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
Correct connections are crucial
26.06.2017 | Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology