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4 days ago by joedangor · View  

Investigating Surgery for Women at High Risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer

mother fighting breast cancer with her young daughter sitting outside leaning against a wooden fence
ROCHESTER, Minn. — In a review article published in the Feb. 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a pair of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers provide an in-depth look at the issues associated with the care of women in families with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome who have not yet developed cancer themselves. The article addresses optimal risk assessment for breast and ovarian cancers, the usefulness of risk-reducing surgery, side effects of these procedures, alternative strategies for cancer prevention and the best ways to help with the decision-making process.

“Women whose families have been marked by excess breast and ovarian cancer are at higher risk of developing those diseases over their lifetime,” says lead author and Mayo Clinic oncologist Lynn Hartmann, M.D. “Although these women can reduce their risk considerably through preventive mastectomies and or the removal of their fallopian tubes and ovaries, these procedures come with their own complications and psychosocial effects.”

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

In the article Dr. Hartmann and co-author, Noralane Lindor, M.D., a pathologist and genetics expert, argue for greater support for women grappling with complex and emotionally charged decisions, and more research to devise improved treatment approaches for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome.

“Most of the research thus far examined whether or not these procedures could actually prevent cancer and to what extent,” says Dr. Hartmann. “Now that we have evidence of the efficacy of the surgeries, there has been a shift toward looking at the psychological impact of these procedures on women. The studies that have been done thus far indicate that most women are satisfied with the choice that they make, but more research is needed to figure out how we can help them sort through their options in the most helpful manner.”

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

Each year, more than 200,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 20,000 are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Women who have hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome have had either (or both) disease arise over and over again in their family tree. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the most common genetic defects in these women, though they are still responsible for only a minority of cases.

Women who carry BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are often lumped under the single heading BRCA1/2, as if they face the same risks and are susceptible to the same types of cancer. However, Drs. Hartmann and Lindor explain that the diseases spawned by mutations in these two genes can be very different. BRCA1 carriers face an average cumulative risk of 67 percent for breast cancer and 45 percent for ovarian cancer by age 80. For BRCA2 carriers, those average cumulative risks are 66 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Most of the breast cancers that develop in BRCA1 carriers are high-grade, “triple-negative” breast cancers (negative for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor and HER-2). In contrast, breast cancers in BRCA2 carriers are mostly ER-positive, like those seen in the general population. Dr. Hartmann says these differences have significant prognostic and treatment ramifications for these women, because risk-reducing medications are available for women with ER-positive disease but not for those with ER-negative disease.

In addition, ovarian cancer typically strikes earlier and with greater frequency in BRCA1 carriers than in BRCA2 carriers. Current guidelines recommend that BRCA1 and BRCA2 carriers who are done having children have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed — through a procedure known as a salpingo-oophorectomy — between the ages of 35 and 40 years. The authors believe that women who are BRCA2 carriers can delay this procedure until they are 45 years of age, since their risk of ovarian cancer by 50 years of age is only one percent.

“Many of the studies we discuss were published recently, so we are taking advantage of the increased knowledge of the types of cancers that these women develop and the ages at which they occur to suggest how we can change our thinking around their management,” says Dr. Hartmann. “It is part of medicine today to try to individualize recommendations whenever possible.”

For women with strong family histories of breast and ovarian cancers in whom mutations in the BRCA genes are not present, consideration of testing rarer, less well-understood genes is now an option. Dr. Lindor says that women with mutations discovered in non-BRCA genes or those with no known mutations identified in their family at all face even more difficult decisions when it comes to clinical care as individual cancer risks and treatment benefits are often challenging to define.

To improve recommendations for high-risk women, Drs. Hartmann and Lindor propose future studies that investigate how women weigh their options and studies that follow the short- and long-term psychosocial and medical effects of women’s decisions to undergo surgery, take risk-reducing medications, or pursue surveillance. 

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About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center clinical trials office at 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayoclinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

 

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Wed, Jan 27 at 11:00am EST by joedangor · View  

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center Endorses HPV Vaccination to Prevent Cancer

pills, needle, medicine for HPV Vaccine

Rochester, MINN. — Mayo Clinic Cancer Center has joined 68 other top cancer centers that have issued a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination to prevent cancer.

