What is MOBI-KIDS?

MOBI-KIDS is an international multi-centric case-control study on risk factors for brain cancer in young people. Experts from 16 European and non-European countries are involved in the study.

What is a case-control study?

In a case-control study, persons who have developed a disease are identified and their past exposure to potential aetiological factors is compared to persons who do not have the disease.

What is the aim of MOBI-KIDS?

MOBI-KIDS aims to evaluate the possible association between communication technology and other environment exposures and the risk of brain tumours in young people.

The MOBI-KIDS project will involve:

The conduct of a multinational epidemiological case-control study of brain tumours diagnosed in young people in relation to communication technologies and environmental risk factors in 16 countries.

The analysis of data from the study to evaluate the relation between different factors in the general environment of young people and the risk of brain tumours.

How frequent are brain tumours among young people?

Among the childhood malignancies, brain tumours are the second most common malignancy, after leukemia. The incidence of these tumours in young people under 25 years of age has been increasing recently.

As for example in Germany, in 2007 the incidence rate for children under 15 years was 3.4 (per 100,000). In Canada, the incidence rate between 2000 and 2004 was 2.9 (per 100.000) for children aged between 5-9 years and 2.2 (per 100.000) for children in the age of 10-14 years. In the UK, each year around 450 children and young adults under 18 years are diagnosed with a brain tumour.

What is the current state of knowledge concerning risk factors for brain cancer?

So far, little is known about risk factors for brain tumours. Some factors (e.g. exposure to ionizing radiation and family history of brain cancer) are known to increase the risk of developing brain tumours.

Examples of other environmental factors that may be associated with brain tumours are:

  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Exposure to electromagnetic fields including mobile phone use.The use of mobile phones and other communication technologies has increased dramatically over the last decade, especially in children, and its role in the development of brain cancer in young people has yet to be studied.

One problem in the study of environmental risk factors and brain cancer in young people has been the limited number of children included in previous studies.

What is special about MOBI-KIDS?

One problem in the study of environmental risk factors and brain cancer in young people has been the limited number of children. Therefore, international studies like MOBI-KIDS are needed to answer such research questions.

Who is conducting MOBI-KIDS?

The project is conducted by study centres in 16 different countries.
You can find an overview of the project partners here.

Who is funding MOBI-KIDS?

MOBI-KIDS is part of the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7). In addition to the funding by the European Union, the project is fostered by local funding.
You can find more information about who is funding MOBI-KIDS here.

What is the size of the study sample?

Over a period of five years, nearly 1000 young people with brain tumours and approximately 2000 healthy young people (aged 10 to 24 years) will be recruited to participate in MOBI-KIDS.

What will be done?

A detailed questionnaire will be administered to the study participants covering demographic factors, residential history and questions. Furthermore, exposure assessments will be provided by France Telecom SA and the UK Health Protection Agency.