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August 18th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

First in Florida to Receive National Comprehensive Stroke Center Certification

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic’s stroke center in Jacksonville is the first center in Florida to receive national Comprehensive Stroke Center certification, joining an elite group of centers throughout the United States that are focused on providing advanced and complex stroke care.

 

 

Centers that achieve this distinction — awarded by The Joint Commission working with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association — are recognized as leaders that help set the national agenda in highly specialized stroke care. The Joint Commission is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

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Tags: cerebrovascular, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Dr. David Miller, Florida News Release, interventional radiology, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic in Florida, neurology, neurosurgery, News Release, stroke, telestroke, The Joint Commission, MayoClinicFL


August 14th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Researchers develop strategy to combat genetic ALS, FTD

By Kevin Punsky

Potential biomarker discovered to monitor disease progression, therapy

The C9ORF72 mutation leads to the production of abnormal proteins, referred to as “c9RAN proteins”, that accumulate in neurons and form inclusions. Depicted here are inclusions composed of poly(GP) c9RAN proteins in the cerebellum of a c9FTD/ALS case. In our study, we show that these poly(GP) proteins are also detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of c9ALS patients, suggesting that poly(GP) proteins in CSF may eventually provide a direct means to measure a patient’s response to experimental drugs that block c9RAN protein production.

The C9ORF72 mutation leads to the production of abnormal proteins, referred to as “c9RAN proteins”, that accumulate in neurons and form inclusions. Depicted here are inclusions composed of poly(GP) c9RAN proteins in the cerebellum of a c9FTD/ALS case. In our study, we show that these poly(GP) proteins are also detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of c9ALS patients, suggesting that poly(GP) proteins in CSF may eventually provide a direct means to measure a patient’s response to experimental drugs that block c9RAN protein production.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A team of researchers at Mayo Clinic and The Scripps Research Institute in Florida have developed a new therapeutic strategy to combat the most common genetic risk factor for the neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). In the Aug. 14 issue of Neuron, they also report discovery of a potential biomarker to track disease progression and the efficacy of therapies.

The scientists developed a small-molecule drug compound to prevent abnormal cellular processes caused by a mutation in the C9ORF72 gene. The findings come on the heels of previous discoveries by Mayo investigators that the C9ORF72 mutation produces an unusual repetitive genetic sequence that causes the buildup of abnormal RNA in brain cells and spinal cord.

While toxic protein clumps have long been implicated in neurodegeneration, this new strategy takes aim at abnormal RNA, which forms before toxic proteins in C9ORF72-related disorders (c9FTD/ALS). “Our study shows that toxic RNA produced in people with the c9FTD/ALS mutation is indeed a viable drug target,” says the study’s co-senior investigator, Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., a molecular neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

The compound, which was tested in cell culture models of c9FTD/ALS, bound to and blocked RNA’s ability to interact with other key proteins, thereby preventing the formation of toxic RNA clumps and “c9RAN proteins” that results from a process called repeat-associated non-ATG (RAN) translation.

The researchers also discovered that c9RAN proteins produced by the abnormal RNA can be measured in the spinal fluid of ALS patients. They are now evaluating whether these proteins are also present in spinal fluid of patients diagnosed with FTD. Although ALS primarily affects motor neurons leading to impaired mobility, speech, swallowing, and respiratory function and FTD affects brain regions that support higher cognitive function, some patients have symptoms of both disorders.

“Development of a readily accessible biomarker for the c9FTD/ALS mutation may aid not only diagnosis of these disorders and allow for tracking disease course in patients, but it could provide a more direct way to evaluate the response to experimental treatments,” says co-author Kevin Boylan, M.D., medical director of the Mayo Jacksonville ALS Center, the only ALS Certified Center of Excellence in Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Dr Kevin Boylan, Dr Leonard Petrucelli, Florida News Release, Frontotemporal Dementia, FTD, Lou Gehrig's disease, Mayo Clinic, Medical Research, News Release


August 8th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees Names Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Mayo Clinic’s Campus in Jacksonville, Florida

By Karl W Oestreich

Board Also Recognizes Four Recipients of Mayo Clinic Named Professorships

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., and ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees has named Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Mayo Clinic vice president and chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida. Dr. Farrugia succeeds William Rupp, M.D., who will retire from Mayo Clinic at the end of 2014. The announcement was made today at the Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees quarterly meeting where the board also recognized four recipients of Mayo Clinic named professorships.

