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August 19th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Investigator to Lead Alliance Research Base for New National, Community-based Cancer Research Initiative

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded Jan Buckner, M.D., a five-year, $47.5 million grant to lead the NCI’s National Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) research base for the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. Dr. Buckner is deputy director for cancer practice at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Rochester, where the Alliance research base will be located.Cancer wordsJan Buckner M.D

NCORP is a national network of cancer investigators, cancer care providers, academic institutions and other organizations that provide care to diverse populations in community-based health care practices across the United States. NCORP will design and conduct trials to improve cancer prevention, cancer control, screening and post-treatment management.

The Alliance research base at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Minnesota will be one of seven research bases across the country that will design and conduct multicenter cancer clinical trials and cancer care delivery research. NCORP hubs will also provide overall administration, data management, scientific leadership and regulatory compliance for the NCORP program.

MEDIA CONTACT:
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August 19th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center to Offer Saturday Morning Injury Clinic

By Bryan Anderson

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center will provide a Saturday morning injury clinic for middle school, high school and college athletes injured during Friday night or Saturday morning sports activities. The clinic will be open each Saturday from Aug. 23 to Oct. 11, from 8 a.m. to noon.

FootballGrass_00010205381_SP FeatureAppointments may be scheduled by calling 507-266-9100, starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday. Walk-ins also are welcome but must arrive by 11 a.m. Appointments will receive priority.

The Saturday morning injury clinic is in the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center’s Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center location. The clinic will be staffed by a physician, physical therapist and athletic trainer. Care options may include X-rays, splinting, bracing, crutch instruction, concussion evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation exercises.

In addition to the injury clinic, Saturday sports medicine offerings include programs for hockey, running, golf, throwers, and any athlete wanting to improve athletic performance.

For more information, contact Chad Eickhoff, athletic training services coordinator, at 507-266-3461 or eickhoff.chad@mayo.edu.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bryan Anderson, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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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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August 15th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Task Force Challenges Some Recommendations in Updated Cholesterol Treatment Guideline

By Traci Klein

A Mayo Clinic task force challenges some recommendations in the updated guideline for cholesterol treatment unveiled by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and American Heart Association (AHA) in 2013. The task force concludes, based on current evidence, that not all patients encouraged to take cholesterol-lowering medications, such as statins, may benefit from them and that the guideline missed some important conditions that might benefit from medication.

Furthermore, the task force believes an emphasis needs to be placed on an individualized treatment approach with each patient and exercising shared decision-making.

heart stethoscopeRecommendations of the task force, made up of Mayo Clinic experts in cardiology, endocrinology and preventive medicine, with no conflicts of interest or links to the drug industry, will be published Aug. 14 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. An editorial will accompany the paper. Mayo Clinic physicians are adopting the task force’s guideline.

“The ACC/AHA cholesterol guideline was last updated in 2001, so it needed to be updated. We agree with many points of the guideline, but there are some key areas where we do not completely agree or we wanted to expand and provide more guidance,” says Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D., task force chairman and director of preventive cardiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Kullo and Dr. Lopez-Jimenez are available in the downloads, as well as animations of statins' effects in the bloodstream and carotid artery plaque formation

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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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August 13th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mark McNiven, Ph.D., Heads New Mayo Clinic Center for Biomedical Discovery

By Bob Nellis

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic has named a veteran cell biology researcher to head its new Center for Biomedical Discovery. Mark McNiven, Ph.D., brings over 30 years of scientific experience to the position and a decade as leader of Mayo’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The appointment was announced this week by Gregory Gores, M.D., executive dean for Research.McNiven_Mark_A_14JL

“We’re very glad to have someone of Dr. McNiven’s leadership and experience as the director launching this important new center,” says Dr. Gores. “Discovery science is a significant part of our research effort at Mayo Clinic, as it is the starting point in seeking help for our patients when current knowledge isn’t enough.”
Image of vials used for researchThe Center for Biomedical Discovery was established to grow Mayo’s expertise and build on its foundation of basic research discoveries, which extends back over 100 years. Discoveries in the laboratory form the basis for tomorrow’s clinical care, and Mayo’s scientists have long been teaming with physicians to explore the needs of patients. This Mayo-wide strategic research center will help advance and coordinate those efforts, prioritizing and seeking support to grow the science. The new director will:

