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October 27th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Multi-Million-Dollar Grants for Research in Dementia Striking Younger People

By Duska Anastasijevic

Projects will help advance research through collaborations and development of novel strategies for frontotemporal dementia

Rochester, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has been awarded two grants for large, five-year projects on frontotemporal dementia (FTD), characterized by degeneration of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. While rare, it may strike people in their twenties, even in their teens.

Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Journalists: Sound bites are available in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Bradley Bove, Dr Dennis Dickson, Dr Kevin Boylan, Dr Leonard Petrucelli, Dr Rosa Rademakers, Frontotemporal Dementia, Medical Research, Minnesota news release, News Release, NIH

October 26th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

International Group Publishes Updated Criteria for Diagnosing Multiple Myeloma

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― The International Myeloma Working Group (IMWG) today announced that it has updated the criteria for diagnosing multiple myeloma. A paper outlining the new criteria was published in the journal Lancet Oncology. Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that forms in a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell.

"Our group, which includes more than 180 myeloma researchers worldwide, has updated the definition of multiple myeloma for diagnostic purposes to include validated biomarkers in addition to the current clinical symptoms used for diagnosis which include, elevated blood calcium levels, kidney failure, anemia and bone lesions," said lead author S. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D. a hematologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Rajkumar said multiple myeloma is always preceded sequentially by two asymptomatic conditions, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM).

However, since MGUS and SMM are both asymptomatic conditions, most myeloma patients are not diagnosed until organ damage occurs. "The new IMWG criteria allow for the diagnosis of myeloma to be made in patients without symptoms and before organ damage occurs, using validated biomarkers that identify patients with SMM who have an “ultra-high” risk of progression to multiple myeloma," Dr. Rajkumar said. "These biomarkers are associated with the near inevitable development of clinical symptoms and are important for early diagnosis and treatment which is very important for patients." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Lancet Oncology, MGUS, Minnesota news release, multiple myeloma, News Release, S Vincent Rajkumar, Smoldering Multiple Myeloma

October 23rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Receives $6 Million for ALS, FTD Research

By Kevin Punsky

Lab image of testingJACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the U.S. Department of Defense have awarded researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville approximately $6 million in two grants to further their studies aimed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from either amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

NINDS has awarded Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neuroscience, and his colleagues Kevin Boylan, M.D., Rosa Rademakers, Ph.D., and Dennis Dickson, M.D., a five-year P01 grant (P01 NS084974-1) to combine their expertise in neurology, genetics, neuropathology and cell biology. Given that no biomarker or blood test currently exists for clinicians to definitely diagnose ALS or FTD, the funding will allow researchers to improve understanding of C9ORF72-related neurodegeneration, identify potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets, and develop a biological fluid and tissue resource to aid future drug discovery.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746.

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Tags: ALS, Dr Dennis Dickson, Dr Kevin Boylan, Dr Leonard Petrucelli, Dr Rosa Rademakers, Florida News Release, FTD, Mayo Clinic, Medical Research, News Release

October 21st, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Trastuzumab (Herceptin) Continues to Show Life-Altering Benefit

By Paul Scotti

large crowd of women in pink t shirts for breast cancer awareness

Years After Treatment for HER2-Positive Early Stage Breast Cancer Trastuzumab Shows Life-Altering Benefit 

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — After following breast cancer patients for an average of eight-plus years, researchers say that adding trastuzumab (Herceptin) to chemotherapy significantly improved the overall and disease-free survival of women with early stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

They found that the use of trastuzumab produced a 37 percent improvement in survival and a 40 percent reduction in risk of cancer occurrence, compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone.

These findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, demonstrate how important trastuzumab has been to the treatment of this form of breast cancer, says the study’s lead author, Edith A. Perez, M.D., deputy director at large, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and director of the Breast Cancer Translational Genomics Program at Mayo Clinic in Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Dr Edith Perez, Florida News Release, HER2+ breast cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic in Florida, News Release, trastuzumab Herceptin

October 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the October 2014 Issue

By Brian Kilen

ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter October 2014 (for journalists only).

No exaggeration: Sitting is the new smokingshutterstock_33084607

The new health phrase, “Sitting is the new smoking,” is not an exaggeration, according to the October issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. Most people don’t smoke, but everyone sits — and most sit too long each day. Many U.S. workers sit for 15 hours a day.