“The HPV vaccine is one of the bright spots in our work to prevent cancer,” says Robert Diasio, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “Unfortunately, it is a tool that is being grossly underutilized, and we need to get the word out that this is an opportunity to save lives.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HPV infections are responsible for approximately 27,000 new cancer diagnoses each year in the U.S. Several vaccines are available that can prevent most cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers; however, vaccination rates remain low across the U.S., with under 40 percent of girls and just over 21 percent of boys receiving the recommended three doses.

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

Research shows there are a number of barriers to overcome to improve vaccination rates, including a lack of strong recommendations from physicians and parents not understanding that this vaccine protects against several types of cancer.

Experts from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the CDC, American Cancer Society and more than half of the NCI-designated cancer centers met at a summit in Houston in November 2015 to discuss strategies for overcoming these barriers. The following statement was a major recommendation resulting from discussions at the summit:

NCI-designated cancer centers urge HPV vaccination for the prevention of cancer

Approximately 79 million people in the United States are currently infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV) according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 14 million new infections occur each year. Several types of high-risk HPV are responsible for the vast majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal (middle throat) and other genital cancers. The CDC also reports that each year in the U.S., 27,000 men and women are diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer, which amounts to a new case every 20 minutes. Even though many of these HPV-related cancers are preventable with a safe and effective vaccine, HPV vaccination rates across the U.S. remain low.

Together we, the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Centers, recognize these low rates of HPV vaccination as a serious public health threat. HPV vaccination represents a rare opportunity to prevent many cases of cancer that is tragically underused. As national leaders in cancer research and clinical care, we are compelled to jointly issue this call to action.

According to a 2015 CDC report, only 40 percent of girls and
21 percent of boys in the U.S. are receiving the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine. This falls far short of the goal
of 80 percent by the end of this decade, set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Healthy People 2020 mission. Furthermore, U.S. rates are significantly lower than those of countries such as Australia (75 percent), the United Kingdom (84-92 percent) and Rwanda (93 percent), which have shown that high vaccination rates are currently achievable.

The HPV vaccines, like all vaccines used in the U.S., passed extensive safety testing before and after being approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The vaccines have a safety profile similar to that of other vaccines approved for adolescents in the U.S. Internationally, the safety of HPV vaccines has been tested and approved by the World Health Organization’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.

CDC recommends that boys and girls receive three doses of HPV vaccine at ages 11 or 12 years. The HPV vaccine series can be started in preteens as early as age 9 and should be completed before the 13th birthday. The HPV vaccine is more effective the earlier it is given; however, it is also recommended for young women until age 26 and young men until age 21.

The low vaccination rates are alarming given our current ability to safely and effectively save lives by preventing HPV infection and its associated cancers. Therefore, the 69 NCI-designated Cancer Centers urge parents and health care providers to protect the health of our children through a number of actions:

  • We encourage all parents and guardians to have their sons and daughters complete the 3-dose HPV vaccine series before the 13th birthday, and complete the series as soon as possible in children aged 13 to 17. Parents and guardians should talk to their health care provider to learn more about HPV vaccines and their benefits.
  • We encourage young men (up to age 21) and young women (up to age 26), who were not vaccinated as preteens or teens, to complete the 3-dose HPV vaccine series to protect themselves against HPV.
  • We encourage all health care providers to be advocates for cancer prevention by making strong recommendations
for childhood HPV vaccination. We ask providers to join forces to educate parents/guardians and colleagues about the importance and benefits of HPV vaccination. 
HPV vaccination is our best defense in stopping HPV infection in our youth and preventing HPV-related cancers in our communities. The HPV vaccine is CANCER PREVENTION. More information is available from the CDC.

About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
As a leading institution funded by the NCI, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.  

 

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Tue, Jan 26 at 12:19pm EST by joedangor · View  

Smokers Who Quit More Than 15 Years Ago Need Screening

xray of lungs filled with tobacco cigarettes
ROCHESTER, Minn.  — Expanding lung cancer screening to include people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago could detect more cases and further reduce associated mortality, according to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.

“A decline in smoking rates has been, and continues to be, a critical step to reduce lung cancer risk and deaths,” says the study’s lead author Ping Yang, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. “But, it also means that fewer people have benefited from early detection of lung cancer, because more patients don’t qualify for low-dose CT scans.” The current lung cancer screening criteria set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends CT screening for adults between the ages of 55 and 80 who have smoked at least one pack a day for 30 years and are still smoking, or have quit within 15 years.

