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
World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences
21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy