Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog

December 1st, 2016

State-of-the-art nanomedicine research launched

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Nanomedicine program will improve diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer.

With support from the state of Florida, Mayo Clinic's campus in Jacksonville, Florida, has opened a state-of-the-art laboratory for nanotechnology research, an emerging field of science that studies and applies materials that are the size of an atom.

The laboratory is a key part of Mayo Clinic's new Translational Nanomedicine Program. The goal is to develop, test and apply tiny materials in diagnosing and treating patients, particularly those with cancer.

Photograph of Gianrico Farrugia, M.D.

Gianrico Farrugia, M.D.

Findings made in the lab will help expand and enhance cancer research, [...]

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Tags: Cancer, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Dev Mukhopadhyay, Florida, Gianrico Farrugia, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, nanomedicine, nanotechnology

November 29th, 2016

Rising health care costs: Are physicians Choosing Wisely?

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

choicesPhysicians are burned out.  The reasons for which are seemingly endless:  for one, the health care system is asking them to continually add more to their plate.  More diagnosis codes, more communication and oversight with more complex patients, more administrative duties such as charting and patient emails and portal systems, yet no more time.

Physicians are expected to stay on top of ever-changing guidelines, and provide their patients effective, compassionate, high value care.  More and more, reimbursement is tied to patient experience, but yet doctors have less time to actually spend WITH their patients ensuring the best possible experience.

It’s a nasty spiral that is difficult to control.  Then, add on the increasingly complex issue [...]

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Tags: Choosing Wisely, Choosing Wisely Campaign, Family Medicine, kern center, Michael Grover, value

November 21st, 2016

Physician heal thyself

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

In recent months, we have heard a lot about physician burnout, medical student suicide, and other health care provider health and wellness issues. A growing problem, and one that is difficult to combat, as physician shortages are predicted to rise in the future, placing ever more burden on those in the system.

Shortages lead to issues accessing care. We worry about whether it will become more difficult for patients to access health care services, leading to poorer health outcomes. Before now, not much attention was paid to whether or not the doctors themselves had difficulty accessing care.

Little is known about the contribution to physician health of access to care. One might assume that for a medical doctor, care access is as simple as walking across the hall.

Unfortunately, nothing is that simple. [...]

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Tags: BMC Health Services Research, burnout, Hassan Murad, Philip Hagen, physician burnout, preventive medicine, kern center

November 17th, 2016

Aspirin use may help prevent bile duct cancer

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Bile duct cancer is an uncommon cancer that forms in the slender tubes (bile ducts) that carry digestive fluid through the liver. Bile duct cancer occurs mostly in people older than age 50. Symptoms include yellowing of the skin and eyes, intense itchiness of the skin, and white stools. Bile duct cancer is an aggressive type of cancer that progresses quickly and is difficult to treat.

Photograph of Lewis R. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D.

Lewis R. Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., Ph.D.

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers found that individuals who regularly used aspirin were significantly less likely to develop bile duct cancer.

"The evidence has been accumulating that regular, long-term [...]

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Tags: bile duct cancer, Cancer, Lewis Roberts, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

November 15th, 2016

The Sangre Por Salud Biobank: Bringing Precision Medicine Research to an Underrepresented Latino Community

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

salud-bionews

Inaugural issue:  Sangre Por Salud BioNews.

The Sangre Por Salud (Spanish for Blood for Health) Biobank was created to expand precision medicine research to underrepresented Latino patients in order to enhance the diversity of the Mayo Clinic Biobank. The biobank enables researchers to examine biological samples and data collected from Latino patients in order to develop better prevention, diagnostic tools and treatments for health issues specific to this group.

Created in 2013, the Sangre Por Salud Biobank is a collaboration between Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, Mountain Park Health Center in Phoenix, and Arizona State University.

Mountain Park Health Center, a [...]

