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Cedars-Sinai Medical Tipsheet for June

Released: 20-Jun-2014 3:45 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Cedars-Sinai
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Newswise — Following is the June tipsheet of story ideas from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. To arrange interviews, please contact the individual listed.

Enzyme Used in Antidepressants Could Help Researchers Develop Prostate Cancer Treatments
An international team of scientists including researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute and the University of Southern California found that an enzyme commonly used as a target for antidepressants may also promote prostate cancer growth. The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, found that suppressing the enzyme monoamine oxidase A, or MAOA, may reduce or even eliminate prostate tumor growth and metastasis in laboratory mice. The finding could open the door for physicians to use antidepressants to fight prostate cancer. Currently, drugs that inhibit MAOA enzymes are used to treat patients with mental illnesses like depression.
CONTACT: Cara Martinez, 310-423-7798; Email

Cedars-Sinai Science and Medicine Graduate Program Awards PhDs to Second Graduating Class
Cedars-Sinai’s Graduate Program in Biomedical Science and Translational Medicine will confer doctoral degrees on six students during a commencement ceremony June 12. The students -- whose research focused on heart disease, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegenerative disease and protective immunities against bacterial infections – comprise the medical center’s second graduating class. Seven doctoral students were the first to graduate from the program in 2013.
CONTACT: Duke Helfand, 310-248-6608; Email

Cedars-Sinai Physician Groups Receive Highest Rating for Fifth Consecutive Year
For the fifth year in a row, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group and Cedars-Sinai Health Associates have been awarded the highest possible designation for quality care by a leading national organization representing managed care physician groups. CAPG, formerly known as the California Association of Physician Groups, rated both Cedars-Sinai groups as excelling in all six of the criteria used in the 2014 Standards of Excellence survey. Both CSMG and CSHA groups voluntarily participated in the annual survey that rated 86 medical groups, representing 11.1 million patients nationwide.
CONTACT: Sally Stewart, 310-248-6566; Email

Stem Cell Expert Explains How Experimental Regenerative Medicine Therapies Can Regrow Damaged Heart Muscle
Stem cell therapy for cardiovascular disease isn’t a medical pipe dream – it’s a reality today, although patients need to better understand the complex science behind these experimental treatments, according to the chief of Cardiology for the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. In a 17-minute TEDxGrandForks talk now available on, Timothy D. Henry, MD, known for his innovative work in developing stem cell treatments for advanced heart disease patients, said he understands why so many are confused about the latest scientific findings.
CONTACT: Sally Stewart, 310-248-6566; Email

Arthur J. Ochoa Receives Mexican American Bar Foundation Professional Achievement Award
The Mexican American Bar Foundation named Arthur J. Ochoa, Cedars-Sinai’s senior vice president of Community Relations and Development, the 2014 recipient of the legal organization’s Professional Achievement Award. The award was presented at the Mexican American Bar Foundation’s Annual Scholarship and Awards Gala June 14 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
CONTACT: Sally Stewart, 310-248-6566; Email

For Patients With Sickle Cell Disease, Blood Donors Are a Matter of Life and Death
Every six weeks for the past nine years, Mawasi Belle has been donating blood at Cedars-Sinai’s Blood Donor Services, totaling nearly 80 trips to the medical institution and thousands of pints of blood collected. But for Belle, this selfless act is merely a part of her lifestyle. “My decision to give is easy. If I do not donate, patients with serious blood diseases, like sickle cell anemia, will die.” And Belle is right: Patients with sickle cell disease and other serious blood conditions rely on donors to keep their blood flowing and hearts beating.
CONTACT: Cara Martinez, 310-423-7798; Email

Hypertension Expert Awarded $8.5 Million to Enlist African-American Barbers in Fight Against Hypertension
A Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute physician has been awarded an $8.5 million grant aimed at enlisting African-American barbers in the fight against hypertension, a deadly condition that can cause strokes, heart attacks and organ failure, and which is particularly devastating to African-American men.
CONTACT: Sally Stewart, 310-248-6566; Email

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