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PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY June 2014 | Archived Issues

Pro Surfer Back in Water After Surgery for Rare Cancer

When professional surfer Richie Lovett learned he had bone cancer, an international search led him to Cedars-Sinai, where a groundbreaking surgical procedure helped leave him free of the disease. Now Lovett is riding his board again.

» Read more

The Multispecialty Approach to Esophageal Cancer

By Harmik J. Soukiasian, MD

The treatment of esophageal cancer is best managed using a team approach, including gastroenterology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgery, an approach we refer to as the multispecialty esophageal cancer approach.

» Read more

Understanding How Melanoma Spreads From the Skin

By Richard Essner, MD

Once an uncommon malignancy, cutaneous melanoma is increasing in frequency in the United States. While most cases of melanoma can be cured by surgical excision of the primary tumor alone, about 20-30 percent of patients will develop metastases, and many of these patients will die from their disease.

» Read more

The Importance of Glycemic Control for Surgical Candidates

By David Liss, DPM

Diabetic patients and podiatry have come to develop a very close relationship as nationwide and global rates for the disease continue to rise. It will become increasingly important for all surgical specialties to take an active role in reinforcement of tight glycemic control, especially in their surgical patients.

» Read more

Spurrier Wins Debate by Downplaying Benefits of Robotics

The explosive growth of robotics was at the heart of the 11th annual Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition. Ryan Spurrier, MD, defeated Heidi Reich, MD, with his argument that savvy marketing rather than medical data is driving the field's rapid expansion.

» Read more

Circle of Friends Honorees for May

The Circle of Friends program honored 203 people in May. Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai.

» Read more

P and T Committee Approvals, FDA Warning on Docetaxel

Pharmacy Focus

See highlights from the April 1 meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the chemotherapy drug docetaxel contains alcohol, which may cause patients to experience intoxication during and after treatment.

» Read more

On Founders Day, Cedars-Sinai Looks to Its Past

A capacity crowd filled Harvey Morse Auditorium on June 6 for the inaugural celebration of Cedars-Sinai Founders Day, an occasion that was by turns solemn, joyous and funny. The event marked both the anniversary of Cedars-Sinai's opening in its current location and the debut of a Historical Conservancy exhibit about the medical center's past.

» Read more

Pro Surfer Back in Water After Surgery for Rare Cancer

Eight years after an innovative surgery to treat his bone cancer, Richie Lovett is all smiles. Photo by Peter Crumpton

When professional surfer Richie Lovett began experiencing hip pain at 31, he attributed it to his athletic lifestyle. But after months of discomfort and preliminary tests, the Australian learned the pain was caused by a cancerous tumor in his thigh bone.

"As a professional athlete, I was blindsided by the news that I had cancer," Lovett said. "I realized very quickly that cancer would have a profound effect on my life. I knew I needed an experienced oncologist to tackle this disease, so I began an international search to find the very best options and care."

The search led him from Australia to the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and the care of surgical oncologist Earl Warren Brien, MD.

Lovett is surfing again and enjoying a full life with his wife and children. Photo by Jon Frank

Brien, director of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Service at the Orthopaedic Oncology Program in the Cedars-Sinai Orthopaedic Center and a lifelong surfer himself, is an expert in treating bone cancer and has pioneered many of the most groundbreaking surgical procedures in orthopedic oncology, one of which would benefit Lovett.

Brien diagnosed Lovett with a tumor called clear cell chondrosarcoma, an uncommon form of bone cancer that rarely responds to chemotherapy or radiation. Instead of therapeutic treatments, Lovett would undergo a state-of-the-art surgery to give him the best chance at surfing again.

The surgical technique, described recently in the journal Orthopedics, required Brien to remove Lovett's tumor and damaged bone in its entirety, replace it with a prosthetic and then reconnect his hip and surrounding muscle to the prosthetic implant. This innovative approach provides the greatest possible range of movement.

With standard procedures, healing can be slow and patients often need multiple follow-up surgical procedures. But when damaged bone is removed and replaced with a metal prosthesis, patients may get back to their daily activities more quickly and easily, Brien said.

