Kevin Punsky (@kevinpunsky)
Activity by Kevin Punsky
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — In their bid to find the best combination of therapies to treat anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC), researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus demonstrated that all histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors are not created equal.
In testing multiple HDAC inhibitors in combination with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, known to give some benefit for this aggressive cancer, they found that class II HDAC inhibitors signal through a newly discovered pathway to promote synergy with chemotherapy treatment.
Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Copland are available in the downloads.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — U.S. News & World Report again has named Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus to its annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals” published online today. Mayo Clinic is ranked No. 1 in the Jacksonville metro area, No. 4 in Florida and among the top 50 hospitals nationally in cancer, gastroenterology (GI) and GI surgery, geriatrics, and neurology and neurosurgery.
“This honor reflects the deep commitment of our staff to provide the highest quality of care to our patients every day,” says Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. “Our employees are critical to the success of Mayo Clinic. I’m extremely grateful for their dedication and commitment to making the patient experience the very best it can be.”
Journalists: Sound bites from Dr. Farrugia are available in the downloads.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have identified key differences between patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) and those with the most common genetic form of ALS, a mutation in the C9orf72 gene.
Their findings, reported online today in Nature Neuroscience, demonstrate that ALS patients show abnormalities in levels and processing of ribonucleic acids (RNA), biological molecules that determine what gene information is used to guide protein synthesis.
More than 30,000 Americans live with ALS, a condition that destroys motor neuron cells that control essential muscle activity, such as speaking, walking, breathing and swallowing. While increasing efforts are geared toward therapeutic development, an effective drug for ALS has yet to be identified, in large part because of our incomplete understanding of the disease.
“Our results using advanced, modern laboratory techniques called next-generation sequencing, allowed us to acquire a library of new knowledge about patients with ALS,” says the study’s senior author, Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Neuroscience on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus.
Dr. Petrucelli and Hu Li, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Rochester, Minn., led a team of investigators who carefully analyzed the RNA from human brain tissues. They found that ALS brains had numerous RNA defects, compared to nondisease brains. They also predicted molecular events that may be altered due to the changes found in RNAs involved in pathways regulating those events and that may contribute to ALS.
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