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Mayo Clinic Launches National Mobile Exhibit Tour to Honor 150 Years, Look to the Future

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Rebecca Eisenman

ROCHESTER, Minn. — To honor 150 years of serving humanity, Mayo Clinic is taking its story to the public in a free exhibit destined for stops in more than 40 communities throughout the U.S. and Canada from April through October 2014. This high-impact, 1,000-square-foot exhibition on wheels will bring to life Mayo Clinic’s values and our vision for the future of health care

Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial Mobile Exhibit

“Throughout our history, people have turned to Mayo Clinic for hope and healing. By experiencing this exhibit you will share the enduring values and exciting vision of Mayo Clinic in service to humanity,” says Kerry Olsen, M.D., Chair, Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial Committee.

What’s inside?
A visit to the exhibit will allow visitors to see the human body as never seen before and discover how we use innovation, research and technology to meet the unique needs of individual patients. Read the rest of this entry »

Expanded Clinical Trial for Experimental Melanoma Drug at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Joe Dangor

Dr. Roxana DroncaROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic Cancer Center announced today that it is participating in an expanded access program for the experimental cancer drug MK-3475 at its three sites in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota. MK-3475 is a therapy for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. This program will provide expanded access to the drug prior to its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

MK-3475 received “breakthrough therapy” designation from the FDA based on early interim results from a single-arm, open-label Phase I study in 85 patients with surgically unresectable metastatic melanoma. In that trial, the drug had a 51 percent objective response rate. The objective response includes patients with a complete response, those whose tumors were no longer detectable, and those whose tumors shrunk by at least 30 percent compared to baseline.
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Are you an Organ Donor? Mayo Clinic Expert Discusses 5 Myths about Organ Donation

Posted on April 15th, 2014 by Ginger Plumbo

April is Donate Life Month; make your wishes known and don’t let misinformation stop you from saving lives

ROCHESTER, Minn. — April is Donate Life Month, a national recognition to help encourage Americans to register as organ, eye and tissue donors and to celebrate those who have saved lives through the gift of donation.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Edwards are in the downloads.

Nationally, Mayo Clinic has over 3,000 patients on the waiting list for an organ transplant. In recognition of Donate Life Month, Brooks Edwards, M.D., director of the William J. von Liebig Center for Transplantation and Donate Life Web BannerClinical Regeneration and a transplant cardiologist, is available to the media to answer common questions and address myths and misconceptions pertaining to organ donation.

Some common myths include:

Myth: If I agree to donate my organs, the hospital staff won't work as hard to save my life.

Fact: When you go to the hospital for treatment, doctors focus on saving your life — not somebody else's. You'll be seen by a doctor whose specialty most closely matches your particular emergency, not by a doctor who performs transplants. Read the rest of this entry »

Mayor Ardell Brede to Proclaim April 11 ‘Donate Life Day’ in Rochester

Posted on April 10th, 2014 by Ginger Plumbo

Wear blue and green, attend flag raising ceremony to commemorate

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede will proclaim Friday, April 11, “Donate Life Day” in Rochester at a ceremony at the Gift of Life Transplant House (north house) starting at 4 p.m. that day. A 3-by-5-foot Donate Life flag will be raised as part of the ceremony to increase awareness and honor organ donors. The event is open to the public. The Gift of Life Transplant House is located at 705 Second Street SW.

Gift of Life Transplant HouseMore than 120,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant in the United States. Nearly 2,000 of those are children. Mayo Clinic has over 3,000 patients on the waiting list for an organ transplant. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national waiting list. An average of 18 people die each day in the United States waiting for transplants that can't take place because of the shortage of donated organs.