"The surgical approach Richie received is unique due to the prosthetic," Brien said. "The prosthesis is made of a combination of cobalt-chrome and titanium and has a three-piece head that allows for more range of motion and greater stability. This technique gave Richie, and patients like him, a faster recovery, more predictable outcomes and better overall quality of life."

Eight years later, Lovett is free from the rare bone cancer and back in the water, surfing and enjoying a full life with his two young children and his wife.

"I am committed to staying healthy and living a positive life," Lovett said. "I influence people wherever I can and am forever grateful to Dr. Brien for getting me back into the water."

The Multispecialty Approach to Esophageal Cancer

By Harmik J. Soukiasian, MD
Associate Director, Thoracic Surgery

Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells in the inner layer (the mucosa) of the esophagus and grows outward (through the submucosa and the muscle layer). There are two types of cells that line the inside of the esophagus. As such, there are two main types of esophageal cancers: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma may develop anywhere that squamous cells line the esophagus; it develops mainly in the upper and mid-esophagus. However, adenocarcinoma is usually restricted to the lower third of the esophagus, where it joins the stomach (gastro-esophageal junction).

The incidence of esophageal cancer has risen in recent decades. The rate of adenocarcinoma also has risen, and it has become the most prominent type of esophageal cancer in the U.S. In fact, esophageal cancer is one of the fastest-growing cancer diagnoses in the United States, having increased 600 percent in the past 35 years.

Risk factors for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus have been readily identified. They include smoking, alcohol, drinking hot or scalding liquids, and diet.

The risk factors associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma are not as clear. Studies suggest that there seems to be a very strong correlation with gastroesophageal reflux disease as a risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. The frequency, severity and duration of reflux symptoms were positively correlated with increased risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma. The presence of Barrett's esophagus (precancerous changes in the cells of the lower esophagus) is associated with an increased risk of developing adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Interestingly, chronic reflux is considered the main cause of Barrett's metaplasia.

To help our patients with the diagnosis of esophageal cancer, our goal and primary objective at the Cedars-Sinai Esophageal Program has been to formulate a comprehensive, compassionate and evidence-based approach to the treatment of this disease. Studies have shown that the outcomes and survival of esophageal cancer surgery patients is better when performed in institutions that perform 20 or more esophagectomies per year, such as at Cedars-Sinai. In fact, with our continued dedication to improving our outcomes, our esophageal cancer volume continues to grow and is now among the highest in the region.

The Esophageal Program strives to deliver leading-edge treatment to our patients. The treatment of esophageal cancer is best managed using a team approach, including gastroenterology, medical oncology, radiation oncology and surgery, an approach we refer to as the multispecialty esophageal cancer approach.

In regards to the surgical approach, there continues to be a natural progression towards smaller incisions and minimally invasive approaches in all fields of surgery. Open cholecystecomy has been replaced by laparoscopic cholecystectomy, open prostatectomy is being replaced with robotic assisted prostatectomy, open gastric bypass has been replaced by laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, open lung resections are trending toward minimally invasive video-assisted thoracic surgery techniques, and now open esophagectomy is seeing the early phases of minimally invasive approaches.

Only a few medical centers worldwide perform minimally invasive esophagectomy (MIE) on a routine basis, due mostly to the fact that MIE is a complex and technically challenging procedure. Studies have shown that MIE has favorable results, with shorter operating times, less blood loss and less time spent in intensive care units and in the hospital. More than 90 percent of all esophagectomies at Cedars-Sinai are performed via a minimally invasive approach, with excellent results.

As a comprehensive esophageal program, we need to ensure that clinical trials are available to our patients. We are enrolling patients at Cedars-Sinai for a clinical trial looking at the genetic makeup of the tumor prior to surgery: RTOG-1010 — A Phase III Trial Evaluating the Addition of Trastuzumab to Trimodality Treatment of Her2-Overexpressing Esophageal Adenocarcinoma (IRB no. 32466).

The Cedars-Sinai multispecialty esophageal cancer approach offers patients the opportunity to be seen and evaluated by the most comprehensive group of physicians, pain management experts and social services at a single institution in Southern California. We are committed to offering our patients the best treatment options available, to advancing the field through thoughtful clinical research, and to establishing a relationship with our patients that will enhance and optimize their care.

Understanding How Melanoma Spreads From the Skin

By Richard Essner, MD
Director, Melanoma Surgery

Once an uncommon malignancy, cutaneous melanoma is increasing in frequency in the United States. It affects one in 80 Caucasians and is the fifth-most-common cancer. The rate of increase is exceeded only by lung cancer in women, making melanoma a significant health problem.

While most cases of melanoma can be cured by surgical excision of the primary tumor alone, about 20-30 percent of patients will develop metastases, and many of these patients will die from their disease.

The most common first site of metastases in melanoma is the adjacent, regional lymph nodes. Elective lymph node dissection (ELND) was described as a method of controlling melanoma metastases by removing the lymph nodes when they are clinically normal but may or may not contain microscopic disease. While ELND has never been proven to provide a survival advantage for all patients compared to those patients who undergo treatment of the primary tumor only, four randomized prospective trials of ELND have shown the importance of staging the regional lymph nodes and the survival benefit of removing lymph nodes when they contain microscopic disease.

As an alternative to ELND, selective lymph node dissection (SLND) was devised in the 1990s as a minimally invasive approach to the regional lymph nodes. SLND allows surgeons to remove the lymph node most likely to contain metastases, i.e., the sentinel node (SN), while leaving the remainder of the regional lymph nodes intact. Only when the SN contains metastases are the remaining lymph nodes removed.

While the SN provides accurate staging of the regional lymph nodes, there is no data to prove that removal of a tumor containing SN will improve patient survival, similar to ELND. Yet the SN may provide insights into the mechanisms of how melanoma spreads from the skin.

In our laboratory, we have evaluated the immune profile of SN and non-SN in the presence and absence of lymph node metastases. Our hypothesis is that the immune profile of the SN may predict the biology of the cutaneous melanoma.

We have found that when melanoma spreads from the skin to the SN, the SN appear to have an immune cytokine profile that suggests immune dysfunction demonstrating dendritic cells and T-cells that are incapable of mounting an immune response. The non-SNs or normal SNs do not have the same immune profile, suggesting the SN is distinct in its immune response, likely related to its direct connection to the melanoma primary site.

We have proposed using the SN as a target for immune therapy with a hope that we can reverse the immune compromise in the SN. Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is one such agent that can active and cause maturation of dendritic cells, a potent first step in cancer antigen presentation.

By delivery GM-CSF directly to the SN, we hope that the immune dysfunction of the SN can be reversed. We anticipate these studies will provide useful information to the early process of immune activation or dysfunction in melanoma.

The Importance of Glycemic Control for Surgical Candidates

By David Liss, DPM
Chief Resident, Podiatric Medicine and Surgery

Diabetic patients and podiatry have come to develop a very close relationship as nationwide and global rates for the disease continue to rise. Generally, medical management and lifestyle modifications are handled by the primary care physicians, dietitians and diabetic educators. However, it will become increasingly important for all surgical specialties to take an active role in reinforcement of tight glycemic control, especially in their surgical patients.

For a number of reasons, diabetes has long been known to cause increased complication rates after surgery. It has been well documented that uncontrolled diabetes can lead to complications such as peripheral neuropathy, peripheral vascular disease and renal disease. Neuropathy, in particular, causes motor, sensory and autonomic dysfunction, the last of which can cause alterations in microcirculation, regardless of macrovascular status. This results in decreased vasodilation and therefore localized ischemia and poor immune response to surgical sites, which have the potential to become contaminated or infected.

New studies continue to emerge implicating the heightened importance of glycemic control to decrease post-operative infections. A study highlighted in the May edition of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery attempted to quantify the increased likelihood of infection for people with diabetes. The study found that diabetics with complications have up to a 7.25-fold increased likelihood of surgical site infection in the lower extremity compared with nondiabetics without neuropathy, and a 3.72-fold increased likelihood when compared to diabetics without complications. Hemoglobin A1C greater than 8 percent was also found to be an independent risk factor.

