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2 nd CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA Conference 29 th & 30 th April 2008 Childhood Leukaemia Causes and Prevention. What environmental factors are linked to childhood leukaemia and are they detectable epidemiologically?. Denis L Henshaw H H Wills Physics Laboratory University of Bristol.

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2nd CHILDREN with LEUKAEMIA Conference

29th & 30th April 2008

Childhood Leukaemia Causes and Prevention

What environmental factors are linked to childhood leukaemia and are they detectable epidemiologically?

Denis L Henshaw

H H Wills Physics Laboratory

University of Bristol


I will consider
I will consider….

Childhood leukaemia is believed to have

shown a real increase last century

  • Natural Background Radiation

    low-LET stable over time; high-LET (radon) small increase

  • Light-at-night

    large increase last century

  • Power frequency magnetic fields

    low average exposures but a general increase

  • Air pollution

    significant increase in ultrafine/nano particles

(Shah & Coleman BJC 2007; 1 - 4)


Natural background ionising radiation
Natural background ionising radiation

HPA/NRPB

  • Childhood leukaemia risk has been extensively studied at medium and high level exposures in the Japanese Atomic Bomb survivors and fallout from nuclear weapons testing (Wakeford Oncogene 23: 6404-, 2004)

  • Increased risk in relation to in utero exposure from obstetric X-rays has been demonstrated with acute doses of 10 mSv or lower (Doll & Wakeford BJR 70: 130-, 1997)

Natural background radiation exposure rate in the UK is ~2.7 mSv y-1.


Risk estimates derived from these exposures suggest that natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence

UK COMARE 4th Report (1996) page 62:


Natural background radiation
Natural background radiation………….. natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence

For high-LET (a-particles) the 14% link divides:

~9% 210Po → RR = 1.09 at “normal” 210Po levels compared with zero 210Po

~5% Radon → RR = 1.05 at 20 Bq m-3 compared with zero radon

Both high and low-LET estimates are essentially undetectable in a case-control study because:

(i) of ubiquitous exposure to low-LET radiation with little place-to-place variation

and

(ii) for radon, too few statistics in the high vs low exposure category to provide statistical power


Radon leukaemia correlations
Radon–leukaemia correlations natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence

There have been a number of reports of geographical associations between radon and leukaemia:

Lucie 1989, Henshaw et al 1990, Alexander et al 1990, Butland et al 1990, Lucie 1990, Muirhead et al 1991 & 1992, Cohen 1993, Richardson et al 1995, Lyman et al 1986, Collman et al 1991, Viel 1993, Forastiere et al 1992, Hoffman et al 1993, Thorne et al 1996, Kohli et al 2000, Anne-Sophie Evrard et al 2004

But few case-control studies have reported an association


Light at night lan

Europe in the Present natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence

Europe in the past

Light-at-night (LAN)


The melatonin hypothesis and breast cancer richard stevens university of connecticut 1987
The Melatonin Hypothesis and breast cancer natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence– Richard Stevens University of Connecticut 1987

  • Exposure to light-at-night or magnetic fields suppresses the nocturnal production of the natural anti-cancer agent melatonin in the pineal gland leading to increased risk of breast cancer

  • Has much support for visible light: evidence that female night shift workers have elevated breast cancer risk (Meta-analysis of 13 studies: Megdal et al. Eur J Cancer 41: 2023-2032, 2005)

  • Women’s blood containing normal physiological concentrations of nocturnal melatonin prevents growth of MCF-7 breast tumours transplanted into rats (Blask et al. Cancer Res, 65: 1-11, 2005)

  • 2007: IARC has classed night shift work as a Class 2A, “probable” carcinogen


Melatonin n acetyl 5 methoxytrptamine
Melatonin natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence(N-acetyl-5-methoxytrptamine)

  • Melatonin is a hormone produced in the pineal gland mainly at night

  • Ganglion cells in eye (not visual system) signal when there is no light – pineal melatonin produced at night

