Public Release: 

Cancer's triple threat: three doctors at Cedars-Sinai team up against women's cancers

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

LOS ANGELES (March 15, 2000) -- America's First Lady, three physicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and numerous Hollywood celebrities are all joining forces on March 28 to raise funds for the fight against ovarian, breast, endometrial and other women's cancers. Hillary Rodham Clinton will receive the "Women of Courage" award at "An Unforgettable Evening," a gala event sponsored by Cedars-Sinai and Saks Fifth Avenue to raise funds for important research on women's cancers.

Honorary chairs for the event are Kate Capshaw, Steven Spielberg, Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks. Elton John will headline the star-studded event. The late Elizabeth Tilberas, publisher of Harper's Bazaar, who lost her own battle with ovarian cancer last year, will be honored with The Nat King Cole Award.

Beyond celebrities, three "stars" in the day-to-day fight against women's cancers will attend the event and are available for pre-event interviews.

Cancer's "triple threat" is comprised of three Cedars-Sinai physicians whose lives are dedicated to beating specific types of cancer that can have a disastrous effect on women and their families. This "triple threat" encompasses leading-edge research, state-of-the-art clinical care, and genetic screenings and studies that can help women to know if they are at higher risk for certain types of cancer, thereby enabling them to take appropriate preventive measures before it is too late.

Beth Karlan, M.D., has one goal: to one day develop ways to cure, detect and prevent ovarian cancer. She is Director of Cedars-Sinai's Division of Gynecologic Oncology, as well as Director of the Gilda Radner Ovarian Cancer Program -- named for the comedienne who died of ovarian cancer and who was treated for the disease at Cedars-Sinai. Led by Dr. Karlan, the mother of two young children, the Radner program conducts laboratory research, clinical trials, educational symposia, screenings for women at increased risk due to family histories of cancer, and cutting-edge cancer care for patients.

Maren Scheuner, M.D., M.P.H., approaches the fight against women's cancers from a different angle. She and her team help patients "look into the future," and make changes that can benefit them and their families. As director of Cedars-Sinai's highly renowned GenRISK program, she utilizes state-of-the-art genetic consultative services, providing genetic risk assessment, diagnosis, testing and counseling for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers -- as well as other diseases. This program is designed for individuals who may have a genetic susceptibility to these conditions, and provides patients with a personalized prevention plan suited to their specific genetic susceptibilities.

As if the one-two punches of Dr. Karlan and Dr. Scheuner were not enough, H. Phillip Koeffler, M.D., serves up the third blow in this "triple threat."..He has discovered a way to stop the growth of breast cancer cells - by exposing them to a diabetes drug and the Vitamin A compound Accutane. Dr. Koeffler is a leader in cutting-edge research and clinical trials that focus not only on finding a cure, but also finding a way to prevent breast cancer in the first place. He is presently the principal investigator in the STAR (Study of Tamoxifen And Raloxifene) clinical trial sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project. This study is designed to include 22,000 postmenopausal women in the United States and Canada and will compare the effectiveness of Tamoxifen to Raloxifene in fighting breast cancer.

These three physicians are available for pre-event interviews. National spokespersons for Cedars-Sinai's Research for Women's Cancers support group are Candice Bergen and Bonnie Bruckheimer. For more information, please call 1-800-396-1002 or e-mail sandy@vancommunications.com.

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