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Items Tagged ‘Florida news release’

May 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Tumor Size is Defining Factor to Response from Promising Melanoma Drug

By Paul Scotti

CHICAGO — In examining why some advanced melanoma patients respond so well to the experimental immunotherapy MK-3475, while others have a less robust response, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida found that the size of tumors before treatment was the strongest variable.

They say their findings, being presented June 2 at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), offered several clinical insights that could lead to different treatment strategies and perhaps influence staging of advanced melanoma.

“This was the first robust assessment to determine the impact of baseline tumor size on clinical endpoints in patients with metastatic melanoma — in particular — those receiving MK-3475. Our findings suggest the location of spread is less important than the amount of tumor that is present before treatment,” says the study’s lead investigator, Richard W. Joseph, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Journalists: Broadcast sound bites with Dr. Joseph are available in the downloads.


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May 20th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Say Molecule Linked to Aggressive Pancreatic Cancer Offers Potential Clinical Advances

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered an enzyme they say is tightly linked to how aggressive pancreatic cancer will be in a patient.

They say the study, published in Molecular Cancer Research, provides key insights into the most aggressive form of the disease, which is one of the deadliest human cancers.

It also offers a number of possible future clinical advances, such as a way to gauge outcome in individual patients, and insight into potential therapy to shut down activity of the enzyme, known as Rac1b.

Derek Radisky, Ph.D., molecular cancer research

Induction of pretumorigenic conditions in response to Rac1b.
Inappropriate expression of the tumor microenvironment molecule collagen-1 (brown) in pancreatic tissue expressing Rac1b.

“The implication from our research is that Rac1b is activating unique pathways in pancreatic tumors that make this cancer aggressive. If we can therapeutically target that pathway, we may be able to have an impact on this very difficult-to-treat disease,” says the study’s senior investigator, Derek Radisky, Ph.D., a researcher with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Jacksonville, Fla.

A potential drug target would have to be found within the cancer-causing pathways activated by Rac1b, since the enzyme is difficult to target because it is involved in many normal biological processes, Dr. Radisky says. He and his colleagues are now working to uncover how Rac1b ramps up pancreatic cancer progression.

The RAC1 superfamily of proteins — which play important regulatory roles in cell growth and cell movement — have been implicated in other cancers, such as melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer, but before this study, no one knew that one sub-form, Rac1b, played a role in pancreatic cancer.

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April 30th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Atypical Form of Alzheimer’s Disease May be Present in a More Widespread Number of Patients, Mayo Clinic Says

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Neuroscientists at Mayo Clinic in Florida have defined a subtype of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that they say is neither well recognized nor treated appropriately.

The variant, called hippocampal sparing AD, made up 11 percent of the 1,821 AD-confirmed brains examined by Mayo Clinic researchers — suggesting this subtype is relatively widespread in the general population. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.2 million Americans are living with AD. And with nearly half of hippocampal sparing AD patients being misdiagnosed, this could mean that well over 600,000 Americans make up this AD variant, researchers say. Read the rest of this entry »

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April 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Neurologists Lead International Study to Test Best Approach to Stroke Prevention

By Kevin Punsky

The $39.5-million grant to fund stroke study is one of largest ever awarded to investigators at Mayo Clinic in Florida 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Is medicine as safe and effective as surgery or stenting in preventing a stroke caused by the buildup of plaque in the carotid artery? Thomas G. Brott, M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, aims to find out.Senior woman appearing to have head pain or stroke

“It’s a critical question. The quality medicines we have today may mean that it is not necessary to perform invasive procedures on patients who do not have warning signs of stroke,” Dr. Brott says. “More than 100,000 carotid surgeries and carotid artery stentings are performed each year in the United States on such patients at risk — and that may not be necessary.”

To find the answer, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has awarded Dr. Brott and his colleague, James Meschia, M.D., $39.5 million — one of the largest grants ever awarded to Mayo Clinic in Florida investigators. The grant funds a seven-year clinical trial that will enroll 2,480 patients in 120 centers in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. The study, known as CREST-2, is expected to begin enrolling patients this summer. Management of the patient data and the statistical analysis will be carried out at the University of Alabama at Birmingham under the direction of George Howard, Dr.PH.
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February 10th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Two Oncogenes Join to Drive Lung Squamous Cell Carcinoma

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Patients with a common form of lung cancer — lung squamous cell carcinoma — have very few treatment options. That situation may soon change.