  • Powerful anti-oxidant with multiple actions, many receptor mediated

  • By a scavenging cascade – one melatonin molecule can scavenge up to 10 ROS/RNS(Tan et al J Pineal Res. 42; 28-42, 2006)


Light at night and childhood leukaemia
Light-at-night and childhood leukaemia natural background radiation contributes to childhood leukaemia incidence

Has not been studied but:

  • Melatonin protects against oxidative damage to the fetus in animals(Wakatsuki et al 1999a, b &c; Okatani et al 2001)

  • Melatonin is highly protective of oxidative damage to the human haemopoietic systems(Vijayalaxmi et al Mutat Res: 371; 221-,1996):

    Four human volunteers took 300 mg melatonin, after 2 hours blood samples exposed to 1.5 Gy g-radiation. 50-70% reduction in DNA damage in lymphocytes

  • Melatonin inhibits proliferation of HL60 myeloid leukaemia cells(Rubio et alJ Pineal Res 42: 131-, 2007, 42)


Serum melatonin level and its relationship to feto-placental unit during pregnancy(Nakamura et al J Pineal Res 30: 29-33; 2001)

Fig. 1. Changes of maternal serum melatonin levels at night-time

(solid line) or daytime (dotted line) in the normal singleton pregnancy.


Power frequency electric magnetic fields especially magnetic fields mfs
Power frequency electric & magnetic fields unit during pregnancy- especially magnetic fields, MFs

Appliances:

can be tens

of mT close to

(Richard Box’s ‘FIELD’February 2004 Photo: Stuart Bunce, www.richardbox.com)

Under powerlines MFs can be several mT or evens tens of mT

Average MF home levels 0.05 mT

Doubling of CL risk associated with 0.3/0.4 mT


Childhood leukaemia and magnetic fields mfs
Childhood leukaemia and magnetic fields (MFs) unit during pregnancy

Reported MF associations with childhood leukaemia at various stages:

  • Paternal peri-conceptual - Pearce et al (Pediatr Blood Cancer, 49: 280-, 2007)

  • Birth address - Draper et al(BMJ, 330, 1290-, 2005);

  • Diagnosis address - Ahlbom et al. (2000) and Greenland et al. (2000) – doubling of risk above

    0.3/0.4 mT average exposure. More recentlyKabuto et al(Int J Cancer¸ 119: 643-, 2006);

  • Reduced survival in children treated for ALL - Foliart et al (B J Cancer, 94, 61-, 2006);

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2001 declares magnetic fields

a Class 2B “possible carcinogen” Statements about precaution - WHO (2007);

SCENIHR (2006); UK SAGE Report (2007)

A linear no-threshold model would suggest ~11% of CL cases

linked to MFs in the UK


But, stepping back from CL: unit during pregnancy

Review bodies’ assessments of MF causation of various diseases.

*Class 2B, possible carcinogen

**US National Institute of Environmental Sciences

See also O’Carroll & Henshaw (Risk Analysis, 28(1), 225-, 2008)

Evidence for MF link with Adult leukaemia, and at least as good as for childhood leukaemia.

Alzheimer's disease also comparable (Garcia et al Meta Analysis 25 studies: Int J Epidemiol 2008)


Illnesses associated with mfs is there a common factor
Illnesses associated with MFs – Is there a common factor? unit during pregnancy

Childhood leukaemia, Adult leukaemia, Adult brain cancer,

ALS, Alzheimer's disease, Depression, Suicide,

Miscarriage, Breast cancer

Disruption of

Melatonin

Populations exposed to neighbourhood EMFs shown melatonin

disruption with fields as low as 0.2 mT

(Review by Henshaw & Reiter, Bioelectromagnetics S7: 86-97, 2005)


unit during pregnancy

Spin

change

Separation:

Free radicals

Molecule

spin = 0

Singlet

radical

Pair (ns)

Triplet

radical

Pair (µs)

The Radical Pair Mechanism:

Magnetic fields can increase the lifetime of free radicals

- More available to damage DNA

When two radicals created from one precursor, spin states are coupled (+½, -½) – singlet state (t~ns)

If the spin of one of the species changes, radical pair will have parallel spins – triplet state (t~ms)


