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International collaboration led by Keck School of Medicine of USC researchers identifies new genetic variants indicating susceptibility to prostate cancer



prostate cancer.

The data study, analyzing more than 87,000 individuals of European, African, Japanese and Latino ancestry, is the largest of its kind and is the first that combines multiple studies across different ethnic populations.

“The goal of this research is to identify regions of the genome that contribute susceptibility to prostate cancer that could be used for understanding a man’s future risk of developing this disease,” said principal investigator Christopher Haiman, Sc.D., professor of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC. “This research also emphasizes the importance of common genetic variation in the etiology of prostate cancer, and the importance of large-scale international genetics consortia.”

According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men, behind skin cancer. It is estimated that nearly 30,000 men will die of prostate cancer and more than 233,000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2014.

Past genome-wide association studies identified 77 variants associated with prostate cancer risk. The additional 23 variants found in the new study “give us another piece in the puzzle,” Haiman said, and new targets for researchers looking into the causes of prostate cancer.

The combined studies that are part of this research have been conducted around the world over the past seven years. The research is chiefly funded by the NCI GAME-ON Consortium, formed to encourage interdisciplinary international collaborations.

The study, “A meta-analysis of 87,040 individuals identifies 23 new susceptibility loci for prostate cancer,” was published Sept. 14, 2014 in Nature Genetics.

Amin Al Olama, A., Kote-Jarai, Z., Berndt, S.I., Conti, D.V., Schumacher, F. ... Haiman, C.A. (2014). A meta-analysis of 87,040 individuals identifies 23 new susceptibility loci for prostate cancer. Nature Genetics. Published online Sept. 14, 2014; doi: 10.1038/ng.3094

ABOUT KECK MEDICINE OF USC: Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California's medical enterprise, one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Encompassing academic, research and clinical excellence, the medical system attracts internationally renowned experts who teach and practice at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the region’s first medical school; includes the renowned USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the first comprehensive cancer centers established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States; has a medical faculty practice, the USC Care Medical Group; operates the Keck Medical Center of USC, which includes two acute care hospitals: 401-licensed bed Keck Hospital of USC and 60-licensed bed USC Norris Cancer Hospital; and owns USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, a 158-licensed bed community hospital. It also includes more than 40 outpatient facilities, some at affiliated hospitals, in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center of USC among the Top 10 in ophthalmology (No. 9), and among the Top 25 hospitals in the United States for urology (No. 20) and cancer care (No. 23). The medical center was also awarded an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group in March, representing outstanding patient safety practices and overall patient outcomes.

For more information, go to www.keckmedicine.org/beyond
An international study co-led by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) scientists and researchers in the United Kingdom has revealed 23 new genetic susceptibility locations indicating risk for
Preeminent USC surgeon and emergency medicine pioneer dies at 88
Gail Victor Anderson, M.D., was the first professor and chairman of an academic department of emergency medicine in the nation









A memorial service is planned for Friday, Sept. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Aresty Auditorium of the USC Health Sciences Campus.

Best known as the “father of emergency medicine,” Dr. Anderson became the first professor and chairman of an academic department of emergency medicine in the United States when the dean of USC's medical school and the medical director of the county hospital asked him to take the position in 1971. Upon his retirement as chairman of the department in 2002, his faculty at the Los Angeles County (LAC) + USC Medical Center had trained more emergency physicians than any other residency program in the country.

“Not many people can say that they launched a new medical specialty, but Gail was one of the few individuals who launched a highly successful specialty in emergency medicine,” said Ed Newton, M.D., interim chair of the USC Department of Emergency Medicine. “In fact, people now can hardly imagine a hospital without emergency medicine. Gail was not only an astute politician and leader, but he was also highly concerned with the welfare of the individual patients. He set that tone for the entire department for many years to come.”

Born on Oct. 3, 1925, in Pensacola, Florida, Dr. Anderson served in the United States Navy during World War II before attending college and graduating from medical school at Loma Linda University. Following residency training in obstetrics and gynecology in Washington, D.C., he became the director of the ob-gyn service at Los Angeles County General Hospital in 1958. Recognized as an extremely accomplished gynecological surgeon and teacher of gynecological surgery, Dr. Anderson became a noted researcher of diabetic pregnancy and rose to become professor and acting chair of the obstetrics and gynecology department at USC.

After the USC emergency medicine training program began in 1971, Dr. Anderson and others continued to push for formal recognition of the specialty during the next two decades. He travelled internationally to meet with physicians also interested in the advancement of emergency medicine. In the early 1970s, he founded the first physician assistant emergency medicine program at LAC+USC. In 1976, he and 11 other representatives formed the American Board of Emergency Medicine and served as its president from 1987 to 1988. Emergency medicine was designated as an independent freestanding specialty the following year.

In 1996, the American College of Emergency Physicians presented the James D. Mills Award for Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine to Dr. Anderson. On the occasion of his retirement, the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles renamed the emergency department at LAC+USC “The Gail Anderson, M.D. Department of Emergency Medicine.”

Dr. Anderson was active in civic organizations and served the South Pasadena community as school board president, high school team physician, and instructor in school health classes. He was an accomplished athlete, including being a champion Navy boxer, a standout college baseball player, an avid golfer, a skillful tennis player, an enthusiastic skier, and an adventurous sailor.

