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July 30th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Cost-effective addition to mammography in detecting cancer in dense breast tissue

By Bob Nellis Bob Nellis

ROCHESTER, Minn. – For women with dense breast tissue, supplementing standard mammography with a new imaging technique called molecular breast imaging (MBI) can lower the cost of diagnosis of breast cancers, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology (AJR).

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine found that adding MBI to mammography of women with dense breast tissue increased the costs of diagnosis 3.2 times, compared to costs of mammography alone, and nearly quadrupled the rate of cancer detection. Because the supplemental test found more cancer, screening with a combination of mammography and MBI saved $8,254 per cancer detected.

While mammography is still the standard tool for widespread breast cancer screening, it is now known to perform less effectively in women with dense breast tissue. Both tumors and normal dense breast tissue can appear white on a mammogram, making tumors hard to detect. Nearly half of all women over age 40 have mammograms classified as “dense,” according to Carrie Hruska, Ph.D., a medical physicist in the Mayo Clinic Department of Radiology and the study’s lead author. Supplemental screening techniques like MBI address a significant need for better cancer detection methods for this patient population.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Bob Nellis and Shea Jennings, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Center for Individualized Medicine, Dr Carrie Hruska, Dr Deborah Rhodes, Dr Michael O'Connor, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, MBI, molecular breast imaging, Research, Rochester news release

June 18th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic and TGen Help Launch Clinical Trials to Combat Advanced Skin Cancer

By Julie Janovsky-Mason Julie Janovsky-Mason

Word cloud definition for skin cancer - melanomaArizonans will receive benefit from recently FDA-approved precision medicine clinical trial to fight a deadly form of melanoma

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) are helping launch a national clinical trial that will apply the latest in precision medicine to treat advanced melanoma skin cancer.

The study leverages advances in genomics, informatics, and health information technology, yielding more precise medical treatments for patients with this devastating disease.

Mayo Clinic is the only clinical site in Arizona to offer this new treatment, sponsored by Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C) and the Melanoma Research Alliance. These clinical trials are the culmination of nearly four years of research under an SU2C Melanoma Dream Team grant.

Metastatic melanoma is a type of cancer that has spread from the skin to other parts of the body, most frequently the lungs, muscles, brain, and liver. Metastatic melanoma is responsible for more than 9,000 deaths a year in the United States, so there remains an urgent need for new treatment options.

For interviews with Dr. Aleksandar Sekulic and Dr. Alan Bryce or a patient with metastatic melanoma, contact Julie Janovsky-Mason, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs at (480) 301-6173;

For interviews with Dr. Trent, please contact: Steve Yozwiak, TGen Senior Science Writer at 602-343-8704; Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Arizona News Release, Dr Alan Bryce, Melanoma, TGen, Cancer, News Release

May 6th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

9 Tips to Protect Your Skin This Summer

By Micah Dorfner Micah Dorfner

Mother on beach applying sunscreen to child

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can cause skin damage in as little as 15 minutes. Prolonged exposure and damage can lead to various forms of skin cancer, many of which, thankfully, are preventable. The sun isn’t the only skin-damaging predator — tanning beds, smoking and unhealthy diet can also have ill effects on the body’s outer layer.

The key is to be sun savvy and know how to keep your skin healthy. Tammy Losee, Mayo Clinic Health System nurse practitioner, offers nine tips to help protect your skin. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Mayo Clinic Health System, Melanoma, skin cancer, Sun Safety, Tammy Losee

May 4th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Proton Beam Therapy Offers Potential for Fewer Side Effects and Higher Cure Rates

By Dennis Douda Dennis Douda

Mayo Clinic
will soon begin treating cancer patients with its new, state-of-the-art proton beam therapy facility. The technology delivers radiation therapy in a way that offers the potential for fewer side effects and higher cure rates, often for patients whose cancers cannot be treated safely any other way. Here’s Dennis Douda for the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Journalists: The broadcast quality video package, additional b-roll of the building and facility, as well as elaborate animations, are available in the downloads. Click here to read the full script. 

Learn more about the Grand Opening Event Saturday May 9th, 11 am - 3 pm CT.

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Tags: Dr Michelle Clarke, Dr Robert Foote, Dr Sameer Keole, Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program, Radiation Oncology, HL, Pkg

April 1st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Cut Disease Risk by Adding Color to Your Diet

By Micah Dorfner Micah Dorfner

fruits and vegetables

Do you feel overwhelmed by diet recommendations that constantly change based on the latest research? If you have a cancer diagnosis or a desire to lower your risk for cancer and want to follow a healthy diet, there is good news — some advice has not changed. A diet to reduce cancer risk has a recurrent message: choose a diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Several organizations, including Mayo Clinic, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), urge us to eat more fruits and vegetables. The ACS guidelines suggest we should eat five or more servings per day. The AICR has set goals of 2 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1 1/2 cups of fruit per day. A serving, as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is one medium whole fruit or 1/2 cup of fruit, 1/2 cup of cooked or chopped vegetables and 1 cup raw, leafy greens.

Kay Yost, a Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian, says when choosing fruits and vegetables, people should try to include: Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cancer, diet, Disease prevention, Kay Yost, Mayo Clinic Health System, Nutrition

February 14th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

After Beating Cancer, It’s the Patient Leading the Physician

By Micah Dorfner Micah Dorfner

Mitzi and Dr. Cockerill 2

Mitzi Roberts, 48, of Mankato, Minn., has been a dancer all of her life. She’s made dancing her livelihood and owns the Dance Express dance studio. On top of her penchant for dancing and operating her business, she decided three years ago to add a Mankato-based dance competition fundraiser to her list of to-dos. However, she wasn’t prepared for the challenge that would appear on the scene during planning stages in the event’s second year.

