Research description

My research has primarily focused on health effects of non-ionizing radiation, especially on chronic diseases such as different types of tumors. Currently, I am principal investigator for the Swedish part of a large international case-control study of brain tumors in adults, the so called Interphone study, and a corresponding study on brain tumors in children, the Cefalo study. I also lead a national study on mobile phone use, loud noise and the risk of acoustic neuroma. Within these large collaborative projects we also study other risk factors for brain tumors, e.g. the association with allergic conditions, infections, hormonal use and reproduction, ionizing radiation, loud noise, etc. We have also collected blood samples or saliva for DNA extraction, and have performed a number of studies on various genetic polymorphisms and the risk of brain tumors, e.g. a large genome-wide scan of glioma in adults which was recently published. We are also interested in studying the importance of the interaction between genetic and environmental factors for disease development, and have several ongoing international collaborations within this area. We participate actively in an international network for brain tumor epidemiology, BTEC.

Within the research area non-ionizing radiation, we also have extensive research on health effects of power-frequency magnetic fields, for example from power lines and other sources of electricity. Our research on the effect on childhood leukemia, breast cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, etc, has had a large impact in international health risk assessments, made for example by the WHO. We have made extensive characterizations of occupational magnetic field exposure, with specific focus on female occupations.

A spin-off from the EMF research has been studies on cancer in blind, and among shift-workers. We have also been interested in the effect of overweight and obesity on cancer risk, as well as different risk factors for hematological malignancies.

We participate actively in international health risk assessments and research evaluations, e.g. for WHO and EU, and in national assessment e.g. for the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research, and the Swedish Council on Technology Assessment in Health Care.


  • EU
  • Swedish Research Council
  • Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research
  • Swedish Cancer Society
  • Swedish Childhood Cancer Society
  • International Union Against Cancer (UICC)

Five selected publications

Shete S, Hosking FJ, Robertson LB, Dobbins SE, Sanson M, Malmer B, Simon M, Marie Y, Boisselier B, Delattre JY, Hoang-Xuan K, El Hallani S, Idbaih A, Zelenika D, Andersson U, Henriksson R, Bergenheim AT, Feychting M, Lönn S, Ahlbom A, Schramm J, Linnebank M, Hemminki K, Kumar R, Hepworth SJ, Price A, Armstrong G, Liu Y, Gu X, Yu R, Lau C, Schoemaker M, Muir K, Swerdlow A, Lathrop M, Bondy M, Houlston RS.

Genome-wide association study identifies five susceptibility loci for glioma.

Nature Genetics. 2009 Aug;41(8):899-904.

Link to the abstract in PubMed


Bethke L, Murray A, Webb E, Schoemaker M, Muir K, McKinney P, Hepworth S, Dimitropoulou P, Lophatananon A, Feychting M, Lonn S, Ahlbom A, Malmer B, Henriksson R, Auvinen A, Kiuru A, Salminen T, Johansen C, Christensen HC, Kosteljanetz M, Swerdlow A, Houlston R.

Comprehensive analysis of DNA repair gene variants and risk of meningioma.

J Natl Cancer Inst 2008;100(4):270-6

Link to the abstract in PubMed


Wigertz A, Lonn S, Schwartzbaum J, Hall P, Auvinen A, Christensen HC, Johansen C, Klaeboe L, Salminen T, Schoemaker MJ, Swerdlow AJ, Tynes T, Feychting M.

Allergic Conditions and Brain Tumor Risk.

Am J Epidemiol. 2007 Jul 23; [Epub ahead of print]

Link to the abstract in PubMed


Lahkola A, Auvinen A, Raitanen J, Schoemaker MJ, Christensen HC, Feychting M, Johansen C, Klaeboe L, Lonn S, Swerdlow AJ, Tynes T, Salminen T.

Mobile phone use and risk of glioma in 5 North European countries.

Int J Cancer. 2007 Apr 15;120(8):1769-75.

Link to the abstract in PubMed


Lonn S, Ahlbom A, Hall P, Feychting M.

Mobile phone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma.

Epidemiology. 2004 Nov;15(6):653-9.

Link to the abstract in PubMed