Studies like these only further bolster the known correlation between uncontrolled diabetes and surgical site infection. With the changes coming to our healthcare system and the increased burden placed on primary care physicians, it will be of utmost importance for not only podiatrists but all surgical specialists to practice preventive medicine and be proactive in better assessing and helping to maintain glycemic control in our patients prior to operating.

Spurrier Wins Debate by Downplaying Benefits of Robotics

Ryan Spurrier, MD, defeated Heidi Reich, MD, in the 11th annual Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition.

The explosive growth of robotics was at the heart of the 11th annual Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition.

This year, Heidi Reich, MD, faced off with Ryan Spurrier, MD, on the topic "Robotics — Medicine or Marketing? Progress or Promotion?"

The debate took place June 6 before a full house in Harvey Morse Auditorium. The event, which kicked off Cedars-Sinai's first Founders Day celebration, was sponsored by the Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery and Department of Community Relations and Development. The debate is named in honor of Cedars-Sinai's revered former chief of Surgery, Leon Morgenstern, MD, who died in 2012.

Reich, a third-year surgical resident who earned her medical degree in 2010 from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, spoke eloquently in favor of robotics as an important medical advance. She came out swinging. Her portrayal of robotics as the natural progression of medical innovation for patient benefit was the theme of her argument.

But Spurrier, also a third-year surgical resident and a 2010 graduate of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, won the debate arguing that savvy marketing rather than medical data is driving the field's rapid expansion.

"Medical technology spreads long before investigation reveals whether the innovation is worthwhile," Spurrier said. "With robotic surgery, which has seen exponential growth in the treatment of prostate cancer, marketing has already moved into the breach."

Although Reich conceded that advertisers do their utmost to promote robotic surgery, she offered statistical data to bolster her position that robotics is an important advance that offers a path to greater surgical precision and excellence.

Reich cited technological breakthroughs such as the first electrocardiogram and the first pulmonary arterial catheterization, both of which were performed at Cedars-Sinai. Keeping with the spirit of all previous debates, she said, "Let's be thankful Dr. Spurrier wasn't there."

Much to the delight of the audience, a gentle vein of humor ran through the one-hour event. The theme music to the BBC series "Downton Abbey" greeted the audience as it entered the room. During the judging and audience keypad voting, the theme music to the game show "Jeopardy!" caused a ripple of laughter through the crowd.

In the end, Spurrier's calm, deliberate and convincing demeanor prevailed.

Leo Gordon, MD, acted as moderator of the event. Judges included Harry C. Sax, MD, executive vice chair of the Department of Surgery; Sharon Isonaka, MD, vice president of Clinical Transformation; Karen S. Sibert, MD, associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology; Ilana Cass, MD, vice chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology; and Frank Litvack, MD, an emeritus cardiologist at Cedars-Sinai and a general partner in Pura Vida Investments. Each judge posed insightful questions to the participants.

After announcing the winner and awarding Spurrier the Morgenstern trophy, Gordon praised both participants for their scholarship and their commitment to the advancement of medicine. In addition to a cash prize, the competitors received copies of "Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery" by Richard Hollingham.

Next year's Morgenstern debate and Founders Day are scheduled for June 5, 2015.

Related story in this issue:

On Founders Day, Cedars-Sinai Looks to Its Past

Circle of Friends Honorees for May

The Circle of Friends program honored 203 people in May.

Circle of Friends allows grateful patients to make a donation in honor of the physicians, nurses, caregivers and others who have made a difference during their time at Cedars-Sinai. When a gift is made, the person being honored receives a custom lapel pin and a letter of acknowledgement.

Click here for more information about the program and for a list of past honorees.

