Medical Staff Pulse Newsletter

Recognition for Di Vizio, Kateb, Mirhadi, Pfeffer and Rosen

Physician News

Di Vizio Earns $300,000 Grant to Study Aggressive Breast Cancer

The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $300,000 grant to Dolores Di Vizio, MD, PhD, to advance scientific research in aggressive breast cancer. Di Vizio is associate professor in the Department of Surgery and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and a member of the Cancer Biology and Urologic Oncology Research Programs at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute.

Di Vizio will collaborate with the Women's Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute to investigate biomarkers in patient blood samples that may identify individuals with aggressive breast cancer.

Research findings have the potential to create a novel standard of care and a new source of biomarkers known as large oncosomes.

Working with Di Vizio on the study is Beth Y. Karlan, MD, director of the Women's Cancer Program, director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Chair in Gynecologic Oncology and the director of the Cedars-Sinai Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Program.

This is the first study on large oncosomes analyses in patients with breast cancer.

Babak Kateb, MD, (right) at the White House presenting a copy of the textbook to Philip Rubin, chair of the BRAIN Initiative committee.

Cedars-Sinai Physicians and Researchers Have Large Presence in Milestone Textbook on Nanoneurosurgery

Cedars-Sinai physicians and researchers played a fundamental role in the recent publication of The Textbook of Nanoneuroscience and Nanoneurosurgery, the first such book in the field. The book's first editor is Babak Kateb, MD, a research scientist at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute, chair of the board of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics and an adviser to President Obama on the BRAIN Initiative.

Among the more than 120 researchers who contributed chapters to the book are several from Cedars-Sinai: Keith L. Black, MD, Dwain Morris-Irvin, PhD, MPH, Bong Seop Lee, PhD, Chirag G. Patil, MD, Jian Tajbakhsh, PhD, and John S. Yu, MD. Kateb also contributed to several chapters.

The book presents a state-of-the-art review of the emerging field, providing current information about nanoplatforms and their use in neurosurgery, neurology, neuroscience and neuroradiology. The text also reviews the latest regulatory guidelines that influence nanotechnological research, and it highlights presidential and congressional initiatives and programs that may significantly impact the field in the near future.

Kateb was at the White House when a copy of the book was signed and presented to President Obama. Nanoneuroscience is a major part of the president's BRAIN Initiative, an effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent, and cure brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy, and traumatic brain injury. BRAIN stands for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies.

ASTRO Highlights Mirhadi's Study Comparing Short- Vs. Long-Term Hormonal Therapy

Radiation oncologist Amin J. Mirhadi, MD, found that "less may be more" when it comes to hormonal therapy in men with intermediate risk prostate cancer. The subset analysis study comparing short-term vs. long-term hormonal therapy was selected to be highlighted in the press program for the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 55th annual meeting, "Patients: Hope, Guide, Heal." The meeting will be held Sept. 22-25 in Atlanta.

The study, titled "Effect of Long-Term Hormonal Therapy (vs. Short-Term Hormonal Therapy): A Secondary Analysis of Intermediate Risk Prostate Cancer Patients Treated on RTOG 9202," used data from an older study, known as RTOG 9202. In the RTOG 9202 study, researchers found that men taking anti-testosterone treatment for two years benefited more than those who took it for four months.

In his new analysis, Mirhadi evaluated a subset of men classified as "intermediate" risk and found that there was no additional benefit to prolonged anti-testosterone therapy in the subset of patients.

"Clinicians tend to feel that 'more is better' when it comes to blocking testosterone in the body of a man with prostate cancer," Mirhadi said. "Our research proves otherwise, which may provide an enormous impact on men's health."

By blocking testosterone for a shorter period of time, men may see a reduction in common side effects, including decreased libido, bone loss, weight gain and an increased risk for heart disease, Mirhadi said.

Pfeffer Appears in Documentary About Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease

Glenn B. Pfeffer, MD, appears in a new documentary about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a neurological disorder that can weaken and contort the feet.

The film, "Bernadette," tells the story of a young woman who lives a full life even as she struggles with the physical and emotional challenges of the disorder.

Pfeffer, one of the leaders of Cedars-Sinai's Charcot-Marie-Tooth/Hereditary Neuropathy Center, has played a major role in the treatment of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. He and others involved in the documentary are speaking out ahead of its Sept. 17 premiere at the ArcLight Hollywood cinemas in the hope of drawing attention to the little-known disease, which affects one in 2,500 people and is among the most common inherited neurological disorders.

The film was sponsored by the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation.

Pfeffer is director of the Cedars-Sinai Foot and Ankle Program and co-director of the Cedars-Sinai/USC Glorya Kaufman Dance Medicine Center.

Rosen Becomes Director of Care Transitions and Complex Medical Management

Bradley T. Rosen, MD, MBA, has been promoted to director of Care Transitions and Complex Medical Management for the Cedars-Sinai Health System.

In his new role, Rosen will build upon his extensive experience leading difficult conversations with patients and families about advanced disease and end-of-life care and, with his recent board certification in Hospice and Palliative Care Medicine, will create a Health System-wide Supportive Care Medicine program. This new entity will collaborate closely with patients' primary care physicians and specialists to provide critical services for the most fragile patients, both in and out of the hospital, whether they choose to focus on comfort-oriented goals or to pursue a full range of more aggressive treatments for their illnesses.

Rosen also will work closely with the medical center and Medical Care Foundation to help design and implement innovative programs that will effectively manage our ACO patient population, ensure well-coordinated hand-offs and focus on safe care transitions

Rosen will continue as medical director of the Inpatient Specialty Program, which he launched in 2006, and the Enhanced Care Program, whose creation he led in 2012. The ISP hospitalist service is the largest admitting entity to the medical center, and the NP-driven ECP has partnered with over 80 private physicians to improve the care of patients at local skilled nursing facilities and led to a significant reduction in 30-day readmissions for this vulnerable population.