Joe Dangor (@joedangor)
Activity by Joe Dangor
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Imetelstat, a novel drug that targets telomerase, has demonstrated potential value in treating patients with myelofibrosis, according to the results of a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Journalists: Sounds bites with Dr. Tefferi are available in the download.
"We observed that Imetelstat was active and induced morphologic and molecular remissions in some patients with myelofibrosis," says Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the study. "We also observed that Imtelstat demonstrated selective anti-clonal activity, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, which we had not previously documented with other drugs."
ROCHESTER Minn. — A team of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center scientists has been awarded a Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant in multiple myeloma from the National Cancer Institute. The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center is one of only three cancer centers to receive a SPORE grant for multiple myeloma cancer research.
“With project leaders from Mayo campuses in Arizona, Rochester and Florida, our SPORE team will study the genetic basis for myeloma, develop novel viral and immunologic therapies, and optimize the use of existing therapies with a goal of controlling and eventually curing this deadly disease,” says Leif Bergsagel, M.D., lead investigator. “Starting from the pioneering work of Robert Kyle, M.D., over the last half-century, the myeloma group at Mayo Clinic is one of the strongest in the world.”
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Bergsagel are available in the downloads.
PHOENIX -- A multicenter study involving Mayo Clinic researchers has found that the National Cancer Institute's Patient Reported Outcomes version of the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (PRO-CTCAE), was accurate, reliable and responsive, compared to other, established patient-reported and clinical measures. The study is published today in the journal JAMA Oncology.
“In most cancer clinical trials, information on side effects is collected by providers who have limited time with their patients and current patient questionnaires are limited in scope and depth," says the study's lead author Amylou Dueck, Ph.D., a biostatistician on Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus. "PRO-CTCAE is a library of items for patients to directly report on the level of each of their symptoms, to enhance the reporting of side effects in cancer clinical trials which is normally based on information from providers. The study itself is unprecedented as more than 100 distinct questions about symptomatic adverse events were validated simultaneously."
Researchers recruited more than 1,000 patients from nine clinical practices across the U.S., including seven cancer centers. These patients reflected the geographic, ethnic, racial and economic diversity in cancer clinical trials. Patients in the study also had a wide range of cancer types.
EDEN PRAIRIE and ROCHESTER, Minn., Aug. 5, 2015 — Optum and Mayo Clinic announced that health plans and employers participating in Optum’s leading Centers of Excellence (COE) program now have access to high-quality, cost-effective care from Mayo Clinic care providers who are experts in treating complex and rare conditions.
Optum’s Centers of Excellence provide best-in-class capabilities with proven clinical quality and predictable consumer outcomes. The Center of Excellence designation includes condition-specific, high-performing programs with specialized clinical expertise and care management to support consumer engagement.
Mayo Clinic has participated in Optum’s Transplant COE program for the last 11 years. With this expanded relationship, Mayo Clinic is now also a participant in Optum’s Centers of Excellence for Cancer, Bariatric Surgery and Heart Failure for Mayo Clinic locations in Arizona, Florida and Rochester, Minn.
Mayo Clinic’s Rochester location is also participating in Optum’s COEs for Congenital Heart Disease and Infertility services.
“This expanded relationship with Mayo Clinic provides patients in participating health plans from around the country with greater access to clinically superior, cost-effective health care,” said Mike Weissel, CEO of Optum Consumer Solutions.
ROCHESTER, MINN. – A group of 118 of the nation's leading cancer experts have drafted a prescription for reducing the high cost of cancer drugs and voiced support for a patient-based grassroots movement demanding action on the issue. Their recommendations and support are outlined in a commentary, co-authored by the group, in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
"High cancer drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," says lead author Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with cancer who needs a drug that costs $120,000 per year, the out-of-pocket expenses could be as much as $25,000 to $30,000 – more than half their average household income."
The group cites a 2015 study by D.H. Howard and colleagues et al, published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, which found that cancer drug prices have risen by an average of $8,500 per year over the past 15 years.
"When you consider that cancer will affect 1 in 3 individuals over their lifetime, and [with] recent trends in insurance coverage [that] put a heavy financial burden on patients with out-of-pocket expenses, you quickly see that the situation is not sustainable," Dr. Tefferi, says. "It's time for patients and their physicians to call for change."
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Tefferi are available in the downloads.
ROCHESTER, MINN. – Mayo Clinic announced today that it has received a five-year, $11 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study survivorship in patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The Lymphoma Epidemiology of Outcomes Cohort Study will enroll 12,000 patients with NHL. The study will follow these patients for long-term prognosis and survivorship.
"With an increasing number of Americans living with NHL, we need to find new and better ways to improve the length and quality of their lives,” says the study's principle investigator, James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., who is an epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic.
NHL is a cancer that originates in the lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout the body. In NHL, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell.
According to the NCI, about 70,000 cases of NHL will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2015. The incidence of NHL has been increasing since 1950, although, over the past two decades, the rate of increase has slowed, and survival rates have improved. These trends have led to an increasing number of NHL survivors – most recently estimated at 550,000.
MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com
ROCHESTER, Minn. — The molecular makeup of brain tumors can be used to sort patients with gliomas into five categories, each with different clinical features and outcomes, researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of California San Francisco have shown. The finding could change the methods that physicians rely on to determine prognosis and treatment options. Previously, they relied on how patients’ tumors look under the microscope. The study is published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Our findings are going to weigh heavily on the future classification of brain tumors. The time of classifying these tumors solely according to histology as astrocytoma, oligodendroglioma or mixed oligoastrocytoma could be a thing of the past,” says lead study author Daniel H. Lachance, M.D., a neuro oncologist at Mayo Clinic. “This molecular data helps us better classify glioma patients, so we can begin to understand who needs to be treated more aggressively and who might be able to avoid unnecessary therapies.”
CHICAGO -- A new study presented at the 2015 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests that the practice should be reconsidered. More than 650,000 patients a year in the U.S. are diagnosed and treated for cancers that spread to the brain. For about 200,000 of these patients, those with 1-3 small brain metastases, a combination of whole brain radiation therapy and radiosurgery, a highly focused form of radiation therapy, have been the standard of care.
While whole brain radiation therapy improves tumor control it did not improve survival and it was shown to have deleterious effects on patients cognitive abilities. “This is the classic question: Which is worse, the disease or the treatment,?” said Jan Buckner, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic and senior author of the study. “We used to offer whole brain radiation early on, but we now know that the toxicities of this therapy are worse for the patients than the cancer growth or recurrences in the brain. We expect that practice will shift to reserve the use of whole brain radiation therapy for salvage therapy (used when cancer will not respond to other therapies) and in end-stage palliative care.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005