Cedars-Sinai's medical tipsheet - June 2004

June 16, 2004

CEDARS-SINAI PLAYS KEY ROLE IN LANDMARK HEART FAILURE TRIAL
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center was among the first in the nation to evaluate the effectiveness of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices to reduce the risk of mortality and hospitalization in advanced heart failure patients. The evaluation was conducted as part of the landmark COMPANION Trial (Comparison of Medical Therapy, Pacing, and Defibrillation in Chronic Heart Failure) and conducted at top medical facilities around the nation. The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, indicate CRT devices used in combination with optimized pharmacologic therapy (OPT) show a significant impact on a patient's quality and length of life. Steven Khan, M.D., led the study at Cedars-Sinai and is available for interviews.

ANTIOXIDANT COMPONENT OF GREEN TEA BLOCKS NEW BUT NOT ESTABLISHED ARTERIAL PLAQUE IN MICE
Using a technique that enables them to study both early and advanced stages of arterial plaque buildup in the same mice, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center found that an antioxidant compound found in green tea leaves does not clear established plaque but does inhibit the development of new deposits. Results of the study appeared in the May 25 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation. Kuang-Yuh Chyu, MD, PhD, first author of the article, is available for interviews.

MANY "BIG HEARTS" MAKE LIFE-SAVING CARDIAC SURGERY POSSIBLE FOR BOY FROM MEXICO
Thanks to Liga International, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Larry King Cardiac Foundation, a 5-year-old boy from Mexico is recovering from lifesaving heart surgery in Los Angeles. The youngster and his mother were brought to the United States by Liga International, and his medical costs are being covered by Cedars-Sinai and the Larry King Cardiac Foundation. The needed heart valve was donated by Cryolife.

NEW TECHNOLOGY BLOCKS GENE TO INCREASE IMMUNE RESPONSE AGAINST DEADLY BRAIN TUMOR CELLS
Researchers have found that by turning off the interleukin 10 gene in dendritic cells they can make those cells much more effective in generating an immune response against highly aggressive brain tumor cells. This may be a significant step in improving the dendritic cell vaccine being fine-tuned in the fight against gliomas. Results of the study appear in the June issue of the European Journal of Immunology.

NEW INTRAOPERATIVE MRI LETS NEUROSURGEONS MINIMIZE RISK WHILE MAXIMIZING TUMOR REMOVAL
Latest-generation intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) now gives neurosurgeons at Cedars-Sinai's Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute real-time images in the operating room. Because brain tissue can shift during surgery, immediate feedback allows surgeons to revise their approach as needed. By visualizing the exact location of a tumor, surgeons can remove more tumor mass with less risk to adjacent healthy tissues and vital structures - without moving the patient. And they can check their results even before the patient leaves the OR.

RESEARCHERS DEFINE MECHANISM THAT ENABLES STEM CELLS TO TRACK MIGRATING BRAIN TUMOR CELLS
Neural stem cells, which have the ability to track deadly brain cancer cells as they migrate from a tumor to form new satellites, are potential transporters to deliver cancer-killing agents. In the May/June issue of Neoplasia, researchers identify the type of stem cells that have this capacity and describe a mechanism that turns on the tumor-tracking activity - important findings in the translation of laboratory results into therapeutic trials.

LARGEST STUDY SUGGESTS MORE WOMEN HAVE POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME THAN PREVIOUSLY ESTIMATED
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) causes menstrual and ovulation irregularities, infertility, and skin problems including excess male-like hair growth (known as hirsutism) and acne; and is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Although PCOS often eludes diagnosis, a new study suggests it is more common in the United States than previously believed, affecting 6.6 percent of premenopausal women. Dr. Ricardo Azziz, Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology, is available for interviews.

WOMEN'S HEALTH RESEARCH REGISTRY AIMS TO IMPROVE WOMEN'S HEALTH FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
More than 10,000 participants are expected to enroll in Cedars-Sinai Medial Center's Women's Health Research RegistryTM in the next five years. The registry has been established in an effort to close the gap in the under-representation of women in clinical research. As part of its commitment to helping women improve their health today and in the future, Cedars-Sinai is building this health information database, which it hopes will become a vital component in the search for new and better ways to diagnose and treat women. Dr. Noel Bairey Merz, Director of Women's Health, is available for interviews, as are registry participants.

MAJOR STUDY FINDS THAT AN EXPERIEMENTAL TESTOSTERONE PATCH SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED SEXUAL DESIRE AND ACTIVITY IN SURGICALLY MENOPAUSAL WOMEN EXPERIENCING LOW LIBIDO
A thin, transparent patch worn on the abdomen that releases small amounts of testosterone was shown to significantly increase sexual desire and the frequency of satisfying sexual activity in women experiencing low libido after menopause following the surgical removal of both ovaries. Results from the large clinical trial were reported at the 52nd Annual Clinical Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) in May, and may lead to a new way for surgically menopausal women to regain a satisfying sex life.

CEDARS-SINAI MEDICAL CENTER ESTABLISHES THE NEW SAMUEL OSCHIN COMPREHENSIVE CANCER INSTITUTE
At a time when cancer claims the lives of one out of every four Americans, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is now establishing the new Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. The Institute has been generously funded by a lead gift from the Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Oschin Family Foundation, through the generosity of Lynda Oschin, a dedicated philanthropist who has devoted many years to supporting the mission of Cedars-Sinai.
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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