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona State University, Biobank, Center for Individualized Medicine, Eleanna De Filippis, genomic, Latino, Mayo Clinic biobank, Mountain Park Health Center, personalized medicine, precision medicine, Sangre Por Salud

November 10th, 2016

American Society of Human Genetics and Mayo Clinic launch educational collaboration

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Precision medicine research is advancing rapidly. New discoveries in how genetic, biological and environmental factors influence health and disease are leading to the development of new diagnostic tools and individualized therapies for many conditions. For many health care providers, keeping abreast of new discoveries and applying them to patient care can be a challenge.

The American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) and Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine (CIM) are collaborating to bridge the genomics education gap for health care providers. The two organizations will facilitate the use of genomics in medicine through education programs for health professionals.

“Genetics and genomics are evolving rapidly and reshaping significant areas of the healthcare landscape and medical education,” says Joseph McInerney, executive vice president ASHG. [...]

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Tags: American Society of Human Genetics, Center for Individualized Medicine, Keith Stewart, precision medicine

November 8th, 2016

Becoming a Biomedical Scientist

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

“I have to tell you that the sheer intellectual joy of finding out how life works is really cool.”         – the late Susan Lindquist, Ph.D., pioneering genetic scientist

This last line from Dr. Lindquist’s obituary in the Sunday New York Times struck me as a timeless statement of enthusiasm and dedication. Dr. Lindquist graduated from Illinois and Harvard and went on to explain how genetic mechanisms work behind such conditions as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Just hours after reading the Times, I received the link to the new video about Mayo’s role in creating scientists like Dr. Lindquist. I was thinking of her words as I watched it.

I can assure you, the enthusiasm in this footage is not staged or [...]

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Tags: mayo clinic, Mayo Clinic research, research education, science education

November 7th, 2016

Harnessing the Power to Heal

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Mayo Clinic in Florida is building two suites dedicated to delivering the latest regenerative medicine technologies

Thomas A. Gonwa, M.D., deputy director of translation for Mayo Clinic's Center for Regenerative Medicine, and Shane A. Shapiro, M.D., assistant professor of orthopedics, will lead regenerative medicine efforts in two dedicated patient suites in Florida.

Until recently, regenerative medicine has been relegated to the laboratory and clinical trials. Not anymore. Mayo Clinic in Florida is building two suites dedicated to delivering technologies that just a decade ago were unimaginable.

"Amazing things are happening here, with vast implications in neurodegenerative diseases, musculoskeletal conditions, heart, vascular and kidney disease," says Gianrico Farrugia, [...]

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Tags: Center for Regnerative Medicine, Florida, Gianrico Farrugia, Shane Shapiro, Thomas Gonwa

November 1st, 2016

Back In The Game

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Two knee replacement surgeries, one patient, zero signs of slowing down

Lou Myers says despite two knee replacement surgeries, Mayo Clinic surgeons and researchers in Florida got him back to the game he loves quicker thanks to a more painless procedure.

Myers benefited from research conducted within the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. In Florida, the center team focuses on value projects – analyzing the value stream, identifying best practices, benchmarking and working towards practice alignment.

During the time between Myers' two surgeries, Florida surgeons and other caregivers collaborated with experts in the Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery to reduce [...]

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Tags: CSHCD, Florida, high value health care, kern center, knee replacement, Lou Myers, orthopedics, Science of health care delivery, value analysis

October 27th, 2016

"The Pill" associated with better ovarian cancer outcomes

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

If a woman takes oral contraceptives, it provides not only reduced risk of developing ovarian cancer, but also better outcomes if she does get this deadly cancer.

"Multiple studies from a variety of sources have indicated that oral contraceptives are associated with a reduced risk of ovarian cancer, one of the most deadly cancers in women," said Aminah Jatoi, M.D., an oncologist with the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. "However, few studies have explored the connection between the pill and outcomes in patients who ultimately develop the disease."

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center researchers set out to explore that possible connection, and published their findings last year. Read the story.

This knowledge [...]

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Tags: Aminah Jatoi, ovarian cancer, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center

October 4th, 2016

Prostate biopsies down, complications up

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann


Researchers are seeking ways to make prostate cancer biopsies safer.

