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Dr. Michele Carbone's Scientific Publications

In Memory of Dr. Baris

Remembering Dr. Baris's Influence on My Research

Dr. Baris, the former Director of Pulmonary Medicine at the University of Hacettepe, in Ankara, Turkey, had a profound influence on my life and work.  

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Erionite exposure in North Dakota and Turkish villages with mesothelioma

Erionite exposure in North Dakota and Turkish villages with mesothelioma

PNAS Early Edition

Exposure to erionite, an asbestos-like mineral, causes unprecedented rates of malignant mesothelioma (MM) mortality in some Turkish villages. Erionite deposits are present in at least 12 US states. We investigated whether increased urban development has led to erionite exposure in the United States and after preliminary exploration, focused our studies on Dunn County, North Dakota (ND). In Dunn County, ND, we discovered that over the past three decades, more than 300 miles of roads were surfaced with erionite-containing gravel. To determine potential health implications, we compared erionite from the Turkish villages to that from ND. Our study evaluated airborne point exposure concentrations, examined the physical and chemical properties of erionite, and examined the hallmarks of mesothelial cell transformation in vitro and in vivo. Airborne erionite concentrations measured in ND along roadsides, indoors, and inside vehicles, including school buses, equaled or exceeded concentrations in Boyali, where 6.25% of all deaths are caused by MM. With the exception of outdoor samples along roadsides, ND concentrations were lower than those measured in Turkish villages with MM mortality ranging from 20 to 50%. The physical and chemical properties of erionite from Turkey and ND are very similar and they showed identical biological activities. Considering the known 30- to 60-y latency for MM development, there is reason for concern for increased risk in ND in the future. Our findings indicate that implementation of novel preventive and early detection programs in ND and other erionite-rich areas of the United States, similar to efforts currently being undertaken in Turkey, is warranted.

 

Michele Carbone, Y. Izzettin Baris,, Pietro Bertino, Brian Brass, Sabahattin Comertpay, A. Umran Dogan, Giovanni Gaudino, Sandro Jube,

The Cappadocia Cancer Villages

The Cappadocia Cancer Villages

In Cappadocia, Turkey, an unprecedented mesothelioma epidemic causes 50% of all deaths in three small villages.  Initially, scientists believed that the deaths were caused because homes in the villages were built out of rocks composed of a mineral fiber called erionite.  Erionite is similar to asbestos, but even more carcinogenic. 

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SV40 and human tumours: myth, association or causality?

SV40 and human tumours: myth, association or causality?

Nature Reviews: Cancer (2002)

An increasing number of scientific reports have described evidence for a polyomavirus, simian virus 40, in a highly select group of human tumors. How did a simian virus infect humans and is the virus a passenger in tumours or is it important in their pathogenesis?

Authors:  Adi F. Gazdar, Janet S. Butel & Michele Carbone

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