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December 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Physicians Say High-definition Scopes Accurately Assess Polyps, Costly Pathological Examinations May Not Be Necessary

By Kevin Punsky

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It may not be necessary for experienced gastroenterologists to send polyps they remove from a patient’s colon to a pathologist for examination, according to a large study conducted by physician researchers at the Jacksonville campus of Mayo Clinic.

The benign hyperplastic polyp appears very pale and bland on imaging.

The benign hyperplastic polyp appears very pale and bland on imaging.

Their 522-patient study, published in the December issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, found that physicians correctly evaluated whether a polyp was precancerous or benign using high-definition optical lenses during a colonoscopy. Their assessment was 96 or 97 percent accurate — depending on which of two generations of scopes was used — compared with a standard pathological evaluation of the polyps.

The Mayo Clinic researchers conclude that the pathological polyp examination now required by national practice guidelines may not be necessary — an advance they say could result in substantial cost savings for the patient and the health care system, as well as more rapid information and recommendations for follow-up for the patient. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Colon Cancer, colonoscopy, Dr Michael Wallace, Florida News Release, Gastroenterology, Mayo Clinic, Medical Research, News Release

December 12th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Leica Biosystems and Mayo Clinic Collaborate on Future of Cytogenetics Imaging

By Gina Chiri-Osmond

CytogeneticsNUSSLOCH, Germany — Leica Biosystems and Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology announced today a collaboration to develop the next generation of cytogenetics imaging software. The new tool will optimize software workflow and improve the overall user experience for cytogenetics imaging technicians.

The two organizations intend to help cytogenetics laboratories effectively process increased case loads. Their solution will reduce manual steps in the imaging process through paperless workflow. It will also pioneer secure remote case access, which will enable flexible on- and off-shoring of case reviews.

“Our goal is to develop the fastest and most accurate cytogenetic information tool to enhance patient care,” says Patricia Greipp, D.O., co-laboratory director of the Mayo Clinic Cytogenetics Laboratory. “Mayo Clinic now has the opportunity to incorporate its expertise within an imaging solution from Leica that we feel will produce the most sophisticated and efficient cytogenetics analysis tool for the modern cytogenetics laboratory.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Biosystems, Cytogenetics, dlmp, Dr Patricia Greipp, eMedicine, Genetics, imaging, Laboratory Genetics, laboratory medicine, Leica, Mayo, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Medical Laboratories, Minnesota news release, News Release, Research

December 12th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Names Christina Zorn, J.D., as Chief Administrative Officer in Jacksonville, Florida

By Kevin Punsky

Christina Zorn, J.D.

Christina Zorn, J.D.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic has appointed Christina Zorn, J.D., as chief administrative officer of its campus in Jacksonville, Fla., and vice chair of Administration, Mayo Clinic.

She will serve as administrative partner to Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., incoming vice president of Mayo Clinic and chief executive officer of the Jacksonville campus, as previously announced. Zorn assumes her new role on Jan. 1.

“Christina Zorn has significant experience at Mayo Clinic as well as excellent insight into the strengths of Mayo Clinic’s Florida staff and the unique challenges of the local and regional market,” says Dr. Farrugia. “I look forward to working with Christina as we continue the excellent efforts underway in delivering outstanding care to our patients, advancing research and educating the next generation of providers in Florida and throughout the Southeast.”

Zorn has been with Mayo Clinic since 2002. She began her career at Mayo Clinic as a legal counsel and now serves as the chair of the Florida division of the Legal Department. In addition, Zorn has served as an administrator for the Department of Ophthalmology in Florida and for several key initiatives.

She succeeds Robert Brigham, who has served as chief administrative officer in Florida since 2005. Brigham will retire from Mayo Clinic at the end of 2014. Zorn will work closely with Brigham to ensure a smooth leadership transition.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: chief administrative officer, Christina Zorn, Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, Florida News Release, Mayo Clinic leadership, News Release

December 9th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic: Genotyping Errors Plague CYP2D6 Testing for Tamoxifen Therapy

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Clinical recommendations discouraging the use of CYP2D6 gene testing to guide tamoxifen therapy in breast cancer patients are based on studies with flawed methodology and should be reconsidered, according to the results of a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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

For years, controversy has surrounded the CYP2D6 gene test for breast cancer. Women with certain inherited genetic deficiencies in the CYP2D6 gene metabolize tamoxifen less efficiently, and thus have lower levels of tamoxifen’s active cancer-fighting metabolite endoxifen. Numerous studies have shown that these women gain less benefit from tamoxifen therapy and have higher rates of recurrence.


Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,

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Tags: endoxifen, James Ingle, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, loss of heterozygosity, M.D., Matthew Goetz, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Minnesota news release, News Release, Tags: CYP2D6 testing, tamoxifen therapy

December 8th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Immune Function Marker Does Not Predict Benefit of Trastuzumab in HER-2+ Breast Cancer Patients, Study Finds

By Paul Scotti

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A marker of immune function that predicts for better outcomes in patients treated with chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer is also linked to improved prognosis in patients treated with chemotherapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. But that marker — the quantity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (S-TILs) in a biopsy — appears irrelevant when trastuzumab is used.