A team of cancer biologists at Mayo Clinic in Florida is reporting in the Feb. 10 issue of Cancer Cell the discovery of two oncogenes that work together to sustain a population of cells in lung squamous cell carcinoma, which may be responsible for the lethality of the disease. When these cells, termed cancer stem cells, are inhibited, tumors cannot develop.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Fields are available in the downloads.

“Cancer stem cells are a small population of cells in a tumor that can self-renew and grow indefinitely. They resist most treatments and are thought to be responsible for relapse,” says the study’s senior author, Alan P. Fields, Ph.D., the Monica Flynn Jacoby Professor of Cancer Studies at Mayo Clinic in Florida. “If you can shut down cancer stem cells, you may be able to stop relapse after therapy,” he says.
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February 6th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

WellStar Health System and Mayo Clinic Announce Collaboration

By Kevin Punsky

MARIETTA, Ga. — Feb. 6 — WellStar Health System (WellStar) and Mayo Clinic today announced that the metro Atlanta-based health system is joining the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of like-minded organizations that share a commitment to better serving patients and their families. WellStar is the largest member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network in the southeast and the only member in metro Atlanta.

Outside wideshot of driveway to front entrance of Kennestone HospitalUsing digital technology to promote physician collaboration and sharing of the latest medical information, experts from WellStar and Mayo Clinic will work together to further enhance the delivery of healthcare for patients, allowing many patients to avoid unnecessary travel for answers to complex medical questions.

“WellStar is home to some of the most accomplished and preeminent physicians in the Southeast,” says Robert Jansen, M.D., executive vice president and chief administrative medical officer of WellStar. “Working with Mayo Clinic through the Mayo Clinic Care Network offers our physicians a new resource to ensure the kind of innovative and leading care that patients have grown to expect from WellStar.” Read the rest of this entry »

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February 3rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Uggie, four-legged star of the Oscar-winning film “The Artist,” to visit Mayo Clinic

By Paul Scotti

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Feb. 3 — Uggie, the scene-stealing Jack Russell terrier in the 2012 Oscar-winning film “The Artist” will visit Mayo Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 6. Uggie will be in Jacksonville to meet Mayo’s Caring Canines, the volunteer dogs who greet patients and visitors at the clinic.

Picture of Jack Russell Terrier with black bow tieThe visit by Uggie and his owner/trainer, Omar Von Muller, is open to the public, at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in Walker Auditorium in the clinic’s Davis Building. Von Muller will share Uggie’s amazing success story of going from a puppy headed for the pound to worldwide fame. Uggie will perform some of the tricks that delighted fans of “The Artist” in which he portrayed a loyal dog who courageously rescues his owner from a fire. The film received five Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor, Jean Dujardin.

There are 19 volunteer dogs in Mayo’s Caring Canines program. They make daily “meet-and-greet” visits to patients and visitors, providing warmth and unconditional love.

“The Caring Canines play a valuable role in supporting Mayo Clinic’s commitment to the healing of mind, body and spirit,” says Peter Dorsher, M.D., chair of Mayo’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. “Uggie’s impact on people worldwide is further evidence of the human/animal bond and how it can improve our health and well-being. We’re delighted to have him meet our volunteer dogs.” Read the rest of this entry »

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December 4th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Find Shape-shifting Stops Migrating Cancer Cells

By Shawn Bishop

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Like a car with a front and back end, a steering mechanism and an engine to push it forward, cancer cells propel themselves through normal tissues and organs to spread cancer throughout the body. Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida, however, have managed to turn these cells into shapes like a round fried egg and an exaggerated starfish that sticks out in many directions — both of which cannot now move.

In research published in the December issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology, investigators reveal how interplay of molecules keeps cancer cells moving forward, and how disturbing the balance of these proteins pushes their shape to change, stopping them in their tracks.

Investigators say they have already identified a number of agents — some already used in the clinic for different disorders — that may force shape-shifting in tumor cells.

"We are starting to understand mechanistically how cancer cells move and migrate, which gives us opportunities to manipulate these cells, alter their shape, and stop their spread," says the study's lead investigator, Panos Z. Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

"It is the spread — the metastasis — of cancer that is largely responsible for the death of cancer patients, so stopping these cells from migrating could potentially provide a treatment that saves lives," he says.

The study was conducted using tumor material from breast and brain (glioblastoma) cancer. Both of these tumors are generally lethal when they spread — breast to other organs, and brain cancer as it crawls throughout the brain.

