sutures newsletter


P and T Approvals, Tramadol Change, Warnings About Promacta and Sporanox

Pharmacy Focus

See highlights of the June 3 meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, tramadol is now being managed as a controlled substance, and the federal government has released a warning about Promacta and a list of contraindications for Sporanox.

Mark Your Calendar

Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.

Education Schedule

Click the PDF link below to see the Department of Surgery's educational schedule.

Educational Schedule - August 2014 (PDF)

Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

Patient's Gift Will Support Sarcoma Study

Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD

A gift of $250,000 for the Surgical Oncology Education and Research Fund in honor of Allan W. Silberman, MD, PhD, was recently received from a grateful patient. The gift will be used to support the ongoing genomic analysis of patients with multiple primary malignancies and sarcomas.

Silberman is clinical chief of Surgical Oncology and the Robert J. and Suzanne Gottlieb Chair in Surgical Oncology.

Cedars-Sinai's serum and tumor bank has samples from more than 600 patients with multiple primary malignancies. The most common combination of tumors is breast cancer and melanoma, and surprisingly, prostate cancer and sarcoma.

The sarcoma study is an effort to differentiate leiomyosarcoma of the uterus from the common uterine leiomyoma (fibroid) prior to manipulation. Unfortunately, Cedars-Sinai has a large population of patients with recurrent uterine leiomyosarcoma that were initially felt to have a benign fibroid.

As has been pointed out in both the scientific and lay press, morcellation and other minimally invasive procedures done for suspected fibroids can be devastating if in fact the diagnosis is a leiomyosarcoma. This error occurs in about one in 350 patients. The misdiagnosis leads to a contaminated pelvis doomed to repeated recurrences.

If a mutation can be identified that would differentiate the two entities prior to manipulation, the appropriate treatment could be offered to that rare patient with a uterine sarcoma. Of note is that Johnson & Johnson suspended sales of the laparoscopic power morcellators in April after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advised doctors not to use the tool because of the potential for tumor contamination.

The team also is performing a genomic analysis of patients with bilateral breast cancer who are BRCA-negative, looking for new mutations that may explain their additional risk. Other tumor combinations will be studied as well.

In addition to Silberman, the genomic research team includes:

Farin Amersi, MD, assistant professor of Surgery and associate program director for General Surgery Residency


Bonnie Balzer, MD, PhD, director of Surgical Pathology, Dermatopathology and Musculoskeletal Pathology Services

Charles Forscher, MD, medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Sarcoma Center


Vincent Funari, PhD, director of the Genomics Core and member of Personalized Medicine

Jennelle Hodge, PhD, associate professor of Pathology and associate professor of Biomedical Sciences


Jenny Hong, MD, Complex Surgical Oncology fellow in the Department of Surgery

Jean Lopategui, MD, director of Molecular Pathology and Clinical Cytogenetics