  • Harmik Abrahamian, RN, CNOR
  • Keith L. Agre, MD
  • Michael J. Alexander, MD
  • Evelyn V. Alino, RN
  • Daniel C. Allison, MD
  • Farin Amersi, MD
  • Mahul B. Amin, MD
  • Neel A. Anand, MD
  • Ashley N. Atmospera, RN
  • David Austin, MD
  • Walid S. Ayoub, MD
  • Tina G. Ban, RN
  • Keith L. Black, MD
  • Selvyn B. Bleifer, MD
  • Gene H. Booth
  • Mary Grace Brandon, RN, ACNP-BC
  • Maria Belinda Brant, BSN, RN-BC, CCTC
  • Earl W. Brien, MD
  • Philip G. Brooks, MD
  • Neil A. Buchbinder, MD
  • Mathew H. Bui, MD
  • Karen K. Butterworth, MD
  • Bonnie J. Campbell, LCSW
  • Maggie Carrera
  • Ilana Cass, MD
  • Helen H. Chan, BSN, RN
  • Christopher Chang, MD, PhD
  • David H. Chang, MD
  • Kirk Y. Chang, MD
  • Julie Choi
  • Ray M. Chu, MD
  • Sumeet S. Chugh, MD
  • Alice P. Chung, MD
  • Eugenio Cingolani, MD
  • Paul Cohart, MD
  • J. Louis Cohen, MD
  • Myles J. Cohen, MD
  • Steven D. Colquhoun, MD
  • Jessica Contreras
  • Catherine M. Dang, MD
  • Moise Danielpour, MD
  • Iraj Dardashti, MD
  • Marietta A. De Jesus, RN
  • Lorna R. Dean, RN
  • Robert W. Decker, MD
  • Rick B. Delamarter, MD
  • Ryan DellaMaggiora, MD
  • Bernadette Devera, BSN, RN
  • Enrique P. Dondonay, BSN, RN-CMSRN
  • Noam Z. Drazin, MD
  • J. Kevin Drury, MD
  • Marla C. Dubinsky, MD
  • Michael T. Duffy, MD
  • Julie A. Dunhill, MD
  • Richard Essner, MD
  • Jeannifer W. Estrada, RN
  • Dennis W. Evangelatos, MD
  • Edward J. Feldman, MD
  • David A. Feldmar, MD
  • David E. Fermelia, MD
  • Marshal P. Fichman, MD
  • Karina Finkelshteyn, RN
  • Phillip R. Fleshner, MD
  • Charles A. Forscher, MD
  • Gerhard J. Fuchs, MD
  • Steven S. Galen, MD
  • Donna Gallik, MD
  • Eli Ginsburg, MD
  • Armando E. Giuliano, MD
  • Neil J. Goldberg, MD
  • Sherry L. Goldman, RN, NP
  • Mariana Gomez
  • Mark O. Goodarzi, MD
  • Jeffrey S. Goodman, MD
  • Martin N. Gordon, MD
  • Richard E. Gould, MD
  • Leland M. Green, MD
  • David S. Hallegua, MD
  • Solomon I. Hamburg, MD
  • Michele A. Hamilton, MD
  • Pamela S. Hamilton, JD, Esq.
  • Jenifer Braga Harris
  • Andrew E. Hendifar, MD
  • David M. Hoffman, MD
  • Stuart Holden, MD
  • Jethro L. Hu, MD
  • Gabriel E. Hunt Jr., MD
  • Asma Hussaini, MS, PA-C
  • Abraham Ishaaya, MD
  • J. Patrick Johnson, MD
  • Stanley C. Jordan, MD
  • David Y. Josephson, MD
  • Neel R. Joshi, MD
  • Marshall L. Kadner, MD
  • Joseph Kahwaji, MD
  • Saibal Kar, MD
  • Harold L. Karpman, MD
  • David Kawashiri, MD
  • Maryam Kazimi, RN
  • Walter F. Kerwin, MD
  • Angela Kiggundu
