Kevin Punsky (@kevinpunsky)
Activity by Kevin Punsky
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Clinicians testing the drug dasatinib, approved for several blood cancers, had hoped it would slow the aggressive growth of the deadly brain cancer glioblastoma; however, clinical trials to date have not found any benefit. Researchers at Mayo Clinic, who conducted one of those clinical trials, believe they know why dasatinib failed — and what to do about it.
In the online issue of Molecular Oncology, investigators report finding that dasatinib inhibits proteins that promote cancer growth as expected but also suppresses proteins that protect against cancer.
The findings suggest that pretesting patient glioblastoma biopsies will help identify who may respond well to dasatinib and who should avoid using the drug, says the study’s senior author, Panos Z. Anastasiadis, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Mayo Clinic in Florida.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic in Florida has been named a Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center by the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. The designation is given to centers that provide early diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension, a full range of therapies and specialized care, outcomes follow-up and clinical research and studies, among other points of excellence.
Mayo Clinic in Florida is the only Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center in the Southeast and one of only 26 in the country.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., and SILVER SPRING, Md. — Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and United Therapeutics Corporation (NASDAQ: UTHR) today announced a collaboration to build and operate a lung restoration center on the Mayo campus. The goal is to significantly increase the volume of lungs for transplantation by preserving and restoring selected marginal donor lungs, making them viable for transplantation. The restored lungs will be made available to patients at Mayo Clinic and other transplant centers throughout the United States.
Construction of the center is expected to be completed in late 2017. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
“This collaboration is exciting because it allows Mayo Clinic to bring the latest advances in life-saving technology to transplant patients,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida. “Ultimately, this relationship will help Mayo Clinic expand its reach to patients who could benefit from this innovation. Increasing the number of lungs available for transplantation provides more options for patients suffering from pulmonary disease.”
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Farrugia are available in the downloads.
Non-Ownership Relationship Expands Knowledge and Reach
TAMPA, Fla. — Mayo Clinic and Shriners Hospitals for Children today announced Shriners Hospitals for Children as a member of the Mayo Clinic Care Network, a national network of organizations committed to better serving patients and their families through physician collaboration.
The network will allow Shriners Hospitals for Children, a national health care system, to offer providers and patients convenient access to additional expertise from Mayo Clinic. The closer relationship will enhance the delivery of local care and promote peace of mind as providers and patients make health care decisions.
“With Mayo Clinic’s similar mission of providing the best care to every patient through integrated clinical practice, education and research, a relationship will give Shriners Hospitals the opportunity to further transform children’s lives,” said Dale W. Stauss, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — When people find out — usually from a diagnostic scan looking at something else — that they have a lesion in their pancreas that could morph into pancreatic cancer, they can panic. They insist on having frequent CT scans and biopsies to monitor the lesion, or they ask for surgery. Physicians also don’t know if these abnormalities are dangerous, so the patients end up in surgery having part of their pancreas removed. Often the lesion is nothing to worry about.
But a team of international physicians, led by researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has developed a profile of the patient who would be most at risk of developing lesions that are most likely to develop into cancer. Their analysis is published online today in the journal Digestive and Liver Diseases.
“The factors we found that increase risk of pancreatic cancer now allow us to separate patients as either low or high risk,” says the study’s senior author, Michael B. Wallace, M.D., MPH, a gastroenterologist at Mayo Clinic. “High-risk patients can then be scanned and biopsied more frequently or can opt for surgery, but low-risk patients don’t need such surveillance. They can be watched much less intensively.”
MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746, firstname.lastname@example.org
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — By examining more than 3,600 postmortem brains, researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campuses in Jacksonville, Florida, and Rochester, Minnesota, have found that the progression of dysfunctional tau protein drives the cognitive decline and memory loss seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Amyloid, the other toxic protein that characterizes Alzheimer’s, builds up as dementia progresses, but is not the primary culprit, they say.
The findings, published in Brain, offer new and valuable information in the long and ongoing debate about the relative contribution of amyloid and tau to the development and progression of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer’s, says the study’s lead author, Melissa Murray, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville.
Journalists: Video is available in the downloads.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A research team led by investigators from Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, and the University of Oslo, Norway, have identified a molecule that pushes normal pancreatic cells to transform their shape, laying the groundwork for development of pancreatic cancer — one of the most difficult tumors to treat.
Their findings, reported in Nature Communications, suggest that inhibiting the gene, protein kinase D1 (PKD1), and its protein could halt progression and spread of this form of pancreatic cancer, and possibly even reverse the transformation.
“As soon as pancreatic cancer develops, it begins to spread, and PKD1 is key to both processes. Given this finding, we are busy developing a PKD1 inhibitor that we can test further,” says the study’s co-lead investigator, Peter Storz, Ph.D., a cancer researcher at Mayo Clinic.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Cancer researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida, have identified a molecule they say is important to survival of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma (ATC) — a lethal tumor with no effective therapies. The molecule also seems to play a role in a wide range of cancers.
In an online issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, they identify Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1) as an oncogenic enzyme that when inhibited and paired with another targeted drug effectively shuts down ATC cell growth and induces cell death.