Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

November 2, 2020

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 11/2/2020

By Elizabeth Zimmermann
graphic art newspaper laptop

If you spend any time reading or listening to health care news, you know that some of the same stories are still making their way around the world as last week or even from several weeks back. You may see some repeats from a different news outlet here, but we hope that most of the highlighted articles give you something new. Learn about the Healio Woman Disrupter of the Year, finding COVID hotspots – before testing results, using artificial intelligence to individualize cancer care, how to be resilient and much more.

The Healio Woman Disruptor of the Year is ...

Healio Gastroenterology, 10/30/2020 (video and script)

During this year’s ACG 2020 Virtual meeting, Healio hosted its annual Disruptive Innovators Award ceremony.

These awards stem from the disruption that Healio caused in gastroenterology by using a Peer Tested concept to deliver in print what physicians read online. Using analytics, data and social media, what is trending online is delivered to your mailbox. The Healio Disruptive Innovators represent the revolutionary mindset of Healio Gastroenterology.

NOTE: Read more about the award and this year's recipient, from Mayo Clinic, Amy Oxentenko, M.D.


Mayo Clinic Research Uses Web Search Analytics to Predict COVID Hotspots

Global Biodefense, 10/28/2020

Web-based analytics have demonstrated their value in predicting the spread of infectious disease, and a new study from Mayo Clinic indicates the value of analyzing Google web searches for keywords related to COVID-19.

Strong correlations were found between keyword searches on the internet search engine Google Trends and COVID-19 outbreaks in parts of the U.S., according to a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. These correlations were observed up to 16 days prior to the first reported cases in some states. …


Mayo Clinic Doctor Responds to Studies on Mouthwash and Coronaviruses

KIMT TV, 10/29/2020

… Dr. Rick Kennedy, co-director of vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic, said he's not surprised that the chemicals inside mouthwash will kill the virus. However, he is surprised it's thought to prevent transmission.

NOTE: Check out the full story online, including the video interview with Dr. Kennedy.


Mayo Clinic, Google to Create Artificial Intelligence for Cancer Care

Health IT Analytics, 10/29/2020

The research partnership will aim to develop artificial intelligence tools that can improve the efficiency of radiotherapy and cancer care.

… The organizations will work to build an algorithm to help clinicians contour healthy tissue and organs from tumors, and conduct research to better understand how this technology could be deployed in clinical practice.


Live, Learn, Love: '2020 has actually been a very exciting year for breast cancer research' doctor says

First Coast News, 10/27/2020

The pandemic has caused some women to postpone routine breast cancer screenings, doctors say don't wait because breast cancer found early is now very treatable.

… Dr. Saranya Chumsri, an oncologist at Mayo Clinic, has started to see patients coming in with more advanced breast cancer.

“We used to see patients with, you know, a couple-centimeter tumor, but now we started to see large like 3, 4 or 5 cm with big lymph node involvement more recently, and some of these patients actually told us that they felt the lump for a while, but they were concerned about getting COVID-19 so they did not come in,” Chumsri explained. …

NOTE: Read more on this from Dr. Chumsri, as well as another local expert.


Study: Vitamin D deficiency found in over 80% of COVID-19 patients

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/28/2020

… Mayo Clinic infectious disease specialist Dr. William F. Marshall wrote that not enough data exists to recommend the use of vitamin D to stop the infection from the coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, or to treat COVID-19, according to the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization.

Multiple studies have reviewed vitamin D’s impact on COVID-19, according to Mayo Clinic. …


Sleep important factor in development of long-term CV outcomes

Cardiology Today, 10/27/2020

Sleep could have a significant effect on CV health and long-term CV outcomes, and factors such as obstructive sleep apnea and sleep duration may warrant consideration among patients with hypertension, a speaker reported.

During his presentation, Virend K. Somers, MD, PhD, Alice Sheets Marriott Professor and director of the the cardiovascular and sleep facilities at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science in Rochester, Minnesota, discussed how hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and sleep duration could all impact a patient’s risk for CV events. …

NOTE: This article is part of a series of Healio articles reporting on the Cardiometabolic Health Conference.


We've All Heard That Eating Late Is Unhealthy. Is It True?

Discover Magazine, 10/30/2020

A growing body of research suggests that it’s a good idea to sync up meal times and our internal biological clocks.

… Researchers aren’t totally sure why some bodily activities function best during the day or night, but research in rodents suggests that the “sleep” portion of circadian cycles allows cells to repair themselves. “Cells use that time to clean house, so to speak,” says Adrian Vella, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. It might be that eating too close to this rest and relaxation period forces cells to delay self-repair in favor of digestive processes — a delay that, if it happens too often, might start to cause harm. …


A Flu Shot Might Reduce Coronavirus Infections, Early Research Suggests

Scientific American, 10/27/2020

Hospital workers who got vaccinated were significantly less likely to develop COVID than those who did not

… Although results have overall been mixed, other recent studies have linked flu vaccines—as well as other vaccines—with lower COVID-19 risk. In two papers, one published in the journal Vaccines in September and the other in the Journal of Medical Virology in June, researchers found that COVID-19 rates were lower in regions of Italy where higher percentages of adults aged 65 and older had received a flu vaccine. And in a preprint paper released in July, researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the biomedical computing company nference found that adults who had received vaccines for flu, polio, chicken pox, measles-mumps- rubella (MMR), Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib), hepatitis A or B, or pneumococcal disease over the past five years were less likely to test positive for the novel coronavirus than people who had not received any of them.