October 2013 Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer. “It took the wind out of my sails for a day or two,” Roberts says of the diagnosis.

But she quickly turned a corner and started thinking more optimistically. Roberts continued planning for the 2014 Dancing with the Mankato Stars, which helped keep her mind off the negatives. She also found hope in her Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato oncologist, Kevin Cockerill, M.D.

Feb. 13, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato, the two-person team took to the dance floor and competed in Dancing with the Mankato Stars to raise money for the American Red Cross. *They scored three "10's" and won the judge's choice!Dancing with the Mankato Stars - Mitzi and Dr Cockeril

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Dancing with the Mankato Stars, Dr Kevin Cockerill, Mayo Clinic Health System, Mitzi Roberts, patient story

January 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

New Breast Exam Nearly Quadruples Detection of Invasive Breast Cancers in Women with Dense Breast Tissue

By Sam Smith Sam Smith

Rochester, Minn. — A new breast imaging technique pioneered at Mayo Clinic nearly quadruples detection rates of invasive breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue, according to the results of a major study published this week in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Molecular Breast Imaging (right) detected 3.6 times as many invasive cancers as digital mammography (left) in the latest study of more than 1,500 women with dense breast tissue. Results are published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Molecular Breast Imaging (right) detected 3.6 times as many invasive cancers as digital mammography (left) in the latest study of more than 1,500 women with dense breast tissue. About half of screening-age women have dense breast tissue, which digital mammography renders the same whitish shade as tumors. Results are published in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) is a supplemental imaging technology designed to find tumors that would otherwise be obscured by surrounding dense breast tissue on a mammogram. Tumors and dense breast tissue can both appear white on a mammogram, making tumors indistinguishable from background tissue in women with dense breasts. About half of all screening-aged women have dense breast tissue, according to Deborah Rhodes, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic physician and the senior author of this study.

MBI increased the detection rate of invasive breast cancers by more than 360 percent when used in addition to regular screening mammography, according to the study. MBI uses small, semiconductor-based gamma cameras to image the breast following injection of a radiotracer that tumors absorb avidly. Unlike conventional breast imaging techniques, such as mammography and ultrasound, MBI exploits the different behavior of tumors relative to background tissue, producing a functional image of the breast that can detect tumors not seen on mammography.

The study, conducted at Mayo Clinic, included 1,585 women with heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts who underwent an MBI exam at the time of their screening mammogram.

MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Dr Amy Conners, Dr Deborah Rhodes, Dr Michael O'Connor, Mammogram, MBI, Minnesota news release, molecular breast imaging, News Release, radiology, supplemental screening, Cancer

December 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic’s Discovery’s Edge Launches Android Platform

By Bob Nellis 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, Matthew Clark PhD, Mayo Clinic's Discovery's Edge, Medical Research, Minnesota news release, News Release, Research, rheumatoid arthritis, Rochester news release

November 24th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Seeing Cancer Sooner with CT Lung Scans

By Dennis Douda Dennis Douda

'Mayo 150 years serving humanity' 150th Sesquicentennial LogoAs the number one cancer killer, lung cancer claims more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined. To help detect it sooner, when it’s far more treatable, Mayo Clinic has launched a Lung Cancer Screening Program. For some, the process is already proving to be a life saver. [TRT: 3:00]

Those wishing to contact Mayo Clinic’s Lung Cancer Screening Program in Rochester, Minn., may call 507-538-0340.

Journalists: A broadcast quality video package and additional b-roll are available in the downloads. To access the script, click here

This is a special report produced for the Mayo Clinic 150th Anniversary Collection of Stories. To view other stories and learn about Mayo Clinic's sesquicentennial, please click here.  

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Tags: CT Scan, Dr. Stephen Cassivi, HL, Lung Cancer, lung screening, Matthew Clark PhD, Pkg, Pulmonology, Thoracic Surgery

November 13th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers: TNF Inhibitors May Increase Cancer Risk in the Eye

By Bob Nellis Bob Nellis

Jose Pulido, M.D., senior author of the study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Jose Pulido, M.D., senior author of the study in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

ROCHESTER, Minn. — One of the family of drugs prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions is called TNF inhibitors. They act by dampening part of the immune system called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In one of the balancing acts of medicine, the anti-inflammatory action of the drug also increases the risk for other conditions, in this case, a rare form of eye cancer, uveal melanoma. Mayo Clinic researchers make the case and alert physicians in an article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

 Mayo researchers studied three patients — two women and a man — who were treated for inflammatory disease and developed melanoma tumors in one eye within a year to two of taking TNF inhibitors. While this type of condition is probably rare, according to the researchers, there might be an increased risk if the patient has a pre-existing nevus (freckle of the eye). The women had inflammatory bowel disease; the man had rheumatoid arthritis. The studies occurred between 2009 and 2013.

Researchers say that patients considered for treatment with TNF inhibitors should first be given an eye exam to determine eye health, and any with existing conditions, such as choroidal nevus (lesions on the eye), should be monitored regularly to determine if any issues are developing.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Robert Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-9258, Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: eye cancer, Eye disease, Jose Pulido, Matthew Clark PhD, News Release, ophthalmology, Rochester, TNF, tumor inhibitor, tumor necrosis factor, Cancer