The researchers found that a protein called Syx is key to determining how tumor cells migrate. When researchers removed Syx from the cancer cells, they lost their polarity — their leading and trailing edges — and morphed into the fried egg shape. "They are now unable to sense direction, so they are not going anywhere," Dr. Anastasiadis says.

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November 18th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Brott, Stroke Researcher, Receives Prestigious AHA Award

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Thomas G. Brott, M.D., a neurologist and director for research at Mayo Clinic in Florida, has been named the recipient of the American Heart Association's 2013 Clinical Research Prize.

The award recognizes and rewards an individual who is making outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science and who currently heads an outstanding cardiovascular clinical research laboratory, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Dr. Brott will be honored on stage during the opening ceremony of the American Heart Association's 2013 annual meeting in Dallas.

He is the first Mayo Clinic investigator to receive the prestigious prize, which has been awarded annually by the American Heart Association since 2005.

"This award is well deserved. Dr. Brott is a pioneer in the field of stroke and cerebrovascular disease research, and his mission to find the best therapies possible for patients has certainly saved lives," says William C. Rupp, M.D., chief executive officer at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Dr. Brott was a leading investigator in the studies that identified tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) as an effective acute treatment for ischemic stroke. He and his team treated the very first patients using this therapy. Along with his colleagues, Dr. Brott defined the evolution of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage during the first hours after onset. In 1998, Dr. Brott came to Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida where he and his colleagues initiated the first NIH-funded genome-wide screen for stroke susceptibility.

Dr. Brott has led federally funded national clinical trials that aim to discover best treatment for stroke and uncover risk factors for the disorder. For example, he is principal investigator for the Carotid Revascularization Endarterectomy versus Stenting Trial (CREST), a study that compares two different treatments for their ability to reduce risk for stroke. The study was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

He also played a key role in designing the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), a tool used internationally that measures stroke-related neurologic deficits.

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November 14th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Blood and Marrow Transplant Program of Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children’s Clinic and Wolfson Children’s Hospital Earns National Accreditation Renewal

By Paul Scotti

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program of Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, and Wolfson Children's Hospital has been awarded a three-year accreditation renewal by the Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy (FACT). The foundation awarded the accreditation renewal after thorough site visits at all collection, transplantation and laboratory facilities at the three locations.

"We are pleased that Mayo Clinic, Nemours Children's Clinic and Wolfson Children's Hospital have met the requirements of the Foundation and have been granted accreditation for their joint Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program," said Phyllis Warkentin, M.D., FACT medical director.

"The teamwork and cooperation between all three organizations in the program has never been better," said Blood and Marrow Transplant Program Director Michael Joyce, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric hematologist/oncologist at Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville. "FACT accreditation is a promise to our patients that we are adhering to and meeting the highest standards in the field. The hematology/oncology physicians, nurses, laboratory and support staff of Nemours, Wolfson Children's and Mayo Clinic work very hard to achieve maintain these standards."

The joint program was created in 2001 to allow for greater collaboration in physician and staff expertise, research and clinical protocols. Wolfson Children's Hospital and Nemours Children's Clinic, Jacksonville, will celebrate their Blood and Marrow Transplant Program's 20th anniversary next year. Many patient referrals to the Blood and Marrow Transplant Program come from physicians in Jacksonville, across Florida and south Georgia, across the United States and internationally. Since it was established, the combined program has transplanted patients with a variety of illnesses including leukemia, neuroblastoma, sickle cell disease, bone marrow disorders, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, brain tumors, Ewing's sarcoma, and amyloidosis. Stem cell sources include the patient, immediate family members, volunteer unrelated adult marrow donors or donated umbilical cord blood donor units. More than 970 transplants have been completed during this time.

The program shares a single cryopreservation laboratory (where hematopoietic stem cells are frozen and processed) at Mayo Clinic. Mayo maintains the program's adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, and Wolfson Children's Hospital maintains Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant beds on the Hematology/Oncology Unit in the J. Wayne and Delores Barr Weaver Tower. The joint program shares information systems, quality and other clinical and administrative staff.

"We are excited to receive this accreditation. It is a welcome recognition and 'badge of honor' for our program. It also informs and assures our patients, referring physicians and insurance companies of the highest standards of patient care and laboratory practices in our program," said Vivek Roy, M.D., hematologist/oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Florida and medical director of the adult Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.

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