- News Releases
ROCHESTER, Minn. ― Here are highlights from the December issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit http://healthletter.mayoclinic.com/ or call toll-free for subscription information, 1-800-333-9037, extension 9771. Full newsletter text: Mayo Clinic Health Letter December 2014 (for journalists only). Myths and facts about how medications affect older adults Older adults need to be especially vigilant about drug safety, according to the December issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. That’s because older adults are more likely to be taking more than one medication at a time. Interactions between drugs can cause side effects that might not occur if a drug were taken alone. And, physical changes in older adults can alter both the effectiveness of a medication and side effects, compared with what a younger adult might experience.
PHOENIX—Mayo Clinic's campus in Phoenix, Arizona, has been identified as having the highest one-year patient survival rate in the U.S. for adult liver transplantation. The statistics include both deceased and living-donor liver transplants. These statistics indicate that 98.52 percent of all patients are living one year following their liver transplant – best in the nation. This compares with the national average of 90.83 percent. Mayo also leads the nation in three-year living donor liver transplant patient and graft (the organ) survival. The one-year patient survival rate for living donor liver transplant is 100 percent, and the three-year patient survival is highest in the nation at 96.3 percent.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Three researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville, Florida have received $1.2 million from the newly funded Florida Health Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Research Program to study various aspects of Alzheimer’s disease. The program was created earlier this year to improve the health of Floridians by researching prevention and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It may not be necessary for experienced gastroenterologists to send polyps they remove from a patient’s colon to a pathologist for examination, according to a large study conducted by physician researchers at the Jacksonville campus of Mayo Clinic. Their 522-patient study, published in the December issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, found that physicians correctly evaluated whether a polyp was precancerous or benign using high-definition optical lenses during a colonoscopy. Their assessment was 96 or 97 percent accurate — depending on which of two generations of scopes was used — compared with a standard pathological evaluation of the polyps. The Mayo Clinic researchers conclude that the pathological polyp examination now required by national practice guidelines may not be necessary — an advance they say could result in substantial cost savings for the patient and the health care system, as well as more rapid information and recommendations for follow-up for the patient.
NUSSLOCH, Germany — Leica Biosystems and Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology announced today a collaboration to develop the next generation of cytogenetics imaging software. The new tool will optimize software workflow and improve the overall user experience for cytogenetics imaging technicians. The two organizations intend to help cytogenetics laboratories effectively process increased case loads. Their solution will reduce manual steps in the imaging process through paperless workflow. It will also pioneer secure remote case access, which will enable flexible on- and off-shoring of case reviews. “Our goal is to develop the fastest and most accurate cytogenetic information tool to enhance patient care,” says Patricia Greipp, D.O., co-laboratory director of the Mayo Clinic Cytogenetics Laboratory. “Mayo Clinic now has the opportunity to incorporate its expertise within an imaging solution from Leica that we feel will produce the most sophisticated and efficient cytogenetics analysis tool for the modern cytogenetics laboratory.”
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Mayo Clinic has appointed Christina Zorn, J.D., as chief administrative officer of its campus in Jacksonville, Fla., and vice chair of Administration, Mayo Clinic. She will serve as administrative partner to Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., incoming vice president of Mayo Clinic and chief executive officer of the Jacksonville campus, as previously announced. Zorn assumes her new role on Jan. 1. “Christina Zorn has significant experience at Mayo Clinic as well as excellent insight into the strengths of Mayo Clinic’s Florida staff and the unique challenges of the local and regional market,” says Dr. Farrugia. “I look forward to working with Christina as we continue the excellent efforts underway in delivering outstanding care to our patients, advancing research and educating the next generation of providers in Florida and throughout the Southeast.” Zorn has been with Mayo Clinic since 2002. She began her career at Mayo Clinic as a legal counsel and now serves as the chair of the Florida division of the Legal Department. In addition, Zorn has served as an administrator for the Department of Ophthalmology in Florida and for several key initiatives. She succeeds Robert Brigham, who has served as chief administrative officer in Florida since 2005. Brigham will retire from Mayo Clinic at the end of 2014. Zorn will work closely with Brigham to ensure a smooth leadership transition. MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746,firstname.lastname@example.org
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Clinical recommendations discouraging the use of CYP2D6 gene testing to guide tamoxifen therapy in breast cancer patients are based on studies with flawed methodology and should be reconsidered, according to the results of a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7LzSSnY3Ko Journalists: Sound bites with Dr. Matthew Goetz are available in the downloads. For years, controversy has surrounded the CYP2D6 gene test for breast cancer. Women with certain inherited genetic deficiencies in the CYP2D6 gene metabolize tamoxifen less efficiently, and thus have lower levels of tamoxifen’s active cancer-fighting metabolite endoxifen. Numerous studies have shown that these women gain less benefit from tamoxifen therapy and have higher rates of recurrence. MEDIA CONTACT: Joe Dangor, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, email@example.com.
