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Annual Meeting of the Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation

Annual Report

  1. Background

    At the February 7, 2003 meeting, the Board directed staff to establish the Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation to implement an initiative by the Board Chairman to fund research into the connections between air pollution and brain cancer. The incidence of brain cancer has been growing at an increasingly rapid rate. Recent research suggests that there may be a link between air pollution and some types of brain tumors. The AQMD Board is the member of the Foundation and is required to hold an annual meeting similar to an annual meeting of corporate shareholders. In addition, it is necessary to approve amendments to the articles of incorporation and bylaws to reflect the changes to the Foundation made by this year’s Chairman’s initiatives. This agenda item constitutes the annual meeting.

    The mission of the Foundation is to support research studies on the association between air pollution and brain tumors, as well as research for the development of novel therapeutics for brain tumors. Additionally, the Board directed that 10% of the penalty fees collected by the AQMD in FY 2002-03—approximately $723,000—be transferred to the Foundation to establish a research program.
     

  2. Directors and Officers

    The Directors of the Foundation are:    
    Michael D. Antonovich, Chairman
    Robert Davidson, Vice Chairman
    James W. Silva
    Hal Bernson

    The Foundation’s staff is:                       
    Barry Wallerstein, Chief Executive Officer
    Chery Cooper, Secretary
    Rick Pearce, Treasurer
     

  3. Report on the Foundation’s Activities and Plans

    Research Projects Funded to Date and Progress
    As a result of an initial solicitation by staff, the Foundation reviewed two research proposals. One proposal was from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center titled “Brain Tumors and Air Pollution.” The other was a joint proposal from USC and UCLA titled, respectively, “Brain Tumor and Air Pollution: Studies of Existing Data,” and “Retrospective Exposure Assessment for Association of Air Pollution with Brain Tumor Incidence.” The joint study has two parts, one examining the incidence of brain tumor incidences, which is to be performed by USC, and one estimating air pollution exposures to children with brain tumors, which is to be performed by UCLA.

    In July 2003, the Foundation Board approved a grant to Cedars-Sinai to fund its proposal. The grant was in the amount of $559,250. The purpose of the Cedars-Sinai study is to investigate the biochemical and pathological changes in brain tissue of laboratory animals exposed to air pollutants. The results of this study should shed light on potential mechanisms by which air pollution can cause brain tumors. The initial exposure of animals to ambient particulate matter has been completed, and tissues have been prepared for biochemical and pathological analyses. The exposures were conducted in collaboration with UC Irvine. Additional exposures to ambient pollutants for a longer period are planned in the May 2004 time frame. Protocols for exposure to the toxic air pollutants naphthalene and 1, 3-butadiene are currently being developed. These exposures will be conducted in collaboration with UC Irvine in the near future.

    In October 2003, the Foundation Board approved partial funding of the USC/UCLA joint study in the amount of $160,000. The funding covered a portion of USC’s study, including an analysis of data on brain cancer mortality and air pollution levels from a national cohort of individuals that the American Cancer Society (ACS) has been following for over 20 years; the collection of data on children’s brain tumor incidence in the AQMD’s four-county area; and the preparation of this children’s brain tumor data for possible future study of the correlation of tumor incidence with past air pollution exposures, as described in the USC/UCLA proposals, should additional funds become available from the Foundation or other sources. This project is in the process of collecting the necessary information on children’s brain tumor incidence. The analysis of adult brain cancer in the ACS national cohort is in process. Staff estimates an additional $450,000 would be needed to complete these analyses of the relation between children’s brain tumors and air pollutant exposures.
     

  4. Financial Report

    As of January 31, 2004 the Foundation had a cash balance of $5,295. Following is an accounting of the first seven-months of operations.

Account

Amount

Income

Contributions

$722,567

Interest

842

Total

$723,409

Expenses

Grants

Cedars-Sinai

$559,250

USC

158,340

Corporation Filing Costs

525

Total

$718,115

 

Cash Balance

$5,294

  1. Plans for Upcoming Year

    At its February 6, 2004 meeting, the AQMD awarded a grant of $1.5 million to the Foundation to fund additional research, provided the Foundation expanded its purposes to include funding for lung-cancer research and treatment. Research has indicated that a significant portion of brain tumors may initially occur in the lungs and migrate to the brain. In addition, the AQMD conditioned its grant on the Foundation recovering royalties—or other payments from grantees—from research funded by the Foundation with monies provided by the AQMD. These payments would be returned to the AQMD.

    Attached are amended articles of incorporation that expand the Foundation’s purposes to include lung-cancer research. The amended articles also change the Foundation’s name to the Brain and Lung Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation (Attachment 1). Also attached are amended bylaws that provide for recovery of royalties—or other payments from grantees—from research funded by the Foundation with monies provided by the AQMD (Attachment 2, p.9, Art. VII). The amendments also make the following administrative changes: authorizing the AQMD Board, as the Foundation’s member, to designate a Board member to act on the Board’s behalf (p.3, Art. 2.8); providing that the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer may also be designated as its president (p.7, Art 4.1(A)); and providing that neither the Secretary or Treasurer can serve concurrently as the Chief Executive Officer (p.8, 4.2(D)).
     

  2. Actions

  1. Receive and file the annual report and ratify the Foundation disbursements described in the annual report.

  2. Approve amendment to the Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation to expand the purposes of the Foundation to include research on lung cancer.

  3. Approve amendments to the Foundation’s bylaws to provide for recovery of royalties—or other payments from grantees—from research funded by the Foundation with monies provided by the AQMD, and other administrative changes as noted.

Attachments

  1. Certificate of Amendment of Articles of Incorporation of Brain Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation (PDF, 31kb)

  2. Amended and Restated Bylaws of Brain and Lung Tumor and Air Pollution Foundation (PDF, 64kb)

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