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

ave the ability to self-renew and generate new cells, but instead of producing healthy cells, they create cancer cells.

The air pollution study is intended to determine whether up to 12 months of ongoing exposure to air pollution causes molecular changes in the brain that are consistent with the development of brain tumor pathways; if toxins associated with air pollution can cross the brain's natural defense mechanism the blood-brain barrier and enter the brains of animals; and whether this exposure activates genes and proteins that support brain cancer stem cells.

"Most studies looking at central nervous system cancers have focused on occupational hazards and have found that many manufacturing, farming, chemical and other industries are associated with increased risk. In this study, we will learn about particular components of air pollution and how they may be involved with the abnormal expression of genes and proteins that activate cancer stem cells. This may increase our understanding of air pollution as a potential risk factor for the generation of brain cancer," said Keith Black, MD, chair and professor of the Department of Neurosurgery, director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, director of the Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr. Brain Tumor Center and the Ruth and Lawrence Harvey Chair in Neuroscience.

Black is principal investigator of this study. He and other Cedars-Sinai researchers have conducted earlier studies on air pollution and molecular brain changes that could lead to cancer development primarily on the potential effects of diesel fuel exhaust for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

In the new study, researchers will examine tissue exposed to pollutants at three months, six months and 12 months to determine if there is a change with longer exposure compared to shorter.


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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
808-526-1708
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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