February Monthly Research Highlights Newsletter

Newswise — LOS ANGELES (Feb. 29, 2024) – 

New Frontiers in Treating GI Cancers

In advance of the fifth annual Cedars-Sinai Gastrointestinal Tumor Conference, an event for healthcare professionals seeking updates on the most recent advances in these therapies, Andrew Hendifar, MD, sat down with the Cedars-Sinai Newsroom to discuss the challenges and latest advances in treating this group of cancers. Read more> 

Some Patients With Liver Disease May Tolerate Small Amounts of Alcohol Without Getting Sicker

Patients diagnosed with steatotic liver disease (formerly called fatty liver disease) are usually advised to stop drinking alcoholic beverages. But a new study led by Cedars-Sinai found that drinking, on average, a small amount of alcohol a day did not lead to further liver damage in patients with mild disease. The study is published in JAMA Network Open and led by Yee Hui Yeo, MDRead more> 

Neuropsychologist Joins Cedars-Sinai Dementia Care Team

Mitzi Gonzales, PhD, a board-certified neuropsychologist, has joined Cedars-Sinai as director of Translational Research in the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai. She will treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias as well as lead research programs aimed at preserving cognition across the lifespan. Read more>

The Latest About Multiple Sclerosis

Two leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts—Nancy Sicotte, MD, and Pascal Sati, PhD—are among co-authors of a consensus statement from the North American Imaging in MS Cooperative that seeks to standardize imaging techniques for identifying chronic active lesions, an important indicator of chronic brain inflammation in MS. Read more>

AI Captures Electrocardiogram Patterns That Could Signal a Future Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Two new studies by Cedars-Sinai investigators, including Sumeet Chugh, MD, support using artificial intelligence (AI) to predict sudden cardiac arrest—a health emergency that in 90% of cases leads to death within minutes. Read more>

Study Details How a Common Bacterium Resists New Antibiotic

Cedars-Sinai investigators, including Peter Jorth, PhD, have detailed a new way that bacteria use iron to cooperate and resist antibiotic treatment. The study, led by the Cedars-Sinai departments of Biomedical Sciences and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Microbiology and is the first to show this type of antibiotic cross-protection. Read more>

New Cedars-Sinai Study Pinpoints Why Some Injured Kidneys Do Not Heal

Cedars-Sinai investigators, led by Sanjeev Kumar, MD, PhD, have discovered why some injured kidneys heal while others develop scarring that can lead to kidney failure. Their findings, detailed in a paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Science, could lead to the development of noninvasive tests to detect kidney scarring and, eventually, new therapies to reverse the condition. Read more>

New Insights May Yield Improvements in Heart and Brain Health

Early 20th century physician and psychotherapist Alfred Adler famously said, “Follow your heart but take your brain with you.” It’s prudent advice that also sums up the approach of C. Noel Bairey Merz, MD, in her investigation of potential links between coronary microvascular disease (CMD) and cerebral small-vessel disease (CSVD). Read more>

Patients Diagnosed With New-Onset, Persistent AFib Are More Likely to Have These Risk Factors

Patients who present with persistent atrial fibrillation at diagnosis are more likely to have certain risk factors as compared with patients with occasional atrial fibrillation (AFib). The study, led by Christine Albert, MD, MPH, was published in Circulation: Arrhythmia and ElectrophysiologyRead more>

Women Get the Same Exercise Benefits As Men, but With Less Effort

A new study from the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai shows there is a gender gap between women and men when it comes to exercise. The study, led by Martha Gulati, MD, and Susan Cheng, MD, MPH, and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), show that women can exercise less often than men, yet receive greater cardiovascular gains. Read more>

Novel Pain Management Protocol Reduces Opioid Use in Hospitalized IBD Patients

The pain experienced by hospitalized patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is routinely treated with opioid medication, but with little success in actually controlling major discomfort. Cedars-Sinai investigators developed a Proactive Analgesic Inpatient Narcotic-Sparing (P.A.I.N.-Sparing) protocol as an alternative to opioids and found it more effective in controlling pain for these patients. The study of the single-center randomized controlled trial were published in Scientific Reports and were led by Gil Melmed, MDRead more>

Why the Top Cause of Death for Women Has Been Ignored

Experts at the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai who have studied progress made over decades of research say there’s still a long way to go before medical science fully understands how heart disease is different in women than men. But there is hope, according to Natalie Bello, MD, MPHRead more>

AI Measures Fat Around the Heart, a Key to Predicting Heart Attacks

A collaborative group of investigators, led by Piotr J. Slomka, PhD, used artificial intelligence (AI) to quickly and accurately measure fat around the heart using a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan during a routine test. The technique, described in a study published in the peer-reviewed journal npj Digital Medicine, can help physicians better understand and manage heart disease risk in patients. Read more>

Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s Opens Angelman Syndrome Clinic

Cedars-Sinai Guerin Children’s opened a clinic to provide specialized multidisciplinary care for children with Angelman syndrome, a rare and severe neurodevelopmental condition. Cesar Ochoa-Lubinoff, MD, says children with Angelman syndrome present significant difficulties in their communication, motor and overall development. They have a sensitive and loving temperament but struggle regulating their emotions and behavior. Read more>

Defining the Future Language of Medicine

Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, and colleagues in the Department of Medicine have created a taxonomy—a classification system including comprehensive, standardized terminology—for the rapidly evolving field of medical extended reality (MXR). The taxonomy was published in the inaugural issue of the Journal of Medical Extended Reality, the official journal of the American Medical Extended Reality Association (AMXRA) and the world’s first peer-reviewed publication focused on extended reality. Read more>

Cedars-Sinai Radiation Oncology Earns Top Accreditation

The Department of Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer has earned accreditation from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence. The certification marks the commitment to patient safety and quality care at Radiation Oncology at Cedars-Sinai Cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Radiation Oncology Tarzana. Read more>

How AI and Wearable Technologies Are Transforming Medicine

Imagine a world in which the digital watch on your wrist tracks not only your step count, but also your blood sugar, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Then, the watch automatically sends a personalized health snapshot to your physician, alerting them to early signs of disease. That scenario could become reality in the near future, according to Joseph Schwab, MDRead more>

Smidt Heart Institute Physicians Advance Transcatheter Tricuspid Valve Replacement

Physicians in the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai, with leadership from Raj Makkar, MD, have achieved two significant firsts: completing the institute’s 100th minimally invasive tricuspid valve replacement and performing the first-ever implantation of a new bioprosthetic tricuspid valve following its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Read more>

Joint Accreditation Expands Cedars-Sinai’s Interprofessional Continuing Education

The Continuing Medical Education program at Cedars-Sinai has earned Joint Accreditation with Commendation, enhancing continuing education opportunities for healthcare professionals and signifying that Cedars-Sinai upholds the highest standards in providing relevant, effective, practice-based education. Read more>

RESEARCH ALERT: Stopping Multiple Myeloma

Cedars-Sinai Cancer investigators, led by Joshua Sasine, MD, PhD, have discovered a protein expressed on multiple myeloma cancer cells that drives disease growth and development. The new study found that blocking part of the protein’s unique signaling pathway stops myeloma growth in culture and in laboratory mice. Their study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer ResearchRead more>

RESEARCH ALERT: The New Geography of the Gut

Investigators from Cedars-Sinai; the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); Harvard University; and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel conducted a study to determine where individual nutrients are absorbed in the small intestine. For the first time, they identified the molecular markers that define five distinct intestinal regions. The research was led by Ophir Klein, MD, PhD, and published in Nature Cell BiologyRead more>

Had COVID-19 but Your Friend Didn’t? Why the Difference?

Investigators in the Department of Computational Biomedicine at Cedars-Sinai wanted to find out which factors influenced susceptibility to COVID-19 infection and disease severity the most. Was it genetics? Or was it home environment, meaning the germs circulating throughout your everyday life? The findings of a study led by Nicholas Tatonetti, PhD, were published in Nature Communications and suggest that more was in play than either factor alone. Read more>

Cedars-Sinai Behavioral Health App Launches on Apple Vision Pro

Cedars-Sinai clinicians and artificial intelligence experts, including Brennan Spiegel, MD, MSHS, and Omer Liran, MD, have developed a new application that takes advantage of the unique capabilities of Apple Vision Pro to support patients’ mental health needs. The application—called Xaia, for eXtended-Reality Artificially Intelligent Ally—expands access to mental health support for patients, furthering Cedars-Sinai’s mission to elevate the health of communities it serves in Los Angeles and beyond. Read more>

A Record Year for Cedars-Sinai Transplant Patients

The Cedars-Sinai Comprehensive Transplant Center and Smidt Heart Institute together completed 652 solid organ transplants in 2023, far outpacing Cedars-Sinai’s internal record set just one year ago, when surgeons completed 583 transplants. Read more>

‘Heart-on-a-Chip’ for Safer Cancer Treatment

To help protect the hearts of cancer patients, Cedars-Sinai investigators—led by Arun Sharma, PhD, have created a 3D “heart-on-a-chip” to evaluate drug safety. In a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Lab on a Chip, they show that the heart-on-a-chip, created using stem cells, accurately predicts the effects of drugs on human heart cells. Read more>

Visit Research News and follow Cedars-Sinai Academic Medicine on Twitter for more on the latest basic science and clinical research from Cedars-Sinai. 

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