Robert A. Figlin, MD, deputy director of Integrated Oncology at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, talks about how a childhood tragedy lead to his interest in finding cures for cancer.
Figlin is a world-renowned leader in cancer research and treatment at Cedars-Sinai. One of his many contributions to cancer treatment has been bringing the newest precision treatments to his patients faster.
Cedars-Sinai is one of the largest nonprofit academic medical centers in the U.S. with 886 licensed beds, 2,100 physicians, 3,000 nurses and thousands of other healthcare professionals and staff. Clinical programs range from primary care for preventing, diagnosing and treating common conditions to specialized treatments for rare, complex and advanced illnesses.
Explore our stories to learn how we bring something unique to treating cancer.
Meet the experts:
Stephanie Munoz, RN
Infusion Center Nurse
Honesty and compassion are the building blocks of all strong connections, especially those between nurses and patients.
When her patients need something, Stephanie Munoz, RN, asks herself what she would do if this were her mother, her sister, her brother or her father.
“Nurses, we’re all pretty big advocates,” she says. “You spend more time with your patients than anyone else does. You’re their person.”
Connections can make all the difference for patients. She sees it every day in the infusion center at Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group, a Cedars-Sinai affiliate, where she’s worked for the past three years. Connections don’t simply make someone feel good. They give confidence that you can ask questions and get honest answers; secure the right information needed to make important treatment decisions; and ensure that fears and concerns will be heard and result in appropriate action.
“I’m extremely honest. I’m here to prepare you for what to expect and to empower you. Every patient is a huge part of his or her own regimen and process,” she says. “And I’m here for that.”
She’s not just your nurse. She’s your person.
Diana Torres, MPH, RD, CSO
You cannot control your cancer. But you can control what you set out to eat and what information you rely on. Food can help you feel better.
The desire to help people through food is what led Diana Torres to oncology nutrition.
“There’s no one diet or meal plan for people with cancer,” she says. “So think of me as your nutrition advisor.”
Diana has always believed in the power of nutrition. Holding an engineering degree along with her Master of Public Health in Nutrition, she’s always been a scientist with a pragmatic approach. She turns an engineer’s eye and keen mind for troubleshooting to the complex machine that is the body.
She wants individuals to understand exactly what they’re eating, what benefits that food offers, how it interacts with medications and supplements — and what can be added. She arms patients with food tips and tricks to help them through those times when the idea of eating anything sounds terrible, when food doesn’t taste right and when they’re not sure what to eat.
“When you are diagnosed with cancer, you start hearing a lot of different things about whether certain ingredients or food cause cancer,” Torres says. “I want to help people get past that second-guessing, especially about what you have put in your body.”