April is National Donate Life Month, and events are happening across the country to increase support for organ, tissue and eye donation. In addition to the Donate Life Day event in Rochester, there are several other ways to participate or observe Donate Life Month: Read the rest of this entry »

Vigilance for Kidney Problems Key for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Posted on April 9th, 2014 by Sharon Theimer

image of person and kidneysMULTIMEDIA ALERT: Mayo Clinic study finds rheumatoid arthritis patients at higher risk of kidney disease

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Rheumatoid arthritis patients are likelier than the average person to develop chronic kidney disease, and more severe inflammation in the first year of rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroid use, high blood pressure and obesity are among the risk factors, new Mayo Clinic research shows.  Physicians should test rheumatoid arthritis patients periodically for signs of kidney problems, and patients should work to keep blood pressure under control, avoid a high-salt diet, and eliminate or scale back medications damaging to the kidneys, says senior author Eric Matteson, M.D., Mayo rheumatology chair.  The study is published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the National Kidney Foundation journal .

Researchers studied 813 Mayo Clinic patients with rheumatoid arthritis and 813 without it. They found that over a 20-year period, people with rheumatoid arthritis have a 1 in 4 chance of developing chronic kidney disease, compared with the general population’s 1-in-5 risk.

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

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Mayo Clinic Shares Lessons Learned from Genomics Clinic for Sequencing-based Cancer Care and Diagnostics

Posted on April 8th, 2014 by Sam Smith

ROCHESTER, Minn. — It has been 1.5 years since Mayo Clinic opened the world’s first integrated multidisciplinary genomics service, the Individualized Medicine Clinic, which uses genomics and next-generation sequencing technologies to personalize treatments for patients with advanced cancer and complex diagnoses. In a special issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C, “Implementation of Genomic Medicine,” developers of the Individualized Medicine Clinic report the clinic’s structure and share lessons learned in everything from efficacy of genomics in patient care to struggles with insurance reimbursement and ethical dilemmas.

A flow cell used in next-generation sequencing. A complete human genome can be decoded from this slide in a few days.

A flow cell used in next-generation sequencing. A complete human genome can be decoded from this slide in a few days.

Konstantinos Lazaridis, M.D., a Mayo Clinic hepatologist and director of the Individualized Medicine Clinic, says the clinic is a natural extension of Mayo’s commitment to putting the needs of the patient first and that leaders in the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine saw this opportunity as an imperative. Since opening the clinic, more than 30 percent of patients on a diagnostic odyssey have received answers through whole-exome sequencing.

“We now have the capability to understand cancer and diagnostic odyssey cases at their most fundamental level,” says Dr. Lazaridis. “And while we had many hurdles to overcome in designing and launching this clinic, we continue to improve our services, and that’s what matters to people who need our help.” Read the rest of this entry »

Tissue Testing During Breast Cancer Lumpectomies Prevents Need for Reoperation 96 Percent of Time

Posted on April 7th, 2014 by Sharon Theimer

Real-time tissue analysis gives Mayo Clinic much lower reoperation numbers than national rate

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAROCHESTER, Minn. — Unique laboratory testing during breast cancer lumpectomies to make sure surgeons remove all cancerous tissue spares patients the need for a repeat lumpectomy in roughly 96 percent of cases at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a success rate much higher than the rate nationally, a Mayo study shows. During the years reviewed, 13.2 percent of breast cancer lumpectomy patients nationally had to return to the operating room within a month of their initial surgery, compared to 3.6 percent at Mayo in Rochester, which uses a technique called frozen section analysis to test excised tissue for cancer while  patient are still on the operating table. The findings are published in the journal Surgery.

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Recovering From Abdominal Hernia Repair Often Takes Longer Than Patients Expect

Posted on April 3rd, 2014 by Sharon Theimer


upset woman lying on couch holding stomachSalt Lake City — Think having a hernia repaired is going to be a walk in the park — or that you’ll be ready to take a walk in the park within hours afterward? It may be time for a reality check, a Mayo Clinic study suggests. Researchers found that though patients tend to expect to return to normal activities swiftly after laparoscopic ventral hernia repair, many of those studied were still experiencing pain and fatigue several days later. People under 60 and women in particular seemed to have more prolonged recoveries.

Journalists: Soundbites with Dr. Bingener-Casey are available in the downloads.

The findings were presented at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons annual meeting April 2-5 in Salt Lake City.

