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
Finnish research group discovers a new immune system regulator
23.02.2018 | University of Turku
Minimising risks of transplants
22.02.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy