The Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation today announced the beginning of a research project led by an internationally renowned neurosurgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to explore a possible link between brain cancer and air pollution.
The study will be led by Keith Black, M.D., director of the Cedars-Sinai Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Division of Neurosurgery in Los Angeles. The Brain Tumor foundation recently awarded $559,250 to the research project, with funding from the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD).
The Cedars-Sinai investigation will examine biochemical and pathological changes in brain tissue of laboratory animals exposed to selected toxic air pollutants. These changes will be compared to those in human brain tumor tissue to determine whether air pollution causes changes in tissue associated with the formation of brain cancer.
Factors that led to the study include:* Research documenting that certain toxic air pollutants are known to cause cancer in humans;
* At least one investigation that found a dramatic increase of brain cancer rates in a metropolitan area, with a possible link to air pollution.
At todays news conference, Dr. Black described the appearance of an increasing incidence in brain tumors in children and young people and noted that some estimates suggest brain cancers and other tumors of childrens nervous systems rose by more than 25 percent between 1973 and 1996.
"Brain cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in young people," Black said.
"Among the potentially toxic products of concern are the ultrafine particles that come from diesel engines - particles that would likely be plentiful along freeways, in congested metropolitan areas, and in the immediate vicinity of diesel-burning vehicles," Black said.
Ultrafine particles, including diesel soot and other combustion products, are those less than 0.1 micron in diameter (one micron is one millionth of one meter, or about 1/70th the diameter of a human hair). Such particles are able to lodge deep in human lungs and even enter the bloodstream due to their minute size.
"I believe the work we are initiating today will provide answers to important questions about brain cancer risk factors facing our children and future generations," Black concluded.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, also a member of the AQMD Governing Board as well as chairman of the Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation, joined Dr. Black at todays news conference.
"This study is consistent with AQMDs mission because our agency is dedicated to protecting public health," Antonovich said.
"The state of California has established diesel particulate as a toxic and cancer-causing air pollutant.
"Now, we hope to determine whether brain tumors may be related to air pollution," Antonovich concluded.
In January, AQMD Governing Board Chairman William A. Burke proposed the creation of a Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation. The following month, AQMDs Board approved the establishment of the foundation. It has been chartered as a California non-profit public benefit corporation.
AQMDs Board committed 10 percent of the agencys air pollution penalty revenues from fiscal year 2002-03 -- about $722,500 -- to fund the foundation for one year. Of that amount, $559,250 will underwrite the research project led by Black.
The foundation hopes to use the remaining funds to support an additional epidemiology study of brain cancer and air pollution, comparing past trends of both phenomena.
The foundations Board of Directors include Supervisor Antonovich; Orange County Supervisor and AQMD Board Member James Silva; Hal Bernson, a former AQMD Board Member and former Los Angeles City Councilmember; and Robert Davidson, president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Surface Protection Industries.
Black is the leading expert on the blood-brain barrier and the delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs directly into tumors, holding patents for his method for selective opening of abnormal brain tissue capillaries. The blood-brain barrier refers to the boundary between blood vessels and brain tissue.
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties
Sandy Van | Van Communications
Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research