Physicians may need to work with patients to set more realistic expectations about recovery and help them better cope with pain and fatigue after the procedure, says senior author Juliane Bingener-Casey, M.D., a gastroenterologic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“It may be that people expect, when they’ve seen their neighbors after laparoscopic gall bladder surgery and they’re back taking a walk the next day, that they’ll be able to do the same thing with laparoscopic ventral hernia repair,” Dr. Bingener-Casey says. “They will probably find out that it takes several days before they start moving the way they usually do.”

Laparoscopic ventral hernia repair is an outpatient surgery performed when a gap forms between muscles in the abdomen, allowing organs or other soft tissues to push through that weakened area and potentially causing obstructions and pain. It is one of the more common surgeries in the United States: Roughly 90,000 ventral hernia repairs are performed in the U.S. each year, the researchers note. Anyone can develop a ventral hernia, though people who have had surgery with an incision, have lung disease, are obese or have weakened immune systems are at higher risk, Dr. Bingener-Casey says.

Researchers studied the quality of life reported by 18 patients over their first seven days after surgery, considered the worst part of the recovery period. They found that the mean levels of patient-reported fatigue and pain didn’t recede to their pre-surgery levels until seven days after the procedure. Women and people under 60 tended to report poorer physical well-being in the days after surgery than men and patients over 60.

“It’s worse than expected for the patients probably. So I think it’s important for patients to have a realistic expectation, so they’re not surprised and disappointed,” Dr. Bingener-Casey says. “For the surgeons, it’s important to look at what we can do to improve recovery. Is it the pain control, is there other help we can provide to get through the pain or through the fatigue for the time after surgery?”

Further research is planned to determine whether an individualized approach to patient recovery after the surgery helps people get back to normal more quickly.

Dr. Bingener-Casey’s research is supported by National Institutes of Health grant DK93553.


About Mayo Clinic
Recognizing 150 years of serving humanity in 2014, Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit worldwide leader in medical care, research and education for people from all walks of life. For more information, visit, or

MEDIA CONTACT: Sharon Theimer, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email:

Mayo Research Shows Cardiac Rehab Patients Who Use Smartphone App Recover Better

Posted on March 29th, 2014 by Traci Klein

American College of Cardiology

Washington — March 29, 2014 — Patients who attended cardiac rehabilitation and used a smartphone-based app to record daily measurements such as weight and blood pressure had greater improvements in those cardiovascular risk factors; they also were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 90 days of discharge, compared with patients who only attended cardiac rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic researchers found.

Journalists: Soundbites and b-roll with Dr. Widmer are available in the downloads.

Only 20 percent of the patients who attended cardiac rehab and used the app were readmitted to the hospital or visited the emergency department within 90 days, compared with 60 percent of those in the control group, researchers discovered.

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Gout Isn’t Always Easy to Prove: CT Scans Help Catch Cases Traditional Test Misses

Posted on March 26th, 2014 by Sharon Theimer

Accurate diagnosis key because painful disease treated differently than other forms of arthritis

Gout 1 CT Scan of uric acid crystals on foot skeleton ROCHESTER, Minn. — March 25, 2014 — Gout is on the rise among U.S. men and women, and this piercingly painful and most common form of inflammatory arthritis is turning out to be more complicated than had been thought. The standard way to check for gout is by drawing fluid or tissue from an affected joint and looking for uric acid crystals, a test known as a needle aspiration. That usually works, but not always: In a new Mayo Clinic study, X-rays known as dual-energy CT scans found gout in one-third of patients whose aspirates tested negative for the disease. The CT scans allowed rheumatologists to diagnose gout and treat those patients with the proper medication.

The results are published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the European League Against Rheumatism journal.

The study tested the usefulness of CT scans in finding uric acid crystals around joints across a wide spectrum of gout manifestations. The researchers found CT scans worked particularly well in detecting gout in patients who had experienced several gout-like flares but whose previous needle aspirates came back negative. After CT scans found what appeared to be uric acid crystals, ultrasound-guided aspirates were taken in those areas and tested for urate crystals. Read the rest of this entry »