|EMF EFFECTS ON CANCER, MELATONIN AND TAMOXIFEN
sent in by Shivani Arjuna
In 1992 the European Parliament passed resolution B3-0280/92 which included in part:
“E: whereas the results of many in vivo and in vitro studies show increasingly clearly that the interaction mechanisms underlying such disorders and diseases [cancer, nervous disorders and circadian rhythm changes], centred mainly in the cell membrane, lead to disruption of melatonin secretions, ornithine decarboxylase activity and T-lymphocyte efficacy, testify to the probable role of non-ionizing radiation in promoting cancer,” ....
The 1981 WHO report in part concludes:
"Effects have been reported at power densities too low to produce
biologically significant heating."
“Epidemiological studies, although quite limited in number, provide evidence of an association of long term exposure to RF/microwave and lower frequency EMFs and cancer incidence. Although a number of different cancers have been reported to result from such exposure, leukemia and brain cancer appear to be the most prevalent.” ....
Tamoxifen: This is crucial infomation for anyone with breast cancer, or any form of cancer. Electromagnetic fields have been found to increase the growth rate of cancer and to block the anti-cancer action of melatonin, tamoxifen, calmodulin antagonist W-13 and antiestrogen ICI 182,780.
Tamoxifen, which is the most widely used therapy for treatment of
breast cancer, has proven effective in treating breast cancer in its
early stages and is also used by over one million women throughout
the world who have had breast cancer, to prevent its recurrence. Although
tamoxifen is not as effective as melatonin in inhibiting the growth
of MCF-7 breast cancer cells in vitro , the drug has been shown to
be about 100 times more effective in inhibiting breast cancer cell
growth if the cells have first been pre-treated with a physiological
concentration of melatonin.
Examined in this report are five in vitro studies, from three major laboratories, using human breast cancer cell cultures, with results showing that low level powerline frequency magnetic fields in the order of 12 milligauss can block melatonin and/or Tamoxifen's ability to suppress breast cancer cells.
It is this body of laboratory evidence and the three human exposure studies also mentioned herein, that have significant implications for the successful treatment of breast cancer and calls for immediate action from researchers and oncologists alike. The failure to do so, under the excuse of "more research needs to be done" is not acting in the best interests of breast cancer patients, to say the least.
In June 1996 at the 18 th. Annual Meeting of the Bioelectro-magnetics Society (BEMS), the following three studies were presented. When these three studies are added to recent research presented at the Second World Congress for Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine, held in Bologna Italy, in June of 1997, there now exists an important body of scientific research in relation to breast cancer and electromagnetic fields.
ELF INHIBITION OF MELATONIN AND TAMOXIFEN ACTION ON MCF-7 CELL PROLIFERATION;
The conclusions of this study appear to suggest that 12 mG VDT magnetic
fields also inhibit the oncostatic action of melatonin in vitro and
that the magnetic field component was the operative factor in the 12
mG 60 Hz exposures. Preliminary data from two seperate experiments
indicated significant growth inhibition (33% and 22%) on day 6 in the
2 mG magnetic field conditions.(8 )
DIFFERENTIAL INHIBITION OF TAMOXIFEN'S ONCOSTATIC FUNCTIONS IN A BREAST
CANCER CELL LINE BY A 12 mG MAGNETIC FIELD.
Future research will be directed at further characterizing the specificity
of the 12 mG field interaction "
If environmental EMF's, and electric blanket use are a confounding factor, this should be possible to check by questioning the subjects on their habits, maybe even taking home and workplace EMF exposure readings. If some participants are found to be exposed to prolonged EMF exposures in the order of 2 to 12 milliGauss, there appears to be a dose-response relationship from 2 to 12 milliGauss) it may be advisable to recommend avoiding these exposures. Since the studies examined in this paper found no effect at 2 mG, this may be a safe level to aim to keep prolonged exposures under.
It may also be advisable to do actual measurements of melatonin levels
in those subjects identified as being prone to breast cancer. Women
with breast cancer have shown a lower nocturnal increase in melatonin
levels than control women.
Since the recent World Conference on Breast Cancer, held in Ontario
Canada, there is an increasing overseas awareness that EMFs are a risk
factor with breast cancer, but at present there are no figures as to
the degree of risk. In relation to breast cancer patients, an important
first step is to determine how many are being exposed to EMFs of the
order of 2 to 12 mG?
The outcome of this would be to develop effective advice for patients to avoid exposures, which can come from many sources, such as electric blankets, electrically heated water beds, improperly grounded home wiring, in-floor electrical heating systems, older computer monitors, flourescent lighting systems, occupational exposures, etc.
Although this paper only deals with powerline EMFs, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from radiofrequency and microwave emissions are also now being implicated in breast cancer.
Besides some epidemiological studies, such as one showing a significant increase in breast cancer for female radio operators, there is evidence that breast cancer tumors absorb significantly more EMR than other cancers, or healthy tissue.
To quote from one study, conducted at Duke University, North Carolina, USA, in 1993.
"In general, at all frequencies tested [50 to 900 MHz], both conductivity and relative permittivity were greater in malignant tissue than in normal tissue of the same type. For tissues of the same type, the differences in electrical properties from normal to malignant were least for kidney (about 6% and 4% average differences over the frequency range in permitivity and conductivity, respectively), and these differences were the greatest for mammary gland (about 233% and 577% average differences in permittivity and conductivity, respectively) (27)
The ability of breast cancer tumors to absorb significantly more EMR than normal tissue should be of concern when compared to an official joint statement, made in the Information sheet, Safety of Mobile Phones and Towers - The Answers (Nov.1995) by the Australian Radiation Laboratory, Spectrum Management Agency, Austel and the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, (under the heading, "Is Cancer an issue?")
"There is yet insufficient scientific knowledge of many aspects of health effects of radio waves. One common question is: Do radio waves from mobile phones increase the risks of cancer? The answer is that there is no experimental evidence that radio waves directly cause cancer. Laboratory studies on animals suggest that where cancer exists, radio waves may accelerate its growth."