Magnetic fields can increase the lifetime unit during pregnancy

of free radicals

by driving singlet spin states to triplet states

  • Low magnetic field effects – previously degenerate energy states resolve (Timmel et al. Mol Phys 95: 71-89, 1998)

  • Increases probability of transitions from singlet (ns) to triplet state(ms) of radicals

  • Results in more triplets – longer lived (ms), more available to cause biological damage

  • Experimental support in chemical systems (e.g. Liu et al Chem Commun 174-, 2005)


Biological evidence for the rp mechanism increased lifetime of free radicals
Biological evidence for the RP mechanism unit during pregnancy– increased lifetime of free radicals

  • Juutilainen et al.(IJRB 82; 1-12, 2006)review of 65 in vitro & animal studies – MFs enhance the effects of known harmful agents, p<0.0001

  • Lupke et al.(Free Radical Res 38; 985-993, 2003) – monocyte cells from cord blood exposed to 1 mT fields release reactive oxygen intermediates


Childhood leukaemia mfs
Childhood leukaemia & MFs unit during pregnancy

apparent MF effects at ~0.4 mT 50/60 Hz

against the Earth’s static magnetic field of 50 mT

Similarly:

Fluctuations in the Earths MF of ~0.3 mT appear to be linked to acute health effects e.g. depression (Review: Palmer et al: Surv. Geophys, 27, 557-,2006)


Animal navigation unit during pregnancy

- Birds detect tiny changes in magnetic fields

  • Homing pigeons sensitive to 10-20 nT changes in the Earth’s 50 mT field (Wiltschko, 2005)

  • Some amphibians have receptors in the pineal gland…

  • But of most interest in birds is the compass in the eye (e.g. robins).

Ritz et al studied the magnetic compass in robins

(Nature 429: 177-, 2004)

The compass is based on the radical pair mechanism


Evidence suggests the avian compass uses unit during pregnancycryptochromes in the eye

Ritz et al (Biophys J 78: 707-, 2000); Ritz et al (Nature 429: 177-, 2004)

Review by Wiltschko & Wiltschko, BioEssays, 28; 157-168, 2006

  • In the cryptochrome proteins visible light of particular wavelength creates free radicals whose spin states are affected by MFs.

  • Thus, cryptochromes, detect and amplify small MF changes for transmission to the brain.

  • Ritz et al 2000 & 2004 postulated and then identified RPM in eye

  • Ongoing work has identified ms lifetimes of triplet state cryptochromes in garden warblers (Leidvogel et al 2007 - Oxford)

University of Illinois

(www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/cryptochrome)


Cryptochromes contd
Cryptochromes contd… unit during pregnancy

  • Cryptochromes CRY1 & CRY2 proteins are expressed by the cryptochrome 1 & 2 genes – part of the family of 8 core circadian genes identified to date

  • 50 – 70 kDa in molecular size; ~4 nm in physical size

  • Cryptochromes are expressed in plants which can respond to magnetic fields (Review: Galland & Pazur J Plant Res 118: 371-, 2005)

  • Cryptochromes do not necessarily need visible light to create radical pairs

  • The circadian genes are present in all cells, but it is not known whether they express cryptochromes in cells in general to facilitate the MF effects reported by Lupke et al and others


Air pollution
Air pollution unit during pregnancy


Savitz (1989) unit during pregnancy

Alexander (1996)

Feychting (1998)

Harrison (1999)

Pearson (2000)

Raaschou-Nielsen (2001)

Reynolds (2001)

Langholz (2002)

Reynolds (2002)

Crosignani (2004)

Reynolds (2004)

Steffen (2004)

0.1

0.5

1

5

10

100

50

Peggy Reynolds, California Health Dept: Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals for childhood leukaemiain proximity to highest vs. lowest levels of traffic-associated exposures for twelve published studies


dM dlogDa ( unit during pregnancygm-3)

Urban

Aerodynamic Diameter (nm)

With kind permission of

Drs Rami Alfarra and Hugh Coe.

