Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

February 16th, 2017

Yale and Mayo Clinic collaborate to further regulatory science

By Adam Harringa harringaadam

Author Kevin Lin, Yale Daily News staff

Funded by a United States Food and Drug Administration grant of up to $6.7 million over two years, Yale and Mayo Clinic are establishing a Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation to advance regulatory science by developing tools to measure the safety and efficacy of FDA-regulated products.

According to a press release, the Yale and Mayo Clinic CERSI aims to use real-world data to inform regulatory decision making; allow the FDA to use advanced analytic methods; and share knowledge gathered between the institutions. The Yale and Mayo Clinic CERSI is part of a larger group of national CERSIs, funded by the FDA, that are collaborations between the FDA and various [...]

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Tags: cersi, health care delivery, regulatory science, yale

February 16th, 2017

Drug combo safe for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma

By Nicole Brudos Ferrara nicoleferrara


Drugs targeting the P13K-mTOR pathway add benefit when combined with standard R-CHOP therapy.


The drug everolimus can be safely combined with R-CHOP for new, untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, according to the results of a pilot study by Mayo Clinic researchers.

The researchers published their study findings in the July 2016 issue of The Lancet Haematology.

R-CHOP is a combination of drugs used to treat lymphoma that includes rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone.

Photograph of Patrick B. Johnston, M.D., Ph.D. Patrick B. Johnston, M.D., [...]

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Tags: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, Dr Patrick Johnston, everolimus, Forefront, lymphoma, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, R-CHOP

February 15th, 2017

Mayo Clinic at top health care IT conference

By Adam Harringa harringaadam

Nine Mayo Clinic employees will speak at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) annual conference and exhibition in Orlando, Florida, Feb. 19-23.

Highlighting the Mayo presenters will be Mayo Clinic Chief Information Officer Christopher Ross, who will make the HIMSS preconference AsiaPac Summit keynote address The Role of Team-Based Care on the Path to Health Care Transformation.

Ross will also present on Emerging Impacts of Artificial Intelligence on Healthcare IT. That session, on Feb. 20, will explore how artificial intelligence and machine learning is changing health care and data collection and analysis, and how it can be used to address problems in patient care. The session also features James Golden, [...]

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Tags: CSHCD, health care it, himss, himss17, information knowledge management, information technology, Science of health care delivery

February 14th, 2017

Is too sick to go home also too sick for the floor?

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

What patients admitted from the Emergency Department to a general floor/ward will deteriorate?

Author Shawna Bellew, MD (@SBellzMD)
“That patient is going to trigger a rapid response team activation the minute they hit the floor.”
Whether said by a nurse, a resident, or the accepting physician, most emergency medicine physicians have heard some version of this statement.

Rapid response teams (RRTs), multidisciplinary groups of providers tasked with evaluating and managing patients with signs of impending deterioration, have become ubiquitous throughout the U.S. healthcare system, partially owing to their inclusion in the 2005 Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s “100,000 Lives Campaign.”

Recommendations for instituting these teams rest on the theory that early intervention can prevent further deterioration. Likewise, patients who trigger [...]

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Tags: Emergency Medicine, PeRRT Score, rapid response team

February 10th, 2017

Mayo Clinic physician-researchers honored by national society

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

Two Mayo Clinic researchers have been named to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, bringing the total Mayo membership in the honorary society of physician-scientists to 39. Liewei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., a pharmacologist, and Martin Fernandez-Zapico, M.D., a pancreatic cancer biologist, were named to the society from several hundred nominees nationally. The society has 3,000 members.

Read the full news release on the Mayo Clinic News Network.

Learn about the American Society for Clinical Investigation.

February 9th, 2017

Paper, Paper, Paper, and all those little black dots!

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

examples of blank medical formsWhy are you asking me this again? What does this have to do with my visit today? What does my doctor do with all these forms?
These questions, and others, led researchers in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery to consider the use of ‘smart,’ digital questionnaires delivered on an IPad in the waiting room, or via text or email to a patient’s preferred device or home computer before their appointment.

Ryan J. Uitti, M.D.

“Questionnaires are designed to collect what we call ‘patient [...]

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Tags: Dr Ryan Uitti, EPROMS, Florida, kern center, patient reported outcomes, PROs

February 5th, 2017

Researchers identify unique breast microbiome

By Nicole Brudos Ferrara nicoleferrara

A team of Mayo Clinic researchers has identified evidence of bacteria in breast tissue and found differences between women with and without breast cancer.

These research findings were published in the August 3, 2016, issue of Scientific Reports.

Photograph of Tina J. Hieken, M.D.

Tina J. Hieken, M.D.

"Our research found that breast tissue samples obtained in the operating room under sterile conditions contain bacterial DNA, even when there is no sign of infection," said Tina J. Hieken, M.D., a breast surgical oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "Furthermore, we identified significant differences in the breast tissue microbiome of women with cancer versus women without cancer and the [...]

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Tags: Breast Cancer, Dr Amy Degnim, Dr Nick Chia, Dr Tina Hieken, Forefront, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, microbiome

February 2nd, 2017

A golden age for pediatric cardiology

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Mayo Clinic’s Division of Pediatric Cardiology is on a roll, according to Division Chair Frank Cetta, M.D.