Soundbites of Dr. Noseworthy are available in the downloads box.

Dr. Gianrico Farrugia

Gianrico Farrugia, M.D.

“Dr. Farrugia brings a wealth of experience to his new role,” says John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and chief executive officer. “He is a physician-leader who brings to this important role a deep commitment to Mayo’s values, mission and strategic vision, along with a passion to lead and equip teams to reach more patients and strengthen Mayo Clinic’s position as a global health care leader. He has a strong commitment to continuing Dr. Rupp’s legacy of involvement and leadership in the Jacksonville community.”

Dr. Farrugia has been with Mayo Clinic for more than 26 years as a physician in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and Division of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minnesota. He is also a professor of medicine as well as physiology and biomedical engineering. Dr. Farrugia has served in numerous leadership roles at Mayo Clinic with multisite responsibilities, both in his specialty and at the organizational leadership level. He currently serves as director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and director of Mayo Clinic’s Enteric Neuroscience Program. He previously served as research chair of the Department of Medicine.

In his new role, Dr. Farrugia will work with Bob Brigham, chief administrative officer in Florida, to provide leadership and direction, defining and implementing Mayo Clinic’s operational plan and continuing to expand Mayo Clinic’s leadership and reach in the Southeast and beyond.
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Tags: Bob Brigham, Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, Dr. John Noseworthy, Dr. William Rupp, Enteric Neuroscience Program, Florida News Release, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Board of Trustees, Mayo Clinic in Florida, News Release


August 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic in Florida Recognized for High-Quality, Cost-Effective Transplant Care

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Mayo Clinic in Florida entrance - Florida campusJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville has been recognized as one of the first facilities in the nation to receive the Blue Distinction Centers+SM designation in the area of transplant care. Awarded through Florida Blue as part of a national program from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies, the designation recognizes hospitals shown to deliver high-quality specialty care based on objective, transparent measures for patient safety and health outcomes that were developed with input from the medical community.

Mayo Clinic in Florida is also recognized as a Blue Distinction Center for its quality care and services in the areas of cardiac care, hip and knee replacements and spine surgery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Distinction Center, BMT, Bone Marrow Transplant, Dr Thomas Gonwa, Florida Blue, Florida News Release, Heart Transplant, hip replacement, kidney transplant, Knee Replacement, lung transplant, Mayo Clinic in Florida, spine surgery, liver transplant


July 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Bacardi’s Gift to Significantly Advance Mayo Clinic’s Regenerative Medicine Research

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Imagine a future in which a new lung is grown for a patient in need, using the patient’s own cellular material, or a day when an injection of replacement cells will enable a patient to self-heal damage in the brain, nerves or other tissues.

 

Regenerative medicine is no longer science fiction, and a substantial gift from Jorge and Leslie Bacardi of the Bahamas will significantly accelerate the research of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Regenerative Medicine on the Florida campus. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes, Dr Cesar A Keller, Dr Thomas A Gonwa, Gabriel House of Care, Heart Disease, Jorge Bacardi, Leslie Bacardi, Lou Gehrig's disease, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Organ Donation, Regenerative Medicine, stroke, Research, Florida News Release, Lung Disease


July 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Reveal Treasure Trove of Genes Key to Kidney Cancer

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A genomic analysis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), the most common form of kidney cancer, from 72 patients has uncovered 31 genes that are key to development, growth and spread of the cancer, say researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida. Eight of these genes had not been previously linked to kidney cancer, and six other genes were never known to be involved in any form of cancer.

 

Their study, in the journal Oncotarget, is the most extensive analysis to date of gene expression’s role in ccRCC tumor growth and metastasis. The ccRCC subtype accounts for 80 percent of all kidney cancer cases. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: cancer, Dr Derek Radisky, Dr. Han Tun, Dr John Copland, Florida News Release, kidney cancer, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Medical Research, News Release


June 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Say Gene in Brain Linked to Kidney Cancer

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A gene known to control brain growth and development is heavily involved in promoting clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common form of kidney cancer, researchers from Mayo Clinic in Florida are reporting.

