors may be responsible.

4/. Our results highlight an urgent need for funding more research into the initiation and promotion of GBM tumours. This should include the use of CT imaging for diagnosis and also modern lifestyle factors that may affect tumour metabolism.