BBEMG - Belgian BioElectroMagnetics Group

Belgian BioElectroMagnetics Group

Meta-analysis of childhood leukaemia : Reports and publications

Meta-analysis of childhood leukaemia : Reports and publications

Activity report 

 2017-2018 activity report 

C. Brabant

Numerous studies have investigated the relationship between electromagnetic fields and infantile leukemia. However, there are important discrepancies in this research field. Some studies found that infantile leukemia could be associated with extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) but others studies found no relation between these variables. We are performing a systematic review and meta-analysis to clarify whether exposure to electromagnetic fields is associated with an increase in the risk of infantile leukemia. In this report, we describe our protocol, our search strategy and the methods we have used to select studies and extract data.

Our protocol describes the methods used in our systematic review and has been developed according to the PRISMA statement and checklist. Our protocol has been published in Prospero in May 2018 (Registration number: CRD42018087863). Medline, Scopus, Cochrane Database of Systematic Review and DARE database searches have been performed to identify relevant articles. Using these databases, we have selected all the studies that have examined the relationship between ELF-EMF (EMF £ 100 Hz) and all forms of childhood leukemia. All articles written in English, French and Italian have been reviewed. The study selection has been performed by two independent reviewers (Dr. Christian Brabant and PhD student Anton Geerinck). The two reviewers are currently extracting independently the data of the papers that have been selected.

Other publication fields

The Research Unit in Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Economics has extensive expertise in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. This research unit is composed of twenty researchers active in various fields ranging from pregnant women’s health to the well-being of residents of nursing homes and including the epidemiological evaluation of health determinants.

Past activity reports


>>> Publications on Public Health

Beaudart, Charlotte ; Rabenda, Véronique ; Bruyère, Olivier (2016) Il n'est jamais trop tard pour apprendre à (bien) lire ... La revue systématique. Medi-Sphere 525: 35-38.

Borenstein M, Hedges LV, Higgins JPT, Rothstein HR (2009) Introduction to meta-analysis. New York: Wiley & Sons.

Kabuto M, Nitta H, Yamamoto S, Yamaguchi N, Akiba S, Honda Y, Hagihara J, Isaka K, Saito T, Ojima T, Nakamura Y, Mizoue T, Ito S, Eboshida A, Yamazaki S, Sokejima S, Kurokawa Y, Kubo O (2006) Childhood leukemia and magnetic fields in Japan: a case-control study of childhood leukemia and residential power-frequency magnetic fields in Japan. Int J Cancer 119: 643-50.

Linet MS, Hatch EE, Kleinerman RA, Robison LL, Kaune WT, Friedman DR, Severson RK, Haines CM, Hartsock CT, Niwa S, Wacholder S, Tarone RE (1997) Residential exposure to magnetic fields and acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children. N Engl J Med 337: 1-7.

Ioannidis JP (2016) The mass production of redundant, misleading and conflicting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Milbank Quart 94: 485-514.

Ioannidis JP, Fanelli D, Dunne DD, Goodman SN (2015) Meta-research: evaluation and improvement of research methods and practices. PLOS BIOL 13: e1002264.

Michaelis J, Schüz J, Meinert R, Menger M, Grigat JP, Kaatsch P, Kaletsch U, Miesner A, Stamm A, Brinkmann K, Kärner H (1997) Childhood leukemia and electromagnetic fields: results of a population-based case-control study in Germany. Cancer Causes Control 8: 167-74.

PRISMA website:

Rabenda V, Beaudart C, Bruyère, O (2017) Il n'est jamais trop tard pour apprendre à (bien) lire ... La Méta-Analyse. Ortho-Rhumato 15: 27-32.

Additional information

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Latest update on 13/02/2019

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