Their study, published in Cancer Research, reveals that the gene NPTX2, plays an essential role in this cancer type, which is resistant to common chemotherapy and has a five-year overall survival rate of less than 10 percent in patients with metastatic disease. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: cancer, Cancer Biology, Dr Derek Radisky, Dr. Han Tun, Dr John A Copland, Dr Panagiotis Anastasiadis, Dr Stefan Grebe, Florida News Release, kidney cancer, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Medical Research, molecular biology, News Release


June 6th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Endoscope with an Oxygen Sensor Detects Pancreatic Cancer, Providing Hope for Earlier Detection, Mayo Clinic Says

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — June 6, 2014 — An optical blood oxygen sensor attached to an endoscope is able to identify pancreatic cancer in patients via a simple endoscopic procedure, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

The study, published in GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, shows that the device, which acts like the well-known clothespin-type finger clip used to measure blood oxygen in patients, has a sensitivity of 92 percent and a specificity of 86 percent.

That means, of 100 patients with pancreatic cancer, this sensor would detect 92 of them, based on the findings. And of 100 patients who don’t have pancreatic cancer, the test would correctly identify them 86 percent of the time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: cancer, Dr Michael Wallace, Florida News Release, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Medical Research, News Release, Pancreatic Cancer


June 3rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Decode How the Brain Miswires, Possibly Causing ADHD

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Neuroscientists at Mayo Clinic in Florida and at Aarhus University in Denmark have shed light on why neurons in the brain’s reward system can be miswired, potentially contributing to disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

SorCS2 knockout

The image shows the pattern of movement of mice treatment with saline or with dex-amphetamine (ADHD medicine). Dex-amphetamine has a calming effect on mice lacking the SorCS2 gene, reminiscent of ADHD in humans.

They say findings from their study, published online today in Neuron, may increase the understanding of underlying causes of ADHD, potentially facilitating the development of more individualized treatment strategies.

The scientists looked at dopaminergic neurons, which regulate pleasure, motivation, reward, and cognition, and have been implicated in development of ADHD.

They uncovered a receptor system that is critical, during embryonic development, for correct wiring of the dopaminergic brain area. But they also discovered that after brain maturation, a cut in the same receptor, SorCS2, produces a two-chain receptor that induces cell death following damage to the peripheral nervous system.

The researchers report that the SorCS2 receptor functions as a molecular switch between apparently opposing effects in proBDNF. ProBDNF is a neuronal growth factor that helps select cells that are most beneficial to the nervous system, while eliminating those that are less favorable in order to create a finely tuned neuronal network.
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Tags: Aarhus University, ADHD, Dr Anders Nykjaer, Florida News Release, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Medical Research, neurons, News Release


June 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

ALTTO Test of Dual HER2 Blockade Finds Single Agent – Trastuzumab – Remains Gold Standard

By Paul Scotti

Journalists: Broadcast soundbites with Dr. Perez are available in the downloads.

CHICAGO — In the largest clinical trial testing the effectiveness of one versus two drugs to treat HER2-positive breast cancer, lapatinib (Tykerb) did not add benefit to the standard trastuzumab (Herceptin) adjuvant therapy, researchers report at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Results of the phase III clinical trial, ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization study), demonstrated that adding lapatinib to trastuzumab and chemotherapy did not improve patient outcome (defined as disease-free survival or overall survival), and that use of lapatinib significantly increased toxicity.

“These findings suggest that standard adjuvant (post-surgery) treatment for early stage HER2-positive breast cancer should remain trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy,” says Edith A. Perez, M.D., deputy director at large of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and director of the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
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Tags: Breast Cancer, Breast International Group, Dr Edith Perez, Dr Martine Piccart, Florida News Release, Glaxo SmithKline, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic in Florida, Medical Research, National Cancer Institute NCI, News Release, Université Libre de Bruxelles