  • Robert Klapper, MD
  • Jon A. Kobashigawa, MD
  • Gary E. Leach, MD
  • Chih-Jen Lee, MD
  • Diana Lee, RN
  • Ronald S. Leuchter, MD
  • Andrew J. Li, MD
  • Michael C. Lill, MD
  • Simon K. Lo, MD
  • Angela M. Lopez, MD
  • Hillary Lux, BSN, RN
  • Patrick D. Lyden, MD
  • Hooman Madyoon, MD
  • Bartolome Sandro Mailom, RN
  • Rajendra Makkar, MD
  • Adam N. Mamelak, MD
  • Neel K. Mann, MD
  • Sumner Nathaniel Mason, RN
  • Ruchi Mathur, MD
  • David N. Matsumura, MD
  • Philomena McAndrew, MD
  • Robert J. McKenna Jr., MD
  • Puja K. Mehta, MD
  • Jose Mesina
  • Mike Mirahmadi, MD
  • Candy Miranda, BSN, RN, PCCN
  • Amir H. Monfared, MD
  • Jaime D. Moriguchi, MD
  • Hattie M. Munn
  • Youram Nassir, MD
  • Ronald B. Natale, MD
  • Christopher S. Ng, MD
  • Leslie Nieva
  • Elaine Park, BSN, RN
  • Jignesh K. Patel, MD, PhD
  • Rema D. Pendon, RN
  • Alice Peng, MD
  • David A. Perkel, MD
  • Maximillian R. Ponce
  • Edwin M. Posadas, MD
  • Ralph T. Potkin, MD
  • Danny Ramzy, MD, PhD
  • Madison F. Richardson, MD
  • Robert Richter, MD
  • Mandy S. Robinson
  • Barry E. Rosenbloom, MD
  • Eva Rozycki, BSN, RN
  • Jeremy D. Rudnick, MD
  • Paula Ruiz, PA-C
  • Wendy L. Sacks, MD
  • Jay N. Schapira, MD
  • Laurence Seigler, MD
  • Scott Serden, MD
  • Alan E. Shapiro, MD
  • John L. Sherman, MD
  • Takahiro Shiota, MD
  • Ellen Shukhman, BSN, RN-BC
  • Cris G. Sideno, BSN, RN, ONC
  • Robert J. Siegel, MD
  • Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD
  • Amanuel Sima, MD
  • R. Kendrick "Ken" Slate, MD
  • Laura Snoussi, BSN, RN, OCN
  • Ella Solita, BSN, RN
  • Paul Y. Song, MD
  • Shlee S. Song, MD
  • Andrew Ira Spitzer, MD
  • Jerrold H. Steiner, MD
  • Daniel J. Stone, MD, MPH, MBA
  • Ronald Sue, MD
  • Joseph Sugerman, MD
  • Ameline L. Suson, BSN, RN
  • Kazu Suzuki, DPM
  • Lillian Szydlo, MD
  • Bertha M. Tekum, BSN, RN
  • Alfredo Trento, MD
  • Timothy Tsui, MD
  • Richard Tuli, MD, PhD
  • Karen Z. Vaccaro, RN
  • Richard J. Van Allan, MD
  • Eric Vasiliauskas, MD
  • Marina Vaysburd, MD
  • Robert A. Vescio, MD
  • Rafael Villicana, MD
  • Irina Vinogradova, BSN, RN, PHN
  • Ashley A. Vo, PharmD
  • Mark W. Vogel, MD
  • Daniel J. Wallace, MD
  • Xunzhang Wang, MD
  • Jonathan M. Weiner, MD
  • Scott R. Weingarten, MD
  • Michael H. Weisman, MD
  • Alexandra M. Wierzbicki, BSN, RN
  • Nicole Williams, RN
  • Charles L. Wiseman, MD
  • Donald A. Wiss, MD
  • Edward M. Wolin, MD
  • Jennifer S. Won, RN
  • Mindy Wong
  • Taekyung Youn, RN
  • Rachel Zabner, MD
  • Manxu Zhao, MD