Hydrocarbons (PAHs) mainly on the nano-aerosols

– travel considerable distances from production site


Nano particle component of air pollution

Total conc’n (11-1083nm) unit during pregnancy

'heavy emitter' = 241 000 cm-3

Nano-particle component of air pollution

Total conc’n (11-083nm) roadside = 53 900 cm-3


Inhaled nano particles pass into the bloodstream
Inhaled nano-particles pass into the bloodstream unit during pregnancy

  • Nano-particles (NPs) when inhaled penetrate deeply into the lung and pass into the bloodstream

  • In the context of cardio-vascular disease, NPs release reactive oxygen species:

(i) Talk by Delfino (University of California, Irvine):

<http://www.aqmd.gov/tao/Ultrafine_Presentations/Session4_4_Delfino.pdf>

(ii) Simko et al(Toxicology Lett 161: 73-, 2006)

– Mono Mac 6 cells release ROS by 14 nm particles


Heritable mutations from air pollution
Heritable mutations from air pollution unit during pregnancy

Steel Mills, Hamilton Harbour

Lake Ontario

26 PAHs measured

1 km

  • 1 km downwind of steel mills:

  • Exposed mice – ambient air

  • Controls – air filtered to 0.01 mm (10 nm)

  • Further controls – rural location 30 km away

1.5 – 2-fold increased heritable

germ line mutations in exposed group

Somers et al PNAS 99: 15904-, 2002

& Science 304: 108-, 2004


Papers by george knox 2005 6

McKinney unit during pregnancyet al UKCCS: Occup Environ Med 60: 901-, 2003

Papers by George Knox 2005 & 6

  • Knox 2005a (J Epidemiol Comm Health, 59, 101-105)

    - Childhood cancer associated with hotspots for carbon monoxide, PM10 particles, VOCs, nitrogen oxides, benzene, dioxins, 1,3-butadiene and benzo[a]pyrene

  • Knox 2005b (J Epidemiol Comm Health, 59, 755-760)

    - Childhood cancer associated with short distances of bus stations, hospitals, railways, oil installations and industrial transport centres: 1,3-butadiene especially implicated

  • Knox 2006 (J Epidemiol Comm Health, 60, 136-141)

    - Childhood cancer associated with short distances of bus stations, railway stations, railways, A,B class roads: again 1,3-butadiene especially implicated

(birth and death addresses of fatal child cancers in GB between 1966-80)


Knox compared outward inward migration wrt birth and diagnosis address

1km unit during pregnancy

Case 1

D

B

D

D

Case 2

B

B

Address diagnosed

Hazard site, e.g. Bus station

Birth address

Knox:Compared outward/inward migration wrt birth and diagnosis address

Among migrant children, distances from each address to the nearest pollution emission hot-spot were composed. Excess of outward over inward migrations show an increased prenatal or early infancy risk.


Findings – 2 (2005a) unit during pregnancy:Benzene is a major component of motor fuel

1,3-butadiene is largely derived from petrol and diesel exhausts

Close ratios for 1,3-butadiene:

Knox - conclusions

  • Excess relative risks within 1.0 km of bus stations, hospitals, heavy transport centres and oil stations. Most significant result: RR = 12.6 for joint <0.5 km exposure to bus stations and 1,3-butadiene

  • The associations with 1,3-butadiene, dioxins and benzo[a]pyrene are sufficiently specific to conclude that they are probably the truly active agents

  • Size of the effects suggests 30 - 80% of childhood leukaemia and cancer could be linked to vehicle related air pollution in the UK at the in utero/early infancy stage


Draper unit during pregnancyet al. British Medical Journal 2005; 330: 1290-3

29,081 children with cancer, 9,700 with leukaemia 1962-1995 (322 leukaemia cases <600 m)

NB: Unlike other studies, this used the birth address and not the diagnosis address


2.06 unit during pregnancy

(0.87-4.91)

1.3

(0.88-1.91)

<50 m

50-300 m

Lowenthal et al. Internal Medicine Journal 2007

854 patients diagnosed with LPD or MPD aged 0-94 years diagnosed in Tasmania 1972-1980

3.23 (1.26-8.29)

1st 15 years of life

4.74 (0.98-22.9)

1st 5 years of life

ORs for ever having lived within 50 and 300 m of a high voltage power-line compared with never residing within 300 m and for risk associated by age of exposure within 300 m.


