Cell Phone and Breast Cancer: The Cell Phone-Generated Pulsed 217Hz ELF Magnetic Field Increases Angiogenesis

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Department of Medical Physics, faculty of medicine, Tabriz university of medical sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Medical Physics, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of medical laboratory sciences, school of allied medical sciences, Shahroud university of Medical sciences, Shahroud, Iran


Introduction: Over the last decades, there has been an increasing trend in using cell phones which are exposing us to Radio-Frequency (RF) and Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) magnetic fields with various known and unknown biological effects. This protective study aimed to investigate the impact of environmental 217 Hz (as an ELF) magnetic fields generated by mobile phones on angiogenesis as an essential factor in tumor growth, in vitro and in vivo.
Material and Methods: Magnetic fields with amplitudes of 0.5, 6, 22, 44, 65 & 159 µT were exposed on Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and proliferation and viability of cells were measured. 3D angiogenesis assay was done by culturing HUVEC-covered microbeads in collagen gel and counting the number of sprouting micro-vessels per microbead. The percent of CD31 positive areas in breast tumor tissues of mice was assessed in the in vivo study.
Results: Results showed that some of the applied amplitudes could increase proliferation as well as the viability of HUVECs. Furthermore, 22 and 44 µT magnetic fields could significantly increase the angiogenesis of breast tumors in the mouse.
Conclusion: There is a promoting effect from ELF magnetic fields generated by cell phones on the angiogenesis of tumors. It will be helpful if we recommend that cancer patients not to be exposed to cell phones.


