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Grant supports Cedars-Sinai study of possible links between air pollution and brain cancer
Date:2/11/2014

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 10, 2014) Researchers at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai will conduct a study to determine if several potentially toxic compounds that exist in polluted air are capable of entering the brain from the bloodstream and causing brain cancer.

The research, funded by a $1 million grant from the Brain & Lung Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation for the South Coast Air Quality Management District, will be done in laboratory mice.

The National Toxicology Program, an interagency program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Institute of Environmental Health Services, part of the National Institutes of Health, has identified 13 chemicals that have caused brain tumors. The Cedars-Sinai study will focus on three naphthalene, butadiene and isoprene that often are associated with polluted air.

Naphthalene, used in the plastics industry and a component of mothballs and other products, may be released into the air when coal and oil are burned. Butadiene, used in rubber manufacturing and found in vehicle exhaust, exists in low levels in the air of urban and suburban areas. Isoprene, a natural compound produced by certain trees and shrubs, is used in manufacturing synthetic rubber and adhesives. Alone, it usually is not considered an air pollutant, but when it mixes with high levels of nitric oxide which often occurs in industrial areas the combination produces "ground-level" ozone, which can be harmful when inhaled.

Cedars-Sinai researchers and others have used high-tech systems to detect genes and proteins involved in the development of brain cancers. They have studied molecular changes and interactions considered "brain tumor pathways" that lead from defective gene activity to cancer generation in the brain. The researchers also have identified certain genes that appear to support cancer stem cells. Like normal stem cells, cancer stem cells h
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
808-526-1708
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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