While his motto was "the patient comes first” during his professional career, he was a loving and caring husband and father known affectionately to his sons as "Doc" and later, to his grandchildren as "Grampa Doc." Dr. Anderson is survived by his wife, Alice; his five sons, Gail Jr., David, Jerrold, Walter, and Mark, and their wives and children; his brother, Donald; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Gail V. Anderson, Sr., M.D. Memorial Fund at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, 1975 Zonal Avenue, KAM 300, Los Angeles, CA 90033-9034.  Please contact Stephanie Cypert at (323) 442-2352 for information about donations.

ABOUT KECK MEDICINE OF USC: Keck Medicine of USC is the University of Southern California's medical enterprise, one of only two university-based medical systems in the Los Angeles area. Encompassing academic, research and clinical excellence, the medical system attracts internationally renowned experts who teach and practice at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, the region’s first medical school; includes the renowned USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the first comprehensive cancer centers established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the United States; has a medical faculty practice, the USC Care Medical Group; operates the Keck Medical Center of USC, which includes two acute care hospitals: 401-licensed bed Keck Hospital of USC and 60-licensed bed USC Norris Cancer Hospital; and owns USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, a 158-licensed bed community hospital. It also includes more than 40 outpatient facilities, some at affiliated hospitals, in Los Angeles, Orange, Kern, Tulare and Ventura counties.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Keck Medical Center of USC among the Top 10 in ophthalmology (No. 9), and among the Top 25 hospitals in the United States for urology (No. 20) and cancer care (No. 23). The medical center was also awarded an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group in March, representing outstanding patient safety practices and overall patient outcomes.

For more information, go to www.keckmedicine.org/beyond
Gail Victor Anderson, M.D., founding faculty member of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC) and a pioneer in the field, died of complications from pneumonia on Sept. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, California. He was 88.

“The world of medicine has suffered a great loss,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., MBA, dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “The USC Department of Emergency Medicine residency program is one of the country’s most highly regarded, and that was very much due to Gail’s stewardship.”
Treating insomnia in elderly reduces inflammation, lowers risk for chronic diseases
UCLA study finds a common form of psychotherapy is most effective at alleviating sleeplessness




United States — that sleep loss can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and even lead to an earlier death.

The reason for the increased risk of health problems is thought to be an association between insomnia and an increase in inflammation throughout the body that becomes chronic. Though inflammation can be a good thing — part of a robust immune response that heals injury and fights infection, chronic inflammation can damage and kill healthy cells, leading to disease.

What hasn’t been known is whether treating insomnia could reduce inflammation, thereby lowering the risk for chronic disease in older adults. Nor has it been known what the most effective therapy is to treat insomnia.

Now UCLA researchers have answered both these questions. In a new study, they demonstrate that reducing insomnia can indeed lead to decreases in inflammation, and second, that a form of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy proved superior to other forms of treatment.

The study appears in the September issue of the journal Sleep.

The results were obtained from a randomized clinical trial of 123 adults older than 55, and showed that treating insomnia led to decreases in a known marker of inflammation called C-reactive protein (CRP). The protein is found in blood plasma, and its levels rise in response to an acute inflammatory stimulus. The CRP levels were measured at the beginning of the study, again after treatment, and again in a follow-up 16 months later.

“What we found particularly intriguing was that the levels of the CRP inflammatory marker remained low even 16 months after treating the insomnia,” said Michael Irwin, first author, and a professor of psychiatry and director of the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.

The researchers also compared three treatments for insomnia:

Cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT), a form of therapy that helps people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior;

Tai chi chih (TCC), the westernized version of the Chinese martial art characterized by slow movement and meditation;

And sleep seminar education, which provided educational information related to the physical, medical, and psychosocial factors of aging and their contribution to sleep problems.

They found that, “by far” noted Irwin, cognitive behavioral therapy performed better than tai chi chih and sleep seminar education in reducing insomnia, and also showed greater and more sustained improvements in sleep quality, the ability to maintain continuous sleep throughout the night, and study participants’ reports of fatigue, and depressive symptoms.

“This is the first randomized, controlled trial that has evaluated the comparative efficacy of TCC versus CBT, a standardized behavioral intervention for insomnia,” Irwin said. The research team found that those who got cognitive behavioral treatment showed a reduced rate of diagnostic insomnia that was nearly double either of the other two treatments.

The benefit of treating insomnia to reduce inflammation is comparable to the benefit reported with vigorous physical activity or weight loss, he noted. “To advance public health, these findings prominently emphasize the position of sleep among the three pillars of health — diet, exercise and sleep.

“Finally, if insomnia is untreated and sleep disturbance persists, we found that CRP levels progressively increase,” Irwin said. “Together, these findings indicate that it is even more critical to treat insomnia in this population who are already at elevated risk for aging-related inflammatory disease.”

Other authors on the study included Richard Olmstead, Carmen Carrillo, Nina Sadeghi, Elizabeth Breen, Tuff Witarama, Megumi Yokomizo; Helen Lavretsky, Jude Carroll, Sarosh Motivala, and Perry Nicassio, all of UCLA; and Richard Bootzin, of the University of Arizona. Funding was provided by the National Institute of Aging. The authors have indicated no financial conflicts of interest.
Lack of sleep can make you sick. And while everybody has the occasional restless night, for those who suffer from chronic insomnia — some 15 percent of older adults in the