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
Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy