Study type: Medical/biological study (experimental study)

Cellular neoplastic transformation induced by 916 MHz microwave radiation. med./bio.

Published in: Cell Mol Neurobiol 2012; 32 (6): 1039-1046

Aim of study (acc. to author)

To study whether 916 MHz microwave exposure with different intensities and durations could induce cellular neoplastic transformation in NIH3T3 cells.

Background/further details

NIH3T3 cells were used due to their sensitivity to carcinogens or cancer promoter in environment. Cell morphology and cell proliferation were examined in vitro.
Furthermore, an carcinogenesis assay with immunodeficiency mice was carried out to determine the neoplastic promotion. 10 mice were used for carcinogenesis assay and divided into five groups: one control group, three exposure groups and a positive control (injected a nasopharyngeal carcinoma cell line). Exposed and sham exposed cells were injected subcutaneously into the back of the mice. After tumor development, the mice were killed, the tumor was dissected and divided into two parts: one part was fixed and the other one was mashed and injected into two additional mice in order to study whether the developed tumor was able to grow in vivo.



Exposure Parameters
Exposure 1: 916 MHz
Exposure duration: continuous for 2 h/day every day, until cells lost their contact inhibition (up to 8 weeks)

General information

Cells were exposed in four groups: 1) control group 2) exposure at 90 W/cm² 3) exposure at 50 W/cm² 4) exposure at 10 W/cm²

Exposure 1

Main characteristics
Frequency 916 MHz
Exposure duration continuous for 2 h/day every day, until cells lost their contact inhibition (up to 8 weeks)
Exposure setup
Exposure source
  • monopole
Chamber culture flasks and antenna were placed in a bench
Setup cells were exposed in flasks at three different distances from the antenna (for the different power densities)
Sham exposure A sham exposure was conducted.
Measurand Value Type Method Mass Remarks
power density 90 W/m² maximum measured - close contact to the antenna
power density 50 W/m² maximum measured - middle distance to the antenna
power density 10 W/m² maximum measured - furthest away from the antenna

Exposed system:

Methods Endpoint/measurement parameters/methodology

Investigated system:
Time of investigation:
  • during exposure
  • after exposure

Main outcome of study (acc. to author)

The data showed that cell morphology (loss of contact inhibition) and cell proliferation were changed after 5-8 weeks of exposure: The cells of the exposed groups formed colonies in the soft agar plates, whereas the control cells did not.
In the carcinogenesis assay, tumors developed on the back of mice inoculated with the exposed cells after 5-7 weeks. Tumors also developed in the additional two mice injected with the mashed tumor tissue (after 4 weeks).
All effects were time and dose dependent. In conclusion, the results indicate that microwave exposure can promote neoplastic transformation of NIH3T3 cells.

Study character:

Study funded by

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