While absolute rates of biopsy and post-biopsy complications have decreased after several benchmark prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening publications, the relative risk for each patient continues to increase, according to a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers.
The study is the largest to examine the impact of PSA screening trials and revised PSA screening guidelines on rates of prostate biopsy and the first to examine their impact on post-biopsy complications. The results, published in the March 2016 issue of European Urology, suggest a need to reduce the harm associated with biopsy.

Photograph of R. Jeffrey Karnes, [...]
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Tags: Jeffrey Karnes, kern center, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Optum Labs, OptumLabs, Prostate Cancer, prostate cancer biopsy, prostate-specific antigen PSA

September 27th, 2016

Mini Breaks, Many Benefits

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Surgeons find short breaks prove valuable in providing best care

Sixty-second stretch breaks during surgery reduces pain and discomfort for the surgical team, helping them focus on the patient.

Perfecting a skill requires equal parts natural talent, dedication and practice. A concert violinist plays a single piece of music over and over. A major league pitcher hurls strikes across home plate until the stadium lights go out. And a surgeon spends day after day leaning over an operating table while maintaining mental focus on the patient.

For all three, this kind of physical exertion and repetition stresses the body, leaving it vulnerable to work-related injuries that, over time, can cut careers short. [...]

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Tags: Juliane Bingener, Juliane Bingener-Casey, kern center, microbreaks, Science of health care delivery, surgery, Susan Hallbeck, health care systems engineering

September 13th, 2016

What is stopping patients from enrolling in clinical trials?

By meghanknoedler meghanknoedler

ovarian-cancerClinical trials are the mechanism through which new and promising therapies for safe, effective cancer treatment ultimately become available.  Not only do trials help identify new or best-practice therapeutic treatment options, but the act of participating in a trial has been shown to actually improve survival.

One of the most promising areas of research to fight cancer involves immunotherapy -- the use of vaccines or viruses as anti-cancer agents.  Immunotherapeutic approaches through the use of vaccines, stimulates the body’s own cells to identify and fight cancer cells, utilizing a similar mechanism of action as we do with common childhood vaccines including measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). Viral therapies introduce a virus into [...]

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Tags: cancer research, Carmen Radecki-Breitkopf, clinical trials, CSHCD, immunotherapy, kern center, ovarian cancer, virotherapy

September 13th, 2016

Mayo Clinic Investigator Pushes for more Research on Osteoporosis Treatment

By Sara Tiner saratiner

osteo

Osteoporotic bone

Crumbling infrastructure puts us at risk, especially if it’s our own internal, bony frame.

But patients dealing with thinning bone in hips and spine have a choice to make.

They can accept the inevitable slumping spine and eventual hip fracture with all its associated disability that is quite likely to occur, or roll the dice with complications from osteoporosis medications.

“Many, many patients who really need treatment are not taking it because of those concerns,” says Sundeep Khosla, M.D., practicing endocrinologist at Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Khosla is one of the top osteoporosis experts in the world and a past president of the American Society for [...]

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September 8th, 2016

Time does not heal all wounds

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

 

Makshita "Maks" Luthra is a Master of Public Health candidate specializing in Public Health Administration & Policy, a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Minnesota, and an associate health services analyst in the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery

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Childhood obesity has girl-eating-donut-1x1more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years. It is often linked to unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyle. Another significant factor associated with obesity in children and adolescents are “adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs. ACEs are [...]

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Tags: ACE score, adverse childhood experiences, adverse family experiences, Bryan Lynch, Lila Rutten, Population Health Scholar, kern center

September 2nd, 2016

Looking Back to Move Forward: Medical Surveys are Worth Your Time

By Sara Tiner saratiner

Surveys can be a pain when you’re buying coffee or shoes, or surfing the web. Or maybe you find them fun—what color or literary character are you anyway?

But is the current survey deluge training us to ignore the ones that actually matter? Ask Ann Harris, associate director of Mayo Clinic’s Survey Research Center, and she’ll nod.