“In the last two decades, we’ve really burst onto the scene,” he says. “We’re engaged in exciting research  not found elsewhere, and we offer the full spectrum of cardiac care — from fetal diagnosis through specialized treatment for children and adults with highly complex congenital conditions.”

About the clinical trials

Dr. Cetta points out several accomplishments:

  • The division has published more than 1,000 original manuscripts in the last 10 years, and several division members are editors of important textbooks in this
  • Mayo has performed more operations for [...]

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Tags: Dr Frank Cetta, Dr Jonathan Johnson, Dr Richard Bram, Mayo Clinic Alumni Magazine, pediatric cardiology, pediatric heart transplant

February 1st, 2017

The role of Internet resources in clinical oncology: promises and challenges

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

In a new article published in Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology, learn how Internet trends among oncology patients and those that care about them are changing. Co-authored by Lila Rutten, Ph.D., Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Scientific Director for Population Health Science in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E.  Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery and the National Cancer Institute’s Bradford Hesse, Ph.D., and Alexandra Greenberg, Ph.D., the article also discusses future trends, including examples of 'connected health' in oncology; diffusion of devices, sensors, and apps; the spread of personal data sharing; and an evolution in how networks can support person-centered care.

Read the abstract online on [...]

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Tags: Cancer, Dr Lila Rutten, Internet usage, kern center, oncology, patient education, Science of health care delivery

January 31st, 2017

Contrast Dye in Kidney Disease Patients: Reducing the Risk of an Important Diagnostic Tool

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Building the evidence base for best practice

Medical research has resulted in many amazing diagnostic and treatment methods, tools and drugs. Today a physician can look inside her patient’s body through the aid of radiation and iodine-based dyes in the blood stream – both of which could be deadly in another time or place. This same physician can then determine how well different organs are functioning and how clear blood vessels are.

However, this is not without risk. For example, in the case of patients with kidney disease, doctors need to use radioactive dyes to determine how well the kidneys are functioning. This information helps them decide what additional treatment (if any) is necessary. But the [...]

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Tags: Clinical Imaging, contrast dye, Florida, kidney disease, nephropathy

January 26th, 2017

National health research treasure marks 50 years

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

In 2002, Giancarlo Logroscino, M.D., Ph.D., then a research scientist at the Sergievsky Center at Columbia University in New York City, published the only paper on the long-term prognosis of status epilepticus (SE) along with research collaborators from Columbia and Mayo Clinic. They established for the first time,  in a rigorous investigation of SE in a population- based setting, the framework for data on frequency, classification and prognosis of the condition. SE is defined as continuous seizure of 30 minutes or more, or two or more seizures without full recovery of consciousness between them. Their work is published in journals including Neurology, European Journal of Neurology, Annals of Neurology and Archives of Neurology.


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Tags: Dr Giancarlo Logroscino, Dr Jenny St Sauver, Dr Walter Rocca, Dr Wenjun Zhong, Mayo Clinic Alumni Magazine, population health, REP, Rochester Epidemiology Project, Science of health care delivery

January 24th, 2017

Introducing the Sepsis and Shock Response Team, and other care-improving research outcomes

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Typically, sepsis occurs in people who are already hospitalized, but is also diagnosed among patients who come to the emergency department. It is the most expensive condition treated in the U.S.

In 2002, the Society of Critical Care Medicine and the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine established the “Surviving Sepsis Campaign,” to reduce worldwide deaths from sepsis. The campaign seeks to build awareness of sepsis and educate health care providers regarding prevention, diagnosis and treatment. The group published guidelines and designed a performance improvement program, which are updated regularly. As with heart attacks and strokes, rapid identification and treatment of sepsis saves lives, but [...]

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Tags: American Journal of Medical Quality, Emergency Department, Florida, kern center, Science of health care delivery, sepsis, Sepsis and Shock Response Team, Surviving Sepsis Campaign, Dr Pablo Moreno

January 19th, 2017

Stereotactic radiosurgery is best for some brain tumors

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Shift in practice may reserve whole-brain radiation for patients with extensive disease.

Patients with three or fewer metastatic brain tumors who received treatment with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) had less cognitive deterioration three months after treatment than did patients who received SRS combined with whole-brain radiation therapy.
This finding is among the results of a federally funded Mayo Clinic-led multi-institution study whose results were published in the July 26, 2016, issue of JAMA.

Photograph of Paul D. Brown, M.D.

Paul D. Brown, M.D.

"Metastatic brain tumors are, unfortunately, common in patients with cancer," said Paul D. Brown, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Mayo [...]

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Tags: brain tumor, Cancer, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Paul D Brown, stereotactic radiosurgery

January 17th, 2017

Avoid routine double mastectomy when possible

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Consensus group urges weighing pros, cons and patient preference in unilateral breast cancer.

A position paper issued by the American Society of Breast Surgeons recommends against contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) for average-risk women with breast cancer in only one breast.

