Sam Smith @scolbysmith
Contact Phone Number
Media Formats You Use
I will not release information before the embargo date provided for each resource.
Activity by Sam Smith @scolbysmith
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Dosing obese teens with vitamin D shows no benefits for their heart health or diabetes risk, and could have the unintended consequences of increasing cholesterol and fat-storing triglycerides. These are the latest findings in a series of Mayo Clinic studies in childhood obesity.
Seema Kumar, M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist in the Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, has been studying the effects of vitamin D supplementation in children for 10 years, through four clinical trials and six published studies. To date, Dr. Kumar’s team has found limited benefit from vitamin D supplements in adolescents. The latest study, Effect of Vitamin D3 Treatment on Endothelial Function in Obese Adolescents, appears online in Pediatric Obesity.
“After three months of having vitamin D boosted into the normal range with supplements, these teenagers showed no changes in body weight, body mass index, waistline, blood pressure or blood flow,” says Dr. Kumar. “We’re not saying the links between vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases don’t exist for children—we just haven’t found any yet.”
I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I will reach out to Dr. Ho's research coordinator and team. You should also feel free to do so. Even discuss the study and press release with your treating oncologist; he or she may know whether application of this technology is appropriate for your husband's care. Please let me know how I can help further.
Samuel Smith | Public Affairs Specialist | Mayo Clinic | External Relations - Research Communications | 507-266-0607 office | 815-535-1902 cell | firstname.lastname@example.org
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — An international research team led by Mayo Clinic oncologists has found a new way to identify and possibly stop the progression of many late-stage cancers, including bladder, blood, bone, brain, lung and kidney.
The precision medicine study appears online in Oncogene and focuses on kidney cancer and its metastases. Recent studies of the same epigenomic fingerprint in other cancers suggest a common pathway that could help improve the diagnosis and treatment of advanced disease across a wide variety of cancer types.
“If you think of late-stage cancer as a runaway car, most of our drugs take a shot at a tire here and there, but sometimes they miss and often they can’t stop it entirely,” says Thai Ho, M.D., Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist and lead author of the study. “We believe we have identified a mechanism that seizes the cancer’s biological engine and could potentially stop it in its tracks.”
The new approach zeroes in on an epigenomic fingerprint in metastatic disease, in which the body often misinterprets a healthy genetic blueprint, producing toxic cells that run afoul of the body’s normal functions.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A. Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., has been appointed medical director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Stewart is a consultant in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, Department of Medicine.
“I am honored to have this opportunity,” says Dr. Stewart. “We will build on the excellent work of the center to date, with a renewed focus on helping our clinicians access genomics based diagnostics and therapeutics on a routine basis to improve patient care. The integrated complex care delivered at Mayo Clinic provides a unique ability to lead in the development of precision medicine advances with global impact.”
Dr. Stewart’s own research and clinical interest is in translational genomics in multiple myeloma, including both basic and clinical research to identify novel targets for therapy in multiple myeloma. A diversity of public and private institutions currently support this work: the National Cancer Institute, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, as well as numerous partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry for clinical trials.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) affirmed her commitment to medical innovation and precision medicine today during a tour of the Mayo Clinic Biorepositories' new state-of-the-art space in northwest Rochester.
"President Obama made precision medicine a common term ... and I'm delighted to be here to see first-hand the work that has been going here at Mayo Clinic for quite some time," Klobuchar said. "We need to continue to support medical research and fund the NIH—we increasingly are facing international competition."
Obama announced the NIH's $270 million Precision Medicine Initiative on January 20 during this year's State of the Union Address, thrusting the relatively obscure medical term into the national spotlight and launching a national dialogue about medical innovation and genomics in clinical care.
Klobuchar called the initiative "imperative" to the future of health care in the United States and a key component of the local and state economies.
"America has always been a leader (in health innovation)," Klobuchar said. "We want those dollars, those jobs, right here in Rochester, in the Twin Cities." [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., will tour the Mayo Clinic Biobank and discuss the Precision Medicine Initiative with leadership from both the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and Mayo Medical Laboratories. Journalists are welcome to accompany Sen. Klobuchar and join the informational tour of Mayo Clinic’s multi-million-dollar investment in precision medicine. Mayo Clinic leadership will also be available for interviews and background discussions.
WHAT: Walking tour of the Mayo Clinic Biobank and the Biorepositories Program of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. Photo opportunities and opportunities to discuss the Precision Medicine Initiative with Sen. Klobuchar and Mayo Clinic leadership.
WHERE: Biorepositories Building of Mayo Clinic, 2915 Valleyhigh Drive NW, Rochester, MN 55901. Entrance is behind the building.
WHEN: Friday, February 20, from 11:15 to 11:40 a.m.
NOTE: Members of the media should RSVP to 507-284-5005.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Smith, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayo Clinic is excited about the national focus on individualized medicine and what the future holds. More than half ($130 million) of the total $215 million budget request, put forth by President Obama's Precision Medicine Initiative, is for a national biobanking initiative that draws on existing collections across the country. Mayo Clinic has among the country’s largest collections through the Mayo Clinic Biobank and the Biorepositories Program.
Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine have made a significant commitment to building a scalable biorepository infrastructure, which includes multiple specimen processing laboratories and centralized storage.
One of these collections is the Mayo Clinic Biobank, a collection of blood samples and health information donated by Mayo Clinic patients. The Biobank collects samples and health information from patients and other volunteers, regardless of health history. The Biobank was established at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minn., and recruitment began in April 2009. Since then, the Biobank has expanded to Mayo Clinic's campuses in Jacksonville, Fla. and Scottsdale, Ariz., in addition to the Mayo Clinic Health System. The Biobank aims to enroll 50,000 Mayo Clinic patients by 2016 to support a wide array of health-related research studies at Mayo Clinic and other institutions.
Steve Thibodeau, David F. and Margaret T. Grohne Director, Biorepositories Program facts about the Mayo Clinic Biobank.
Journalists: Soundbites with Dr. Thibodeau and b-roll of the Mayo Clinic Biobank are available in the downloads.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com
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 (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.
Individualized medicine, also known as personalized medicine or precision medicine, means tailoring diagnosis and treatment to each patient to optimize care. Patients have experienced this kind of care for 150 years at Mayo Clinic, where teams of specialists have always worked together to find answers.
Now, at a time when we can routinely sequence a whole human genome and better understand the function of genes, individualized medicine at Mayo Clinic has been taken to the molecular level. We're using genomics and other sequencing technologies to more effectively and precisely diagnose, treat, predict and eventually prevent disease.
And that's what the Center for Individualized Medicine is all about — solving the clinical challenges of today and tomorrow by bringing the latest discoveries from the research laboratory to your doctor's fingertips in the form of new genomics-based tests and treatments.
MEDIA CONTACT: Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org [...]
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: email@example.com
Journalists: Soundbites with Dr. DiBaise are available in the downloads. [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A diagnostic test based on chromosomal rearrangements can trace the lineage of lung cancer to determine whether two separate lung cancers in the same patient are independent tumors or a tumor that has spread to another region of the lung, a Mayo Clinic study has found. For patients with multiple tumors, that distinction could mean the difference between early stage cancer that may be cured by surgery and incurable late-stage disease. The research is published this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
“Unfortunately, distinguishing between independent primary tumors and metastasis is a frequent dilemma for pathologists” says Marie-Christine Aubry, M.D., a Mayo Clinic pathologist and co-principal author of the study. “We need better tests to help the clinician match the treatment approach to the patient’s individual needs.”
Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, firstname.lastname@example.org
Journalists: Soundbites with Dr. Wigle are in the downloads. [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Mayo Clinic announced today that Clifford Hudis, M.D., immediate past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), will deliver the keynote address at Individualizing Medicine 2014: From Promise to Practice.
Individualizing Medicine 2014 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.
Journalists: Lab b-roll and sound bites with Richard Weinshilboum, M.D., co-director, Individualizing Medicine Conference, are available in the downloads.
Startup company to offer next-generation sequencing-based pharmacogenomics interpretation
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic and venture catalyst Invenshure announce the launch of Oneome, a genomics interpretation company that exports Mayo’s extensive pharmacogenomics knowledge in the form of concise, actionable reports to help providers anywhere deliver the right medication at the right time.
Oneome reports will focus on providing pharmacogenomically driven guidance for medications with high levels of evidence in medical literature. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Mayo’s collaboration with Oneome is led by the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine.
“Our own genetic makeup can have a significant impact on how our bodies process and use prescription medication, which in turn affects whether or not a drug works the way our doctor intended,” says Oneome co-founder John Logan Black, M.D., a Mayo Clinic physician and co-director of the Personalized Genomics Laboratory in Mayo's Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology. “We have developed sophisticated decision algorithms that can help providers use genomic testing to get their prescriptions right the first time.” [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A Mayo Clinic-led group of researchers has discovered three subgroups of a single type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have markedly different survival rates. These subgroups could not be differentiated by routine pathology but only with the aid of novel genetic tests, which the research team recommends giving to all patients with ALK-negative anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). Findings are published in the journal Blood.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Feldman are available in the downloads.
Patients whose lymphomas had TP63 rearrangements had only a 17 percent chance of living five years beyond diagnosis, compared to 90 percent of patients whose tumors had DUSP22 rearrangements. A third group of tumors, those with neither rearrangement, was associated with an intermediate survival rate. [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Recent modifications in recommendations regarding incidental findings (IFs) in genetic testing from the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) depart from the college’s 2013 recommendations in favor of an individualized approach. Experts in the Bioethics Program of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine published a review of the updated 2014 recommendations in the journal Proceedings.
“The feedback from ACMG members indicated that the 2013 recommendations did not accommodate diverse patient needs,” says Jennifer McCormick, Ph.D., M.P.P., who authored the review.
The 2013 recommendations embraced an all-or-nothing philosophy, which advised patients who did not want to be informed of some, or all, IFs to forgo whole exome or whole genome sequencing (WES/WGS), according to the review. In addition, the college originally instructed that laboratories “actively search” and notify patients of pathogenic variants in genes, which raised controversy regarding patient rights.
