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30 Years
Not Enrolling
Leukemia, Brain Neoplasm

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Trial Information

Brain tumors and leukemia are the most common malignancies among children and adolescents in
the U.S. Adequate information on the role of inherited genetic susceptibility and
environmental exposures in the development of neoplasms in children and adolescents is
lacking. In Taiwan, four large petrochemical industries are located in the Kaohsiung
metropolitan area. These facilities are proximal to residential areas because of the high
population density in the region. Data have shown that the concentrations of ambient
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and volatile organic compounds (VOC) around the
petrochemical industries are at least 10 and 2 times, respectively, higher than those in
U.S. industrialized communities. Our preliminary case-control study in metropolitan
Kaohsiung showed that young residents (under age 30) living within 3 kilometers of the
vicinity of petrochemical industries have a 6.0 fold increase in brain neoplasms and a 2.9
fold increase in leukemia. The purpose of this proposal is to examine the association of
exposure to air contaminants (PAH and VOC) emitted from the petrochemical industries,
specific genetic polymorphisms (P4501A1 (MspI & exon 7) and GSTM1 &T1) from study subjects
and their parents, and the risks of brain tumors and leukemia among children and youths in
metropolitan Kaohsiung. Our hypothesis is that there is an increased risk of brain tumors
and leukemia in patients with high cumulative exposure to these hazards, and that heritable
polymorphisms in several genes modify this association. In addition to an independent
association of environmental and genetic factors with brain neoplasms and leukemia, we
hypothesize that there is greater risk associated with the presence of combined
environmental exposure and the high risk genotype. Also, we will assess the role of parental
genetic polymorphisms in the development of cancer in their siblings. This proposed study
uses an environmental molecular epidemiologic approach, utilizing prospective enrollment of
a cohort of brain tumor and leukemia subjects in a population-based case-control design.
This proposal is responsive to the recommendation of the National Research Council that risk
assessment and public health policy pay special attention to the protection of children.

Inclusion Criteria

Young population Less than 30 Resident of Kaohsiung metropolitan, Taiwan

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Case Control, Observational Model: Natural History


United States: Federal Government

Study ID:




Start Date:

August 2000

Completion Date:

July 2005

Related Keywords:

  • Leukemia
  • Brain Neoplasm
  • Neoplasm
  • Petrochemical
  • Leukemia
  • Taiwan
  • Brain Neoplasms
  • Neoplasms
  • Leukemia



Harvard School of Public Health Boston, Massachusetts  02115