Attaches to pollutant aerosol (10-100 s) unit during pregnancy

+

+

Forms cluster of molecules (~100 ns)

High E-field ionises the air

When inhaled, electrically charged aerosols could have a higher probability of depositing in the lung

Initial ‘bare’ ion

Charge separation and ion emission

+

Corona ion hypothesis

  • Direct fields cannot explain findings of Draper and Lowenthal distant from the power lines

  • Indirect mechanism could be due to corona ions (Fews et al. 1999)

  • High voltage line ionises the air and forms atmospheric small-ions

  • Small-ions attach to pollutant aerosols, changing their charge state

  • Increased charge on aerosols can lead to increased lung deposition


Selected environmental exposures possible attributable fractions childhood leukaemia risk
Selected environmental exposures: unit during pregnancypossible attributable fractions childhood leukaemia risk


Acknowledgements
Acknowledgements unit during pregnancy

Team members:

Julie Close

Matthew Wright

James Matthews

Alison Buckley

Andrea Lazenby

Supported by

Websites:

www.electric-fields.bris.ac.uk/presentations.html

www.electric-fields.bris.ac.uk


Dose response for light zeitzer et al j physiol 2000 526 695 702
Dose response for light unit during pregnancyZeitzer et al. J Physiol (2000) 526, 695-702


Childhood leukaemia near nuclear installations
Childhood leukaemia near nuclear installations unit during pregnancy

  • UK: Sellafield – ‘Black Report’ (NRPB-R171; 1984)

  • Germany: Childhood leukaemia and all malignancies near nuclear power plants (Kaatsch et alInt J Cancer 1220: 721-, 2008; Spix et alEur J Cancer 44: 275-284; 2008)

The problem is one of dose levels:

Natural a-activity in children’s teeth: 5 – 20 Bq kg-1

Plutonium in children’s teeth: ~mBq kg-1

(O’Donnell et al Sci Tot Environ 201; 235-, 1997)

a-activity in upper right 4 tooth from a 13-year-old boy:

outer enamel 210Pb-supported 210Po; circumpulpal 226Ra.


The incidence of childhood leukaemia is believed to have shown a real increase last century
The incidence of childhood leukaemia is believed to have shown a real increase last century

(Shah & Coleman BJC 2007; 1 - 4)


Properties of melatonin
Properties of melatonin shown a real increase last century

  • Unlike vitamins C & E, melatonin enters cells and can act directly on DNA

  • By a scavenging cascade – one melatonin molecule can scavenge up to 10 ROS/RNS(Tan et al J Pineal Res. 42; 28-42, 2006)


Knox conclusions
Knox - conclusions shown a real increase last century

  • The associations with 1,3-butadiene, dioxins and benzo[a]pyrene are sufficiently specific to conclude that they are probably the truly active agents

  • Assessment of the size of the effects suggests that up to 80% of childhood leukaemia and cancer could be linked to vehicle related air pollution in the UK at the in utero/early infancy stage


Papers by george knox 2005 61
Papers by George Knox 2005 & 6 shown a real increase last century

(birth and death addresses of fatal child cancers in GB between 1966-80)

  • Knox 2005a (J Epidemiol Comm Health, 59, 101-105)

    - Childhood cancer associated with hotspots for carbon monoxide, PM10 particles, VOCs, nitrogen oxides, benzene, dioxins, 1,3-butadiene and benzo[a]pyrene

  • Knox 2005b (J Epidemiol Comm Health, 59, 755-760)

    - Childhood cancer associated with short distances of bus stations, hospitals, railways, oil installations and industrial transport centres: 1,3-butadiene especially implicated

  • Knox 2006 (J Epidemiol Comm Health, 60, 136-141)

    - Childhood cancer associated with short distances of bus stations, railway stations, railways, A,B class roads: again 1,3-butadiene especially implicated


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