  • Promote discovery science as a priority of the institution and a foundation for clinical care
  • Develop programs of excellence with a focus on the molecular basis of disease
  • Promote “team science” and encourage collaboration between scientists and physicians
  • Help implement fundraising strategies for the center
  • Promote innovation and commercialization

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August 12th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Study Finds Less Radical Procedures Offer Similar Cancer Control Compared to Surgery for Kidney Cancer Patients

By Joe Dangor

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Needle-guided tumor destruction procedures offer near equivalent lengths of local cancer control compared to surgery for patients with small kidney cancer tumors, according to the results of a large study published in the journal European Urology. “If validated, these data suggest that an update to clinical guidelines would be warranted,” says the study’s lead author, R. Houston Thompson, M.D., a Mayo Clinic urologist.

Dr. Thompson says radical nephrectomy – surgical removal of the entire kidney – has historically been the standard of care for management of kidney cancer; however, partial nephrectomy – surgical removal of tumors from a kidney while sparing healthy tissue –has become increasingly more common because of its nephron-sparing benefits and similar cancer control. The nephron is the part of the kidney that filters out toxins from the blood.

“We undertook this study because direct comparisons of outcomes among patients with kidney cancer who have received partial nephrectomy (PN), radiofrequency ablation (RFA) – tumor destruction using intense heat and cryoablation – tumor destruction using extreme cold – are lacking, especially from institutions that routinely perform all three of these procedures,” Dr. Thompson says.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu.

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August 12th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Mayo Clinic’s 150 Medical Contributions Span 150 Years

By Kelley Luckstein

ROCHESTER, Minn. – To honor a century and a half of serving humanity, Mayo Clinic has compiled a list of 150 medical contributions. The list includes innovations such as developing the concept of an integrated, multispecialty, not-for-profit group practice of medicine, establishing the first hospital-based blood bank in the United States, developing the ketogenic diet to help control epilepsy, Historical photo of an early surgery performed at Mayo Clinicand performing the first Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hip replacement in the United States.Photo of Drs. William Mayo, Charles Mayo, and William Worrall Mayo

“The accomplishments on this list reflect the collective knowledge of colleagues throughout Mayo Clinic,” says Kerry Olsen, M.D., chair of the Mayo Clinic Sesquicentennial Committee. “Millions of people have received care as patients of Mayo Clinic, and millions of others have benefited from Mayo’s discoveries, advancing the standard of care throughout the United States and around the world.”

To create the list, a committee of Mayo Clinic’s senior leaders in clinical care, research and education called upon their colleagues to submit important discoveries from their respective specialty fields. Once all the submissions had been received, the committee was faced with the challenging task of processing and narrowing down hundreds of entries to a list of 150.

MEDIA CONTACT:Individualized Medicine Clinic
Kelley Luckstein, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Email: newsbureau@mayo.edu

“This list is not meant to be the ‘most’ important, nor are the accomplishments presented in any chronological order or priority,” says Dr. Olsen. “Rather, they were selected for their impact and enduring significance. Looking ahead, we anticipate many more advances to join the list.”

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

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August 11th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Emergency Gallbladder Surgery: Do You Need It, Or Can You Afford to Wait?

By Sharon Theimer

Study: younger, older people likelier to visit ER repeatedly with gallstone pain before surgery

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Gallstone pain is one of the most common reasons patients visit emergency rooms. Figuring out who needs emergency gallbladder removal and who can go home and schedule surgery at their convenience is sometimes a tricky question, and it isn’t always answered correctly. A new Mayo Clinic study found that 1 in 5 patients who went to the emergency room with gallbladder pain and were sent home to schedule surgery returned to the ER within 30 days needing emergency gallbladder removal. The surgical complication rate rises with the time lag before surgery, the researchers say.

Gallstones removed from a patient's gallbladder

“It makes a big difference if you get the right treatment at the right time,” says co-lead author Juliane Bingener-Casey, M.D., a gastroenterologic surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The study is published in the Journal of Surgical Research.

Often it’s obvious who needs emergency gallbladder removal, a procedure known as cholecystectomy, who can delay it and who doesn’t need surgery at all. But sometimes patients fall into a gray area. Mayo researchers are working to develop a reliable tool to help determine the best course of action in those cases, and the newly published study is a first step, Dr. Bingener-Casey says. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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