With the 2014 recommendations, patients have more autonomy to customize their WES/WGS results based on their comfort level with knowledge, other than the original reason to seek genetic testing, says Dr. McCormick.
"This is an important discussion, and the move toward greater autonomy is good for everyone ― both patients and physicians," says Dr. McCormick. "Medicine in general is moving toward more patient autonomy and shared decision making. Genomics and individualized medicine happen to be the starkest and least well-defined examples of this trend ― we have no best practices yet."
Much genomic analysis is meant to aid the patient in making medical decisions, sometimes in the distant future, and there are often far-reaching implications for family members, say Dr. McCormick and her co-authors. These factors combine to make this type of testing very personal, especially regarding incidental findings. For example, patients can decide before testing to filter their results for only one part of their genome. This step is important because it differentiates between single-gene testing and WES/WGS. Where single-gene testing is selective, whole exome/genome sequencing is comprehensive. [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Tumor sequencing of several different lung cancers and their surrounding tissue complicates the prevailing theory of linear lung cancer progression and offers new insights for management of this deadly cancer, according to a new Mayo Clinic study. Sequencing results provide, for the first time, strong molecular evidence of progression from phenotypically indolent components to more aggressive disease and also show that both components can progress independently, even if they arise from the same precursor, according to the study. The paper appears online in Cancer Research.
“This study sheds light on potential changes in our understanding of both the molecular pathogenesis and best treatment of lung adenocarcinoma,” says George Vasmatzis, Ph.D., senior author of the study and co-director of the Biomarker Discovery Program in the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. “The heterogeneity of lung cancer tells us repeatedly that the natural history of tumors and the roads to progression vary among cases, and multiple models are possible in certain cancers.”
Lung cancer accounts for nearly 160,000 deaths every year in the United States, more than the next three most-common cancers combined, according to the American Lung Association. Treatment of early-stage cancers may be tailored according to the type of genomic alterations observed, says Dr. Vasmatzis. In some cases, this could mean less-aggressive treatment and periods of close observation, while other situations may call for more immediate interventions, such as surgery or radiation.
“As suggested by clinical studies demonstrating improved disease-free and overall survival for treatment of lesions containing components of adenocarcinoma in situ [noninvasive lung cancer], it may be that this represents a distinct clinical entity that can be treated less aggressively by either sub-lobar resection or even periods of watchful waiting with close imaging follow-up prior to any treatment,” says Dr. Vasmatzis. [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn., and SAN FRANCISCO — The Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and Whole Biome today announced a collaboration to develop microbiome targeted diagnostic testing, beginning in Women’s Health, with a focus on preterm labor. Preterm birth is the most common cause of infant death and is the leading cause of long-term disability in children, according to the National Institutes of Health. Many preterm births may be delayed or prevented with microbiome-based testing and intervention, according to Mayo Clinic experts.
“Understanding the microbiome, and translating that understanding into enhanced patient care is a major goal within the Center for Individualized Medicine,” says Heidi Nelson, M.D., director of the center’s Microbiome Program. “Our early work suggests the microbiome may play a significant role in triggering preterm labor, and we are excited to take these early results into clinical trials with Whole Biome’s analytics platform.”
“This collaboration is bringing together the clinical expertise of Mayo Clinic with our innovative diagnostic tools,” says Colleen Cutcliffe, CEO of Whole Biome. “Together, we plan to transform affordable and detailed microbiome information into tools that will improve patient health and their lives.”
Whole Biome’s Complete Biome Test is able to generate microbiome profiles with strain-level resolution at a low cost, enabling researchers and physicians to more rapidly conduct large-scale studies and produce effective microbiome diagnostics to help predict, treat and prevent life-threatening issues. [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Mayo Clinic announces the launch of CANCP, a new gene panel cancer test to help tailor chemotherapy to the individual patient based on the unique genomic signature of the patient’s tumor. CANCP, an abbreviation for Solid Tumor Targeted Cancer Gene Panel by Next-Generation Sequencing, scans specific regions in 50 genes known to affect tumor growth and response to chemotherapy. The test is now available to Mayo Clinic patients and to providers worldwide through Mayo Medical Laboratories.
“Every patient’s cancer is different, and oncology is moving away from treating cancer based on its location in the body in favor of selecting the best medication for the individual patient based on molecular changes in the tumor,” says Axel Grothey, M.D., a Mayo Clinic oncologist who orders CANCP on selected tumors. “This test helps providers identify such molecular changes without infusing irrelevant details from genes that we know will not affect our choice of medications.” [...]
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Friday, April 25, is National DNA Day, the date which commemorates completion of the Human Genome Project, the national effort to identify and decode all 6 billion letters in human DNA. Since that time, medical researchers and practitioners have found new ways to apply genomics for everyone who needs healing, and thanks to staggering technological advancements and next-generation sequencing, the cost to sequence a patient’s genome has decreased from $3 billion for the first human genome in 2003 to approximately $1,500.
MEDIA: Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, is available for interviews and background about the future of genomic medicine, as well as information about the latest practices and transformative clinical trials. To interview Dr. Farrugia contact Sam Smith, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com
Watch video on genome sequencing:
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.
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.” [...]