Mayo Clinic hosting immersion program for innovative medical startups accelerating advances in patient care ROCHESTER, Minn., — Mayo Clinic announced today a new collaboration with Techstars to offer the Techstars++ program. The Techstars++ program will bring together health care entrepreneurs and companies with Mayo Clinic to find innovative solutions to improve patient care at an accelerated pace. Mayo Clinic is the first to participate in this new program. Techstars is a mentorship-driven accelerator program with a track record of helping to develop businesses, especially technology startups. The Techstars++ program offers companies from the Techstars portfolio of 500 alumni companies the opportunity to extend their Techstars experience by spending time on-site and engaging deeply with a corporation/organization - Mayo Clinic in this initial program.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A marker of immune function that predicts for better outcomes in patients treated with chemotherapy for triple negative breast cancer is also linked to improved prognosis in patients treated with chemotherapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. But that marker — the quantity of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (S-TILs) in a biopsy — appears irrelevant when trastuzumab is used. http://youtu.be/iApOV4e0BfI
PHOENIX — In the treatment of multiple myeloma, the addition of carfilzomib to a currently accepted two-drug combination produced significantly better results than using the two drugs alone, according to a worldwide research team led by investigators from Mayo Clinic. Their findings will be reported online Dec. 6 in the New England Journal of Medicine, and presented on Dec. 7 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), held in San Francisco. http://youtu.be/F-dSkfoi3gg Interim analysis of the ASPIRE clinical trial, which enrolled 792 patients with relapsed multiple myeloma from 20 countries, found an “unprecedented” prolongation of the time patients were free of disease progression, says the study’s lead investigator, Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B, a Mayo Clinic oncologist in Arizona. “Patients taking three drugs — carfilzomib, lenalidomide and dexamethasone — stayed free of disease progression for 26 months on average,” he says. “No one has reported anything like this before for relapsed multiple myeloma.”
ROCHESTER, Minn. — A phase I clinical trial of nivolumab found that the immune-boosting drug is a highly effective therapy for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The multi-institution study, led by Mayo Clinic, indicated that the drug was safe and led to an 87 percent response rate in patients who had failed on other treatments. Results of the study appear in the New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omfyts8WFTo&feature=youtu.be The findings support further development of nivolumab, which enhances the immune system’s ability to detect and kill cancer cells. The drug has already demonstrated benefit in the treatment of other cancers, particularly melanoma, renal cell cancer, lung cancer and bladder cancer. “Nivolumab is a very promising agent that is reasonably well-tolerated and can easily be combined with other agents in the future,” says Stephen Ansell, M.D., Ph.D., a hematologist and co-lead author of the study. “There is evidence now that you can fight cancer by optimizing your immune function, either by enhancing signals that stimulate the immune response or blocking signals that dampen it.”
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Android users no longer have to miss out on all the research discoveries coming from Mayo Clinic. The newest issue of Discovery’s Edge, Mayo Clinic’s research magazine, is now available on all Android devices, as well as the iPad, online and in print. Research news from Mayo Clinic — however, whenever and wherever you want to read it. Highlights in this issue explore the past, present and future of Mayo Clinic research, including: Biomarker discovery: Staying one step ahead of cancer Read about a 12-month snapshot of how four researchers combined their talents to discover biomarkers that could help specific patients with difficult medical issues. In that time span, the Biomarker Discovery Program — part of Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine — found 32 biomarkers using custom algorithms and other innovative approaches that physicians can use to aid patients. Mayo Clinic plugs into drug discovery Collaboration is also the story of Mayo Clinic’s latest partnership — with Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute. Two organizations looking for just the right counterpart to meet a strategic need found each other at just the right time to fast-track drug discovery for Mayo patients. Next generation: Developing tomorrow’s biomedical researchers The path to becoming a biomedical researcher is not for the faint of heart. This issue’s cover story takes a glimpse at three scientists-in-training at Mayo Graduate School and the obstacles they are facing, both personal and professional, as they strive toward careers in research.