Main Subjects

  1. Haddad J, Obolensky A, Shinnick P. The biological effects and therapeutic mechanism of action of electric and electromagnetic field stimulation on bone and cartilage: New findings and a review of earlier work. Altern Complement Med. 2007; 13: 485-90.
  2. Ivancsits S, Diem E, Jahn O, Rudiger H. Intermittent extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage in a dose-dependent way. Int Arch Occup Environ Health. 2003; 76(6): p. 431-36.
  3. Ivancsits S, Diem E, Pilger A, Rudiger HW, Jahn O. Induction of DNA strand breaks by intermittent exposure to extremely-low-frequency electromagnetic fields in human diploid fibroblasts. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen. 2002; 519(1-2): 1-13.
  4. McNamee JP, Bellier PV, McLean JRN, Marro L, Gajda GB, Thansandote A. DNA damage and apoptosis in the immature mouse cerebellum after acute exposure to a 1 mT, 60 Hz magnetic field. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen. 2002; 513(1-2): 121-33.
  5. Lai H, Singh NP. Acute exposure to a 60 Hz magnetic field increases DNA strand breaks in rat brain cells. Bioelectromagnetics. 1997; 18(2): 156-65.
  6. Schmitz C, Keller E, Freuding T, Silny J, Korr H. 50-Hz magnetic field exposure influences DNA repair and mitochondrial DNA synthesis of distinct cell types in brain and kidney of adult mice. Acta Neuropathologica. 2004; 107(3): 257-64.
  7. Cameron IL, Markov MS, Hardman WE. Optimization of a therapeutic electromagnetic field (EMF) to retard breast cancer tumor growth and vascularity. Cancer Cell Int. 2014; 14(1).
  8. Seze Rd, SophieTuffet, Moreau J-M, Veyret B. Effects of 100mT Time Varying Magnetic Fields on the Growth of Tumors in Mice. Bioelectromagnetics. 2000; 21: 107-111.
  9. Tatarov I, Panda A, Petkov D, Kolappaswamy K, Thompson K, Kavirayani A, et al. Effect of Magnetic Fields on Tumor Growth and Viability. Comparative Med. 2011; 61(4): 339-45.
  10. Williams CD, Markov MS. Therapeutic electromagnetic field effects on angiogenesis during tumor growth: A pilot study in mice. Electromagn Biol Med. 2001; 20(3): 323-29.
  11. Mahna, A., Firoozabadi, S. Environmental 50Hz Magnetic Fields Can Increase Viability of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells (HUVEC). IJMP, 2016; 13(2): 100-108.
  12. Steven LHM, Concannon MMJ, Yee MGJ. The Effect of Magnetic Fields on Wound Healing. ePlasty. 2008; 8: 393-99.
  13. Black BA, DiPiazza PS, Ferguson BA. Introduction to wireless systems. Prentice-Hall; 2008.p.304-305.
  14. Andersen JB, Pedersen GF. The Technology of Mobile Telephone Systems Relevant for Risk Assessment. Radiat Prot Dosimetry. 1997; 72(3-4): 249-57.
  15. Linde T, Mild KH. Measurement of low frequency magnetic fields from digital cellular telephones. Bioelectromagnetics. 1997; 18(2): 184-86.
  16. Perentos N, Iskra S, McKenzie R, Cosic I. Characterization of pulsed ELF magnetic fields generated by GSM mobile phone handsets. In: Magjarevic R, Nagel JH, editors. World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 2006. IFMBE Proceedings. Berlin: Springer; 2007.
  17. Baan R, Grosse Y, Lauby-Secretan B, El Ghissassi F, Bouvard V, Benbrahim-Tallaa L, et al. Carcinogenicity of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. Lancet Oncol. 2011; 12(7): 624-6.
  18. Hardell L, Carlberg M, Hansson MK. Pooled analysis of two case-control studies on the use of cellular and cordless telephones and the risk of benign brain tumours diagnosed during 1997-2003. Int J Oncol. 2006; 28(2): 509-18.
  19. Muscat JE, Malkin MG, Thompson S, Shore RE, Stellman SD, McRee D, et al. Handheld cellular telephone use and risk of brain cancer. JAMA. 2000; 284(23): 3001-7.
  20. Panagopoulos DJ, Chavdoula ED, Nezis IP, Margaritis LH. Cell death induced by GSM 900-MHz and DCS 1800-MHz mobile telephony radiation. Mutat Res. 2007; 626(1-2): 69-78.
  21. Janahmadi M, Moghadam MK, Firoozabadi SM. Reduction Of F1 Neuronal Excitability By Exposure To 217 Hz Magnetic Fields From GSM 900 Mobile Phone. Cell Journal (Yakhteh). 2009; 11: 176-83.
  22. Kaviani Moghadam M, Firoozabadi SM, Lak M, Janahmadi M. The Measurement of Low Frequency Magnetic Field of Two Kinds of GSM900 Mobile Phone. IJMP. 2008; 5(1,2): 43-53.
  23. Moghadam MK, Firoozabadi M, Janahmadi M. Effects of weak environmental magnetic fields on the spontaneous bioelectrical activity of snail neurons. J Membr Biol. 2011; 240(2): 63-71.
  24. Kaviani Moghadam M. Effect of ELF magnetic fields with 50 and 217 Hz frequency in the range of environmental intensities on the neuronal electrical activities of Helix aspersa [dissertation]. Medical physics: Tarbiat Modares University; 2008.
  25. Moghadam MK, Firoozabadi SM, Janahmadi M. 50 Hz alternating extremely low frequency magnetic fields affect excitability, firing and action potential shape through interaction with ionic channels in snail neurones. The Environmentalist. 2008; 28(4): 341-47.
  26. Mansourian M, Firoozabadi M, Hassan ZM. The role of 217-Hz ELF magnetic fields emitted from GSM mobile phones on electrochemotherapy mechanisms. Electromagn Biol Med. 2020; 1-11.
  27. Ashdown C.P, Johns S. C, Aminov E, Unanian M, Connacher W, Friend J, et al. Pulsed Low-Frequency Magnetic Fields InduceTumor Membrane Disruption and Altered Cell Viability. Biophysical journal. 2020; 118(7): 1552-63.
  28. Tepper OM, Callaghan MJ, Chang EI, Galiano RD, Bhatt KA, Baharestani S, et al. Electromagnetic fields increase in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis through endothelial release of FGF-2. The FASEB Journal. 2004.
  29. Williams CD, Markov MS, Hardman WE, Cameron IL. Therapeutic electromagnetic field effects on angiogenesis and tumor growth. Anticancer Res. 2001; 21: 3887-92.
  30. Klagsbrun M, Moses MA. Molecular angiogenesis. Chem Biol. 1999; 6(8): R217-24.
  31. Colpaert CG, Vermeulen PB, Benoy I, Soubry A, van Roy F, van Beest P, et al. Inflammatory breast cancer shows angiogenesis with high endothelial proliferation rate and strong E-cadherin expression. Br J cancer. 2003; 88(5): 718-25.
  32. Peng L, Fu C, Liang Z, Zhang Q, Xiong F, Chen L, et al. Pulsed electromagnetic fields increase angiogenesis and improve cardiac function after myocardial ischemia in mice. Circ. J. 2019.
  33. Wen Jun L, Pit Foong C, Abd Hamid R. Ardisia crispa root hexane fraction suppressed angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and in vivo zebrafish embryo model. Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 118: 109221.
  34. Carolyn A. Staton,Claire Lewis, Bicknell R. Endotelial cell migration assays. In: Polytarchou Ch, editors. Angiogenesis Assays: A critical appraisal of current techniques MHaEP. England: Wiley; 2006. p. 65-70.
  35. Pandya NM, Dhalla NS, Santani DD. Angiogenesis-a new target for future therapy. Vascul Pharmacol. 2006; 44(5): 265-74.
  36. Berridge MJ. Cell cycle and proliferation. cell signalling biology. 2012; 9: 1-42.
  37. Charan J, Kantharia ND. How to calculate sample size in animal studies? J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2013; 4(4): 303-6.
  38. Hopper RA, VerHalen JP, Tepper O, Mehrara BJ, Detch R, Chang EI, et al. Osteoblasts stimulated with pulsed electromagnetic fields increase HUVEC proliferation via a VEGF-A independent mechanism. Bioelectromagnetics. 2009; 30(3):189-97.
  39. Allah Veisi F, Boloori B, Shooshtarizadeh T. Investigating the Effects of Pulsed 217Hz Magnetic Field on the Growth and Development of a Transplanted Fibrosarcoma Tumor in Balb/c Mice. RJMS. 2010; 16(69): 7-16.
  40. Nooshinfar E, Rezaei-Tavirani M, Khodakarim S. Long-term exposure to low frequency electromagnetic fields of 50- and 217-Hz leads to learning and memory deficits in mice. J Paramed Sci. 2012; 3(3).
  41. Markov MS. "Biological Windows" : A Tribute to W. Ross Adey. 2005; 25(2): 67-74.
  42. Mansourian M, Firoozabadi SM, Shankayi Z, Hassan ZM. Magnetic fields with frequency of 217 Hz can reduce cell apoptosis caused by electrochemotherapy. Electromagn Biol Med. 2013; 32(1):70-8.  
Volume 18, Issue 6
November and December 2021
Pages 421-429
  • Receive Date: 24 September 2020
  • Revise Date: 12 November 2020
  • Accept Date: 27 November 2020