- News Releases
ROCHESTER, Minn. —The American Heart Association (AHA) awarded the 2014 Basic Research Prize to Andre Terzic, M.D., Ph.D., of Mayo Clinic. The award, presented at the annual meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago, recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of cardiovascular science. Dr. Terzic was commended for pioneering applications of emerging technologies to advance the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. “In the year when we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases at Mayo Clinic, we are particularly proud that one of our own has been recognized with such a prestigious national award,” says Charanjit Rihal, M.D., chair of Mayo's Division of Cardiovascular Diseases. “Dr. Terzic has truly advanced the frontiers of medical science. As a pioneer in cardiac regenerative medicine, he and his team have been at the vanguard of health care.” “As we look into the future, the pandemic of cardiovascular disease will mandate new solutions, indeed disruptive innovations, to address the unmet needs of patients and populations across the globe,” Dr. Terzic said when he accepted the prize. “The unison of fundamental discovery with clinical translation — and ultimately application to populations — will provide a guiding principle for generations to come.” MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Schutz, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005,email@example.com
CHICAGO — Patients with active asthma — such as any use of asthma medications, and unscheduled office or emergency visits for asthma — are at a twofold risk of having a heart attack, according to Mayo Clinic research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2014. Researchers compared 543 patients who had heart attacks with 543 non-heart attack patients of the same age and gender. These patients were treated at health care facilities in Rochester, Minnesota, between 2002 and 2006. The average age of patients was 67 years old, and 44 percent were women. Within the heart attack patient group, 81 patients had asthma, 44 of those with active asthma. After controlling for traditional heart attack risk factors such as age, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol, a history of coronary heart disease, and conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, results showed that patients with inactive asthma were not at an increased risk of heart attack, but those with active asthma were at a 70 percent risk, says Young Juhn, M.D., senior author and Mayo Clinic pediatric and adolescent physician and clinical epidemiologist.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — One of the family of drugs prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions is called TNF inhibitors. They act by dampening part of the immune system called tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In one of the balancing acts of medicine, the anti-inflammatory action of the drug also increases the risk for other conditions, in this case, a rare form of eye cancer, uveal melanoma. Mayo Clinic researchers make the case and alert physicians in an article in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Mayo researchers studied three patients — two women and a man — who were treated for inflammatory disease and developed melanoma tumors in one eye within a year to two of taking TNF inhibitors. While this type of condition is probably rare, according to the researchers, there might be an increased risk if the patient has a pre-existing nevus (freckle of the eye). The women had inflammatory bowel disease; the man had rheumatoid arthritis. The studies occurred between 2009 and 2013. Researchers say that patients considered for treatment with TNF inhibitors should first be given an eye exam to determine eye health, and any with existing conditions, such as choroidal nevus (lesions on the eye), should be monitored regularly to determine if any issues are developing. MEDIA CONTACT: Robert Nellis, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-9258, firstname.lastname@example.org
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Researchers at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville say they have identified first steps in the origin of pancreatic cancer and that their findings suggest preventive strategies to explore. In an online issue of Cancer Discovery, the scientists described the molecular steps necessary for acinar cells in the pancreas — the cells that release digestive enzymes — to become precancerous lesions. Some of these lesions can then morph into cancer. “Pancreatic cancer develops from these lesions, so if we understand how these lesions come about, we may be able to stop the cancer train altogether,” says the study’s lead investigator, Peter Storz, Ph.D., a cancer biologist. he need for new treatment and prevention strategies is pressing, Dr. Storz says. Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive human cancers — symptoms do not occur until the cancer is well advanced. One-year survival after diagnosis is only 20 percent. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in this country. The scientists studied pancreatic cells with Kras genetic mutations. Kras produces a protein that regulates cell division, and the gene is often mutated in many cancers. More than 95 percent of pancreatic cancer cases have a Kras mutation. The researchers detailed the steps that led acinar cells with Kras mutations to transform into duct-like cells with stem cell-like properties. Stem cells, which can divide at will, are also often implicated in cancer. MEDIA CONTACT: Kevin Punsky, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 904-953-0746. Email: email@example.com
ROCHESTER and MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics has awarded $2.5 million to four teams of researchers to support scientific infrastructure used in collaborations between existing researchers at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic. The funding must be used for equipment, software or other technology essential to specific research projects and must be mutually available to the project participants at both institutions. This year’s awards will help investigators target topics ranging from heart disease and cancer to drug development and the microbiome, all key focus areas of research in Minnesota.
ROCHESTER, Minn. — In an international study, Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have identified genetic markers that may help in identifying individuals who could benefit from the alcoholism treatment drug acamprosate. The findings, published in the journal Translational Psychiatry, show that patients carrying these genetic variants have longer periods of abstinence during the first three months of acamprosate treatment. Acamprosate is a commonly prescribed drug used to aid patients in recovery from alcoholism. Mayo researchers studied the association between variation in candidate genes and the length of sobriety in alcohol-dependent patients treated with acamprosate in community-based programs. They found that, when other environmental and physiological factors were considered, patients with the common allele of the genetic variant rs2058878 located in the GRIN2B gene, stayed sober more days than those with a variant allele of the same polymorphism. This finding was replicated in a sample of alcohol-dependent patients treated with acamprosate in a study conducted by collaborators from Germany.