In the past 15 years, a wave of research has shed new light on sitting as a serious health risk, even in those of normal weight and who routinely exercise. Thirty-four chronic conditions and illnesses have been associated with excess sitting. One recent study compared adults who spent less than two hours a day watching television with those who spent more than four hours a day doing so. After adjusting for obesity, age and other risk factors, those with higher screen time had: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: bone fracture, FRAX, healthy living, Minnesota news release, News Release, orthopedics, prevention, Sitting, varicose veins

October 15th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

New Guideline in Genetic Testing for Certain Types of Muscular Dystrophy

By Duska Anastasijevic

Knowing the specific subtype is important for getting the best possible careshutterstock_196951337

Rochester, Minn. – The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) offer a new guideline on how to determine what genetic tests may best diagnose a person’s subtype of limb-girdle or distal muscular dystrophy. The guideline is published in the October 14, 2014, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the AAN.

Researchers reviewed all of the available studies on the muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic diseases in which muscle fibers are unusually susceptible to damage, as part of the process in developing the new guideline.

Doctors should conduct a thorough evaluation of symptoms, family history, ethnicity, and results of physical exam and certain lab tests to determine what genetic tests may be more appropriate to order.

“The guideline should help physicians arrive at the right diagnosis quicker so patients will not need to take unnecessary test”, says Mayo Clinic neurologist Duygu Selcen, M.D., who was part of the multi-center research team led by Julie Bolen, PhD, MPH, from the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “This is particularly important because the muscle diseases are often hard to diagnose”, adds Dr. Selcen.

Media Contacts:
Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Rachel Seroka, AAN,, (612) 928-6129 Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Duygu Selcen, genetic testing, Minnesota news release, muscular dystrophy, News Release

October 9th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

News Radio 830 WCCO Broadcasting Live from Mayo Clinic

By Ginger Plumbo

WCCO will broadcast the Morning Show with Dave Lee from Mayo Clinic on Oct. 10 from 5 to 9 a.m.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — News Radio 830 WCCO joins Mayo Clinic in marking its 150th anniversary with a live broadcast of the Morning Show with Dave Lee on Friday, Oct. 10, 5–9 a.m. from the Landow Atrium in the Gonda Building on the Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester. The public is encouraged to tune in.

'Mayo 150 years serving humanity' 150th Sesquicentennial LogoScheduled* guests include:

WCCO personalities on the broadcast will include Dave Lee, host; Mike Lynch, weather; Sid Hartman, sports; Mike Max, sports.

Lee is the popular, longtime host of The Morning News on WCCO Radio in Minneapolis. He has been with WCCO Radio for more than 20 years. In October 2014, WCCO Radio celebrates its 90th year on the air.

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Tags: John Noseworthy MD, Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial, Minnesota news release, News Release

October 6th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Individualizing Medicine 2014: From Promise to Practice

By Dana Sparks

Individualizing Medicine Conference
ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Individualizing Medicine 2014: From Promise to Practice is underway at Mayo Clinic. The conference is scheduled for Oct. 6–8, with optional workshops and sessions before and after the conference. Presentations will cover a wide range of topics, including cardiovascular disease, the role of genomics in the pharmacy, insurance and reimbursement issues, the use of deep sequencing for predictive medicine, and more. A complete schedule and list of speakers is available on the conference website. Focused concurrent sessions are also available.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, genomics, Mayo Clinic, Medical Research, Minnesota news release, News Release

October 6th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Wickenburg Community Hospital adds Mayo Clinic “Telestroke”

By Admin

WICKENBURG, Ariz. — Wickenburg residents in need of emergency medical care for a stroke may benefit from a Mayo Clinic telestroke program that is now be available at Wickenburg Community Hospital.Arizona Wickenburg Community Hospital entrance

A recent agreement between Wickenburg Community Hospital and Mayo Clinic in Arizona means the service featuring a remotely controlled, self-propelled robot is now available in Wickenburg.

Mayo Clinic was the first medical center in Arizona to do pioneering clinical research to study telemedicine as a means of serving patients with a stroke in neurologically underserved rural and urban settings, and today serves as the "hub" in a network of 15 other "spoke" centers in 4 states. Wickenburg Community Hospital is the 16th hospital to be part of the telestroke service from Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona News Release, Dr Bart Demaerschalk, neurology, News Release, Wickenburg Community Hospital

October 2nd, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Celebrates Heritage Days, Oct. 6–10

By Kelley Luckstein

Blue ribbon with the words "Mayo Clinic Heritage Days 2014"ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic’s annual Heritage Days celebration takes place Oct. 6–10, 2014. The events being held across the Mayo Clinic campuses in Rochester, Florida, Arizona and Mayo Clinic Health System will recognize and thank all of the dedicated employees and volunteers who provide service to patients. This year’s events continue the yearlong commemoration of Mayo Clinic’s 150 years of serving humanity.

The event brings together exhibits, activities, talented performers and artisans to celebrate the arts, culture, history and community spirit of Mayo Clinic. All events are free and open to the public. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: employees, Heritage Days, Mayo Clinic Flower of Hope™, Minnesota news release, News Release, Research Information Center, volunteers