The recommendation on prophylactic mastectomy, published online July 28, 2016, in the Annals of Surgical Oncology, addresses the growing trend to remove the healthy breast (contralateral prophylactic mastectomy) along with the breast with breast cancer.

Photograph of Judy C. Boughey, M.D.

Judy C. Boughey, M.D.

"Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is a growing trend that has generated significant discussion among physicians, patients, breast cancer [...]

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Tags: American Society of Breast Surgeons, Breast Cancer, double mastectomy, Forefront, Judy Boughey, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

January 12th, 2017

Health Disparities Research Retreat Focuses on Closing Gaps for Underserved

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Over 100 researchers, clinicians, educators and administrators from across Mayo Clinic, as well as outside community members, gathered in Rochester, Minnesota, for the Office of Heath Disparities Research (OHDR) Annual Retreat in October. The meeting was a platform to share science updates, learn about study support and other resources, delve into health disparities topics and collaborate on future research projects and publications.

Keynote speaker Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, M.D., director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD), gave the talk “NIMHD’s Research Agenda to Improve the Health of Racial and Ethnic Minorities.”
Dr. Pérez-Stable made several key points about the NIMHD’s agenda:

  • Minority health and health disparities research are [...]

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Tags: disparities research, diversity, health disparity, NIMHD, Office of Health Disparities Research, underserved

January 10th, 2017

Meet the Investigator: Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, M.D.

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

At the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, hundreds of researchers dedicate their professional lives to reducing the burden of cancer. Each one has a unique story. In this issue, Jamie N. Bakkum-Gamez, M.D., a gynecologic oncologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, discusses her research.

This is one of a series of Meet the Investigator interviews available in Forefront, the online magazine of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.  Other recent interviews include:


Tags: Alan Bryce, cancer research, Forefront, Jamie Bakkum-Gamez, Joseph Mikhael, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Meet the Investigator, Minetta Liu, richard joseph

January 9th, 2017

Single Allele Mutation Heightens Risk of Early-Onset Parkinson’s

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

A collaboration of 32 researchers in seven countries, led by scientists at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, found that a mutation in only one allele of a Parkinson’s gene, known as PINK1, increases the risk of early-onset disease. The finding, published recently in the journal Brain, addresses a longstanding debate about whether individuals need to inherit two copies of the mutation for an early form of the disease to occur.

Wolfdieter Springer, Ph.D.

Wolfdieter Springer, Ph.D.

The familial form of early-onset Parkinson’s, affecting patients as soon as age 45, is known to occur in individuals with mutations in both inherited alleles of the PINK1 (PTEN-induced putative kinase 1) gene. “This study showed [...]

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Tags: Mayo Clinic research, neurology, Neurosciences, Parkinson's, Wolfdieter Springer

January 5th, 2017

Stool DNA test added to colorectal screening

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Updated guidelines make noninvasive colorectal cancer screening option available to millions.


The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued its final colorectal cancer screening recommendations for 2016.

The task force assigns an overall "A" grade to colorectal cancer screening in people ages 50 to 75 and fully recommends several screening exams that now include Cologuard, the stool DNA test co-developed by Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences Corp.

Photograph of David A. Ahlquist, M.D.

David A. Ahlquist, M.D.

"The task force decision to include Cologuard will make this accurate and noninvasive new colorectal cancer screening option available to millions of people [...]

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Tags: Cologuard, colon cancer, David Ahlquist, Forefront, US Preventive Services Task Force

January 3rd, 2017

Integrating patient preferences in the delivery of Emergency Care. Kano analysis predicts change in experience.

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

providers-with-prone-patient-3329540_0066In our publication in Annals of Emergency Medicine, Pilot Study of Kano “Attractive Quality” Techniques to Identify Change in Emergency Department Patient Experience, we describe our efforts to improve our patient’s perception of receiving concern and sensitivity from their healthcare providers.

The project originated in 2012, when our patients reported lower than expected ratings of receiving compassion by their emergency department (ED) providers. We used point-of-service survey cards to reassess this measure. We distributed 200 cards and received 193 (97% response rate) returned that gave a median rating of 4 out of 5 (IQR 3,5) with a top box percentage of 33% for provider concern and sensitivity.

A team of us [...]

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Tags: Annals of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Kano model, Venkatesh Bellamkonda

December 29th, 2016

Drug combo stems tumor growth in lung cancer

By Nicole Brudos Ferrara nicoleferrara

Researchers on Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, have shut down one of the most common and lethal forms of lung cancer by combining the rheumatoid arthritis drug auranofin with an experimental targeted agent.

The combination therapy worked in a laboratory study to stop lung adenocarcinoma associated with mutation of the KRAS gene. The study was published in the March 14, 2016, issue of Cancer Cell.

Alan Fields, Ph.D.

Alan Fields, Ph.D.

"If our approach works in KRAS-mediated lung adenocarcinoma, it may work in other KRAS-mediated cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and colon cancer, as well as other cancer types," said [...]

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Tags: Alan Fields, auranofin, cancer stem cells, chemotherapy, Florida, KRAS gene, Lung Cancer, PKCiota, Forefront

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