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

In a study published in JAMA in 2015, Dr. Yang and her colleagues found that two-thirds of patients in the U.S. with newly diagnosed lung cancer would not meet the current USPSTF screening criteria, suggesting a need to adjust the definition of patients at high risk.

In the current study, Dr. Yang and her colleagues set out to identify which specific populations of individuals are at risk, but are being missed by the current lung cancer screening criteria. Researchers retrospectively tracked two groups of people with lung cancer: a hospital cohort made up of 5,988 individuals referred to Mayo Clinic and a community cohort consisting of 850 residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota.

They found that, compared to other risk categories, patients who quit smoking for 15 to 30 years accounted for the greatest percentage of patients with lung cancer who didn’t qualify for screening. The newly defined high-risk group constituted 12 percent of the hospital cohort and 17 percent of the community cohort.

“We were surprised to find that the incidence of lung cancer was proportionally higher in this subgroup, compared to other subgroups of former cigarette smokers,” says Dr. Yang. “The common assumption is that after a person has quit for so many years, the lung cancer rate would be so low that it wouldn’t be noticeable. We found that assumption to be wrong. This suggests we need to pay attention to people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago, because they are still at high risk for developing lung cancer.”

Equally important, the current study found that expanding the criteria for CT screening would not significantly add to the number of false-positive cases and would save more lives with an acceptable amount of radiation exposure and cost. Dr. Yang and her colleagues showed that expanding the criteria to include this risk category could add 19 percent more CT examinations for detecting 16 percent more cases. They calculated the expansion would result in minimal increases in false-positive results (0.6 percent), over diagnosis (0.1 percent), and radiation-related lung cancer deaths (4 percent).

"Lung cancer rates are dropping, because smoking is decreasing, but that doesn’t mean that our current screening parameters are good enough,” Dr. Yang says. “It is understandable, because the relative importance of risk factors changes over time. We need to adjust screening criteria periodically, so we can catch more lung cancers in a timely fashion. Based on our data, which are more recent and come from a well-defined population, I think that we should take action to screen this group, which is at high risk of developing the disease.”

She recommends additional research to confirm if similar trends are being seen in populations beyond Olmsted County Minnesota.  If confirmed, she recommends that policymakers consider changing the lung cancer screening guidelines to include people who quit smoking more than 15 years ago. She also recommends that policymakers continue to re-examine lung cancer screening criteria to account for changes in groups that are most at risk.

Co-authors are:

  • Jason Wampfler, Mayo Clinic,
  • Shawn Stoddard, Mayo Clinic
  • David Midthun, M.D., Mayo Clinic
  • Yi Wang, M.D., Wenzhou Medical University, China
  • Dong Xie, M.D., Ph.D., Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, China
  • Jun She, M.D., Ph.D., Shanghai Respiratory Institute, Fudan University, China

The study was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R03 CA77118, R01 CA80127 and R01 CA84354; by the Rochester Epidemiology Project grant R01 AG034676 and by grants from the National Institute on Aging and Mayo Clinic.

About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayoclinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org.

 

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Mon, Jan 18 at 11:56am EST by joedangor · View  

Mayo Clinic Accepts Funds For Cancer Research from Telethon

Dr. Robert Diasio, on stage with ceremonial check from the 2015 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon.Robert Diasio, M.D., director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center (center) joined leaders from the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota and the Hormel Institute to jointly accept proceeds from the 2015 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon. The presentation took place at the 2016 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon on Saturday, January 16 at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minn.

Now in its 62nd year, the 5th District Eagles Cancer Telethon is a non-profit charity dedicated to raising funds to support cancer research in Minnesota. It is the longest locally run telethon in the United States with support coming from Eagles members and the public throughout southeastern Minnesota and beyond. For more information visit: http://www.eaglescancertelethon.org/

About Mayo Clinic Cancer Center
As a leading institution funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center conducts basic, clinical and population science research, translating discoveries into improved methods for prevention, diagnosis, prognosis and therapy. For information on cancer clinical trials, call 1-855-776-0015 (toll-free).

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About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

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Nov 11, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Prior Oral Contraceptive Use Associated with Better Outcome for Ovarian Cancer Patients

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Patients who develop ovarian cancer appear to have better outcomes if they have a history of oral contraceptive use, according to a study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the current issue of the journal BMC Cancer.

woman holding pills shutterstock_322434785“Multiple studies from a variety of sources have indicated that oral contraceptives are associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, one of the most deadly cancers in women,” says Aminah Jatoi, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic and co-lead author of the study. “However, few studies have explored the connection between the pill and outcomes in patients who ultimately develop the disease.”

In their study, Dr. Jatoi and co-author Ellen L. Goode, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at Mayo Clinic, examined the outcomes of ovarian cancer patients who were seen at Mayo Clinic from 2000 through 2013. Each patient was given a risk factor questionnaire about prior oral contraceptive use. Of the 1,398 patients who completed the questionnaire, 827 responded that they had previously taken birth control pills.

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

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

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Oct 28, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Guidelines on Sharing Individual Genomic Research Findings with Family

shutterstock_31629595

Recommendations balance research participant privacy with family need for health information

ROCHESTER, MINN. – A blue-ribbon project group funded by the National Institutes of Health has published the first consensus guidelines on how researchers should share genomic findings in research on adults and children with other family members. The recommendations, published in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, offer direction on sharing information before and after the death of an individual research participant.

“These recommendations will have an impact on future human subject protection policies when genetic research is performed,” says Gloria Petersen, Ph.D. of Mayo Clinic, who co-authored the guidelines with Susan Wolf, J.D., of the University of Minnesota, and Barbara Koenig, Ph.D. of the University of California, San Francisco.

The authors say the explosive growth of genomic research has led to tough questions about what to do with the resulting information. Should researchers share an individual’s private results with family members who may share that genetic risk? The question often pits individual privacy against family need.

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

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Oct 1, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Mayo Study: Genes of Colon Cancer Recurrence Differs Among Blacks, Whites and Asians

Cytogenetics

ROCHESTER, Minn. — The genetic makeup of colon cancer tumors and survival rates for patients with the disease differ by race, according to a study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, published in the October 2015 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“These findings put the issue of race more prominently on the radar of investigators that cancer biology may contribute to race-based disparities,” says the study’s co-lead author, Harry Yoon, M.D., an oncologist at Mayo Clinic. “While it is too early to change the way we treat these patients, our results indicate that future studies are needed to examine potential biological drivers of these differences more closely.”

According to the American Cancer Society, colon cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women with more than 93,000 cases estimated to be diagnosed in 2015. Researchers have long known that blacks develop colon cancer at an earlier age and blacks with colon cancer are at higher risk of dying than whites. However, it has been difficult to identify why the differences in survival exist.

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

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

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Sep 17, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Changing clinical practice: Too fast or too slow?

The ups and downs of incorporating a new treatment to try to prevent chemotherapy-associated neuropathy
word cloud with patient, medicine, healthcare, qualityROCHESTER, Minn. — In this age of the 24-hour news cycle, instant access to all information everywhere, PubMed, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and hundreds of other ways to glean and share knowledge beyond the traditional stack of printed journals delivered to their door, physicians continue to struggle to arm themselves with the most effective therapies.

Fast access to information may result in practice change; however, subsequent data may disprove effectiveness and require even more practice change. The cycle may continue over several years and several studies, with the potential for missed information growing with each practice-change decision.

In a study released today in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Mayo Clinic researchers, looking at one drug used for one condition, show how, even in a fairly narrow field with limited general consumer involvement, the quick penetration of information resulted in several practice shifts and reversals across the nation that stretched over a decade. The researchers looked at the timeline and impacts of various events on the use of calcium magnesium (CaMg) for oxaliplatin-induced neuropathy.

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

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Sep 16, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Identifying protein that may predict response to PD-1 immunotherapy for melanoma

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Mayo Clinic researchers have identified a protein marker whose frequency may predict patient response to PD-1 blockade immunotherapy for melanoma. An abstract of their findings was presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference in New York City.

“The discovery of biomarkers of sensitivity are vital not only for informing clinical decisions, but also to help identify which patients with melanoma, and possibly other malignancies, who are most likely to benefit from PD-1 blockade," says Roxana Dronca, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic and lead author of the abstract. “This will allow us to expose fewer patients to inadequate treatments, and their associated toxicities and costs.”

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

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Sep 8, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Increased detection of low-risk tumors driving up thyroid cancer rates

medical illustration of thyroid cancerROCHESTER, Minn. — Low-risk cancers that do not have any symptoms and presumably will not cause problems in the future are responsible for the rapid increase in the number of new cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed over the past decade, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the journal Thyroid. According to the study authors, nearly one-third of these recent cases were diagnosed when clinicians used high-tech imaging even when no symptoms of thyroid disease were present.

