Loberg, L. I., Engdahl, W. R., Gauger, J. R. and McCormick, D. L. Cell Viability and Growth in a Battery of Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines Exposed to 60 Hz Magnetic Fields.
Epidemiological data suggest that exposure to power-frequency (50/60 Hz) magnetic fields (MFs) may be a risk factor for breast cancer in humans. To determine whether MFs affect human breast cancer cells, we measured viability, growth and cytotoxicity in a battery of breast cancer cell lines after in vitro MF and sham exposure. Cells of three estrogen receptor-positive human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, ZR-75-1 and T-47D) and one estrogen receptor-negative human breast cancer cell line (MDA-MB-231) and normal (nontransformed) human breast epithelial cells were exposed to MFs (1 mT) or sham fields (<0.0001 mT) for 72 h. Cell viability was determined using the sulforhodamine B (SRB) assay at 0 and 72 h after the MF exposure period. Cell growth was measured as the change in SRB dye uptake over 72 h after MF exposure. MF exposure had no effect on cell viability or growth in any cell type examined. Similarly, MF exposure had no effect on cytotoxicity induced by exposure to the retinoid N-(4-hydroxyphenyl)retinamide. These data do not support the hypothesis that MF exposure stimulates growth of breast cancer cells.