- By Sara Tiner
Cancer to COVID-19: Experimental treatment pivots in record time
At the beginning of 2020, everyone in research and medicine who could pivot to focus on COVID-19 did. Scientists and physicians hauled out findings from previous epidemics. In papers and personal correspondence, they shared descriptions of the damage wrought by SARS-CoV-2. They started running potential drugs through their paces.
"When you have a completely new infection, and it's of epidemic and pandemic proportion, there is a lot of scrambling to figure out how to deal with it," says Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., a Mayo Clinic infectious diseases specialist.
At Mayo Clinic, it was a sort of controlled scramble. Cross-discipline relationships and a culture of collaboration are already part of the institution's fabric and that saved time. Years in one case. With a united science and medical infrastructure, Mayo Clinic researchers raced through the scientific steps to repurpose a cancer therapy into a clinical trial for COVID-19 treatment in less than a year.
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