“We are spotting more cancers, but they are cancers that are not likely to cause harm,” says the study's lead author, Juan Brito Campana, M.B.B.S., an assistant professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic. “Their treatment, however, is likely to cause harm, as most thyroid cancers are treated by surgically removing all or part of the thyroid gland. This is a risky procedure that can damage a patient’s vocal cords or leave them with lifelong calcium deficiencies.”

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

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Sep 3, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Telomerase targeting drug demonstrates benefit in myelofibrosis treatment

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.

"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."

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

Journalists: Sounds bites with Dr. Tefferi are available in the downloads.

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Aug 31, 2015 by joedangor · View  

National Cancer Institute Awards SPORE grant to multiple myeloma research team from Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

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.

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

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Aug 13, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Mayo Clinic-led study validates tool for patient reporting of side effects in cancer clinical trials

medical team examining older patient

 

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.

researcher Amylou Dueck

Amylou Dueck, Ph.D.

“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.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jim McVeigh, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu [...]

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Aug 5, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Optum Centers of Excellence Program Expands Access to Mayo Clinic Services

Optum Centers of Excellence headquartersEDEN 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.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jeffrey Smith, Optum, 612-632-6213, jeffrey.p.smith@optum.com
Joe Dangor & Karl Oestreich, Mayo Clinic, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

 

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Jul 23, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Leading experts prescribe how to make cancer drugs more affordable

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.

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

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Jul 8, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Mayo Clinic Receives $11 Million Grant from National Cancer Institute to Study Cancer Survivorship

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.

3382468_0002 Dr James Cerhan

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, newsbureau@mayo.edu

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Jun 8, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Molecular Classification May Improve Method Used to Diagnose and Treat Gliomas

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.”

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Jun 1, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Study may change practice of whole brain radiation therapy for limited brain metastases

Dr. Jan Buckner presents in 5/31/15 ASCO press briefing on treatment advances

Mayo Clinic's Dr. Jan Buckner presents in 5/31/15 ASCO press briefing on cancer treatment advances.

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
Email: dangor.yusuf@mayo.edu 

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May 30, 2015 by joedangor · View  

Targeted Drug Can ‘Diminish the Suffering’ of Myelofibrosis

CHICAGO — Use of the targeted agent pacritinib significantly reduced the symptoms and burden of advanced myelofibrosis in patients, says a Mayo Clinic researcher who co-led PERSIST-1, the worldwide phase 3 clinical trial that tested the therapy. Specifically, pacritinib substantially reduced severe enlargement of the spleen, a typical feature of advanced myelofibrosis, in more than 20 percent of patients and alleviated debilitating side effects in more than 46 percent.

Investigators further found that pacritinib could be used safely in patients with myelofibrosis who have thrombocytopenia, a life-threating loss of blood platelets that can lead to deadly bleeding. The only currently approved therapy for myelofibrosis — ruxolitinib — is not recommended in patients who have severe thrombocytopenia.

Ruben A. Mesa, M.D., chair of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, will present these results at a press conference held during the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

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

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May 28, 2015 by joedangor · View  

VICE on HBO Documentary “Killing Cancer” and Match from VICE CEO Shane Smith Leads to More than $2 million for Cancer Research at Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic cancer researcher Stephen Russell, M.D. Ph.D.  with VICE CEO host Shane Smith

Mayo Clinic cancer researcher Stephen Russell, M.D. Ph.D. with VICE CEO Shane Smith

ROCHESTER Minn. – Mayo Clinic today announced that fundraising associated with the VICE documentary “Killing Cancer,” which aired on HBO earlier this year, has exceeded $2 million. This achievement was reached a month earlier than anticipated.

The Killing Cancer campaign also set a record at Mayo Clinic with 30 percent of gifts received online, compared to 10 percent for previous campaigns. Many of the gifts came from new supporters to Mayo Clinic a reflection the younger demographics of the VICE audience and VICE’s strong digital presence.

“The money raised in the Killing Cancer campaign will have impact right away, helping advance cancer research and finding cures for patients,” said John Noseworthy, M.D., Mayo Clinic president and CEO.

The success of the campaign was due in large part to a fundraising match challenge issued by VICE founder and CEO Shane Smith with a total goal of $2 million. Through the challenge, Mr. Smith matched the first $1 million in gifts made by more than 10,000 documentary viewers and loyal Mayo Clinic supporters.

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

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