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Tags: 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Breast Cancer, Edith Perez, Florida News Release, HER2+ breast cancer, M.D., Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic in Florida, News Release, trastuzumab Herceptin, triple negative breast cancer

December 5th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Unprecedented Benefit Seen in Worldwide Test of a Three-Drug Treatment for Multiple Myeloma

By Julie Janovsky-Mason

PHOENIX — In the treatment of multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to a currently accepted two-drug combination produced significantly better results than using the two drugs alone, according to a worldwide research team led by investigators from Mayo Clinic.

Their findings will be reported online Dec. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and presented on Dec. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), held in San Francisco.

Interim analysis of the ASPIRE clinical trial, which enrolled 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma from 20 countries, found an “unprecedented” prolongation of the time patients were free of disease progression, says the study’s lead investigator, Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B, a Mayo Clinic oncologist in Arizona. “Patients taking three drugs — carfilzomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone — stayed free of disease progression for 26 months on average,” he says. “No one has reported anything like this before for relapsed multiple myeloma.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: American Society of Hematology, Arizona News Release, Keith Stewart, Multiple Myeloma, News Release, oncology

December 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic’s Discovery’s Edge Launches Android Platform

By Bob Nellis

DE_CoverROCHESTER, Minn. — Android users no longer have to miss out on all the research discoveries coming from Mayo Clinic. The newest issue of Discovery’s Edge, Mayo Clinic’s research magazine, is now available on all Android devices, as well as the iPad, online and in print. Research news from Mayo Clinic — however, whenever and wherever you want to read it.

Highlights in this issue explore the past, present and future of Mayo Clinic research, including:

Biomarker discovery: Staying one step ahead of cancer

Read about a 12-month snapshot of how four researchers combined their talents to discover biomarkers that could help specific patients with difficult medical issues. In that time span, the Biomarker Discovery Program — part of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine — found 32 biomarkers using custom algorithms and other innovative approaches that physicians can use to aid patients.

Mayo Clinic plugs into drug discovery

Collaboration is also the story of Mayo Clinic’s latest partnership — with Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. Two organizations looking for just the right counterpart to meet a strategic need found each other at just the right time to fast-track drug discovery for Mayo patients.

Next generation: Developing tomorrow’s biomedical researchers

The path to becoming a biomedical researcher is not for the faint of heart. This issue’s cover story takes a glimpse at three scientists-in-training at Mayo Graduate School and the obstacles they are facing, both personal and professional, as they strive toward careers in research. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: biomarkers, biomedical research, Discovery's Edge, Heart Disease, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic's Discovery's Edge, Medical Research, Minnesota news release, News Release, Research, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Rochester news release

November 25th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Proton Pump Inhibitors Decrease Diversity in Gut Microbiome, Increase Risk for Complications

By Sam Smith

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Before reaching for that daily antacid, you might consider what it’s doing to the trillions of bugs living in your gut. A new Mayo Clinic study in the open access journal Microbiome shows that people who regularly take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have less diversity among their gut bacteria, putting them at increased risk for infections like clostridium difficile and pneumonia, in addition to vitamin deficiencies and bone fractures.

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

Journalists: Soundbites with Dr. DiBaise are available in the downloads. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona News Release, bacteria, Center for Individualized Medicine, Clostridium Difficile, genome, genomics, GERD, gut microbiome, gut microflora, John DiBaise, microbiome, Minnesota news release, News Release, nexium, nicholas chia, osteoporosis, pneumonia, prilosec, proton pump inhibitors, vitamin b12, vitamin deficiency

November 19th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Health Letter: Highlights from the November 2014 Issue

By Brian Kilen

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Here are highlights from the November 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 November 2014 (for journalists only). Full special report text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter Special Report November 2014 (for journalists only).

New approaches for relief from irritable bowel syndrome

There are new approaches to manage the frustrating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), according to the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter.

illustration of normal pancreas and related anatomyIBS is a common disorder of the large intestine (colon), characterized by abdominal pain that occurs before or along with diarrhea or constipation. Symptoms can vary widely. For many people, flares of diarrhea may last for a few days followed by periods of remission. Constipation may last for days or even months, along with intermittent diarrhea or normal bowel function. A small number of people with severe IBS have unbearable pain that is constant at times.

Multiple factors may contribute to the bowel dysfunction. The foundation of IBS therapy is developing lifestyle, exercise and diet changes that generally facilitate smooth bowel function. Treatment often includes working with a physician or other care provider to develop a plan for regular exercise and management of stress, anxiety and other psychological factors. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Diabetes, GBS, Ibs, irritable bowel syndrome, Mayo Clinic Health Letter, microsurgery, Minnesota news release, News Release

November 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Investigational Oral Drug Combo Shows Promise for Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma in Mayo Clinic-Led Study

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The investigational drug ixazomib taken orally in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone shows promise in patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, according to the results of a phase 1/2 study published in the journal Lancet Oncology.

"Ixazomib is an investigational, oral proteasome inhibitor with promising anti-myeloma effects and low rates of peripheral neuropathy," says Shaji Kumar, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. "While it is well known that a combination of bortezomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone is highly effective in treating newly diagnosed multiple myeloma, we wanted to study the safety, tolerability and activity of ixazomib in combination with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in newly diagnosed multiple myeloma."

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Tags: dexamethasone, ixazomib, Lancet Oncology, lenalidomide, M.D., Mayo Clinic, Minnesota news release, News Release, oral combination, Shaji Kumar