“Now everyone has a survey,” she says. “I think we've just over-surveyed people and our challenge coming up is how do we do this?”
Survey Says…
Mayo Clinic sends thousands of surveys a year to patients.

They flow out over the internet of course, but also by phone and (snail) mail. But the surveys don’t flow back in [...]

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Tags: Survey Research Center, surveys

August 16th, 2016

Getting it RIGHT - Individualized medicine is getting very personal

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

The RIGHT Protocol studies the impact of getting patients the right drug at the right dose at the right time based on their genetic information.

10,000 people help answer a basic individualized medicine question

Nearly 1 out of every 3 American adults has high blood pressure. About 70 percent of them take medication for their condition, but only half have it under control. Why? The answer gets to the heart of individualized medicine: Because each person has a unique genetic makeup, everyone responds differently to drugs.

In recent years, individualized medicine, sometimes called precision medicine, has made headlines by predicting the possibility an individual may develop a specific disease [...]

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Tags: Biobank, Center for Individualized Medicine, CIM, Individualized Medicine, Jennifer St Sauver, kern center, personalized medicine, RIGHT 10K, RIGHT Protocol, Weinshilboum

August 10th, 2016

Rochester Epidemiology Project – 50 Years of making a difference in health care, despite the “Lake Wobegon effect”

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

3209582_0201_silverlake1 In 2012, Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP) co-directors Walter Rocca, M.D., Mayo Clinic; and Barbara Yawn, M.D., Olmsted Medical Center; and their colleagues, published a paper describing the generalizability of epidemiological findings from one population to others.

Their premise - health and health care information derived from the largely ethnically homogeneous population in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and more recently in the 27 counties that comprise the REP, can indeed impact our ability to provide better care – regionally, nationally and beyond.

“We suffer from the Lake Wobegon effect,” laments Dr. Rocca. “People say, ‘ah yes, Minnesota, the place where all women are strong, all men are good looking, all children are above average, and you have a lot of cornfields – but what could you possibly tell me about my much more diverse population?’” [...]

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Tags: Big Data, Olmsted County, Olmsted County Public Health Service, Olmsted Medical Center, OMC, population health, REP, Rochester Epidemiology Project, kern center

August 4th, 2016

What’s best for my child? What’s best for my patient?

By Elizabeth Zimmermann Young elizabethzimmermann

Informed consent made easier in pediatric emergency sedation
The science of health care delivery can be very exciting – sometimes offering a futuristic peak into the way things could be. Soon we may have an app that enables near instantaneous health data analysis and distillation, and brings individualized care suggestions to a provider’s fingertips. Crunching data from hundreds of thousands of patients, finding the ones that are most like the patient in front of the provider, adding in genetic information, personal preferences and more, and in a blink of an eye, giving information for the most efficient and effective care.

In the meantime, we do things a little more manually, but the end, results are similar. [...]

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Tags: ED, Emergency Department, Fernanda Bellolio, Henrique Puls, informed consent, kern center, Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars, Kern Scholars

August 3rd, 2016

Mayo Clinic Takes Medical Research to Kilimanjaro

By Bob Nellis bobnellis

mount-kilimanjaro-tanzaniaThe core group of Mayo Clinic researchers that moved their lab to the base camp at Mount Everest to study heart disease and aging are at it again, this time in Africa. Along with a party of nearly 35, they will be climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, obtaining scientific data from the climbers along the way.

Led by Mayo physiologist Bruce Johnson, Ph.D. and joined by Amine Issa, Ph.D., Courtney Wheatley, Ph.D., and Jan Stepanek, M.D., among others, the group will monitor climbers’ heart rates, oxygen saturation, movement, energy expenditure, skin temperature and the quality of their sleep. They’ll also conduct ultrasound scanning to determine differences in younger and older climbers as they react to the altitude.
[...]

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Tags: Aging, altitude sickness, Amine Issa, Bruce Johnson, Kilimanjaro, physiology, research

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