P and T Committee Approvals, FDA Warning on Docetaxel

Pharmacy Focus

Highlights of the April 1 meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee are summarized in the PDF link below.

P and T Committee Approvals - April 1 (PDF)

Docetaxel May Cause Symptoms of Alcohol Intoxication

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the intravenous chemotherapy drug docetaxel contains ethanol, also known as alcohol, which may cause patients to experience intoxication during and after treatment. The FDA is revising the labels of all docetaxel drug products to warn about this risk.

For more information, click here.

On Founders Day, Cedars-Sinai Looks to Its Past

Leo Gordon, MD, medical adviser to the Cedars-Sinai Historical Conservancy, drew on documents and photos to illustrate the medical center's transformation.

A capacity crowd filled Harvey Morse Auditorium on June 6 for the inaugural celebration of Cedars-Sinai Founders Day, an occasion that was by turns solemn, joyous and funny. The event marked both the anniversary of Cedars-Sinai's opening in its current location and the debut of a Historical Conservancy exhibit about the medical center's past.

Founders Day marked the debut of an exhibit tracing the history of Cedars-Sinai. The exhibit of photos, documents and artifacts is in the hallway outside the Medical Library, on the Plaza Level of the South Tower.

In addition to the lunchtime history presentation and the new exhibit, Founders Day included the Dr. Leon Morgenstern Great Debates in Clinical Medicine Resident Competition.

The presentation and exhibit focused on the first 74 years of the institution's 112-year history, from the medical center's start in 1902 as Kaspare Cohn Hospital, to the merger of two hospitals in 1961 to form Cedars-Sinai, to the move to the present location on June 6, 1976.

"With their merger, Cedars of Lebanon and Mount Sinai hospitals formed a whole that was greater than the sum of its parts," said Jonathan Schreiber, director of Community Engagement.

"In all the iterations of our hospital, first as Kaspare Cohn and Bikur Cholim, then later as the iconic Mount Sinai Home for the Incurables; and even today as a renowned, world-class medical center, some things have never changed," Schreiber said. "We were formed as two separate institutions to care for those in need, and we relied on the contributions of staff, physicians and the community in order to make our care exceptional."

Tom Priselac, president and CEO, praised the generations of remarkable people whose dreams "willed Cedars-Sinai into existence."

"This is an opportune time to reflect on how the organization came to be," Priselac said. "When an idea becomes a reality, sometimes we come to think it was always meant to be. In reality, it was anything but that. Cedars-Sinai was not a foregone conclusion."

Vivid proof of the transformation of Kaspare Cohn Hospital into the Cedars-Sinai of today was offered by Leo Gordon, MD, medical adviser to the Historical Conservancy. Gordon and the late Leo Morgenstern, MD, the medical center's longtime chief of Surgery, led the push for a historical conservancy at Cedars-Sinai.

Jonathan Schreiber, director of Community Engagement, (right) leads a tour of the Historical Conservancy exhibit.

Drawing from documents, artifacts and photographs in the Historical Conservancy, many of which he collected, Gordon drew appreciative laughs from the audience as he offered a time capsule of how Cedars-Sinai has changed through the decades.

Referring to an anesthesia bill from 1937, he noted that the patient was charged $4 per day for his hospital stay — and was billed 30 cents for a telephone call. A photograph from 1962 showed the medical center's first intensive care unit. A memo from the 1970s bemoaned the cost of feeding the medical center's hungry residents.

"This is the connective tissue of Cedars-Sinai," Gordon said, referring to the collection of facts, artifacts and memories that make up the history of Cedars-Sinai. "It tells us who we are."

The second annual Founders Day celebration is scheduled for Friday, June 5, 2015.

Employees and medical staff members who have worked at Cedars-Sinai since 1976 or earlier took part in a Founders Day panel discussion. Panelists were (from left) Linda Burnes Bolton, DrPH, RN, FAAN, vice president and chief nursing officer; Glenn D. Braunstein, MD, vice president, Clinical Innovation; Ilean Smith, DTR, administrative coordinator, Food and Nutrition Services; and Steve Simons, MD, medical director, Medical Affairs for Quality/Performance Improvement.

Related story in this issue:

Spurrier Wins Debate by Downplaying Benefits of Robotics