Research staff training program completes successful first year

Penn State News, 11/2/2020

College of Medicine’s SMaRT Program delivers orientations, networking sessions

… Through Penn State Clinical and Translational Science Institute, the program received supplemental National Institutes of Health grant funding in partnership with Mayo Clinic’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the University of Mississippi Medical Center. This grant allowed the team to collaboratively fine-tune the program. The institute also provides administrative oversight and infrastructure. …

The team developed an orientation for support staff based on a model implemented at Mayo Clinic. The SMaRT team further aligned orientation to competencies outlined by the Clinical and Translational Science Award joint taskforce for clinical research competency. …

NOTE: Learn more about the Mayo Clinic Center for Clinical and Translational Science.


Should genetic testing for breast cancer stop at 65?

LabPulse.com, 10/27/2020

Genetics still play a crucial role in whether women older than 65 develop breast cancer, according to new research to be presented at the American Society of Human Genetics 2020 meeting, which will take place virtually on October 27-30.

The average age of breast diagnosis is 62, and women older than 65 account for a large portion of women with breast cancer. Despite this fact, women in this age group often do not qualify for genetic testing. Presenter Nicholas Boddicker, PhD, a research associate at the Mayo Clinic, explored whether the data supported stopping genetic testing when someone reaches their mid-60s. …


Are you a resilient person? You can be.

Southeast Missourian, 10/31/2020

Since March, life has looked much different than what we're accustomed. Remote learning. Canceled conferences. In-person events shifted to streaming solutions. And that's just the education component. Life moves on, and those who thrive will have a level of resiliency.

… Lastly, identify and traffic -- at least 20% of the time -- in your strengths. Buckingham pointed to research from the Mayo Clinic that says if an individual spends 20% of their working life operating in their strengths, burnout decreases. …


Depression Common Among Patients With a Myeloproliferative Neoplasm

Oncology Nurse Advisor, 10/28/2020

Nearly one-quarter of patients with a myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) participating in a large international survey study met criteria for significant symptoms of depression, according to findings published in Cancer Medicine.

… This study utilized responses to a 70-item, Internet-based questionnaire previously administered as part of a study hosted by the Mayo Clinic Survey Research Center in Rochester, Minnesota, that was designed to evaluate fatigue and mood symptoms in patients with an MPN. …

NOTE: Learn more about Mayo's Survey Research Center.


Thinking of HRT for Hot Flashes? Here's the Latest Guidance

U.S. News & World Report/HealthDay News, 10/30/2020

Another large study finds that menopausal hormone therapy is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, though it varies with the formulation, timing and duration of use. …

"It's very complicated," said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, director of the Mayo Clinic's Center for Women's Health, in Rochester, Minn. "No one is ever going to be able to say hormone therapy is completely safe." Faubion, who is also medical director of the North American Menopause Society, was not involved in the new research.

NOTE: The article contains additional comments from Dr. Faubion. Visit the website for more information on Mayo's Center for Women's Health.


HAE Attack in Fetus Reported, Baby Responded to Mom’s Treatment

Angioedema News, 10/30/2020

The first documented case of a hereditary angioedema (HAE) attack in an unborn child — whose symptoms resolved after treating the mother with the recombinant human C1-inhibitor (rhC1-INH) therapy, Ruconest — has been reported.

The case report, “Hereditary Angioedema Attack in Utero and Treatment of the Mother and Fetus,” was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes. …


The Most Effective Cardio Workout, According to Science

Elemental Medium, 10/28/2020

Bynow, you know that cardio workouts are excellent for improving your overall health and fitness, but with so many options, you can be forgiven for being confused about the best approach. Runners swear their activity is best, while cyclists, swimmers, and triathletes all make similar claims. Even the title of fittest athlete is up for grabs, with triathletes, CrossFit competitors, Nordic skiers, and more all vying. The options for cardio training are nearly endless: circuit training, the one-minute workout, high-intensity interval training, spin bikes, and treadmill routines, to name just a few.

… The optimal frequency and duration of your workouts depend on your goals, says Michael Joyner, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic who studies human performance. If your main objective is improving your health, it doesn’t take much. “Once you get to 30 to 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity most days a week, you’ve gotten 80% of the benefits for reducing heart disease risk,” he says.


Antifungal Meds Cut Risk for Death After Lung Transplant

Physician's Weekly, 10/26/2020

Preventive antifungal medications cut the risk for death following a lung transplant by more than half, according to a study published online Sept. 23 in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Kelly M. Pennington, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues evaluated the effect of antifungal prophylaxis on all-cause mortality and invasive fungal infections (IFI) in lung transplant patients. The analysis included 667 lung transplant recipients (385 received prophylaxis and 282 did not) who were identified through administrative claims data (2005 through 2018).


Amid Developing Science, Does Big Ten's 21-Day COVID Protocol Still Make Sense?

Sports Illustrated, 10/28/2020

When the Big Ten instituted a 21-day window before players can return from a positive virus test, cardiac screening was the big reason why. Now, cardiologists say that testing may not be needed for many.

… “The article is trying to restore some semblance of order to the universe with a rationale approach,” says Michael Ackerman, a genetic cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who briefed both the Big 12 and Conference USA in August regarding the myocarditis scare that swept across college sports.

NOTE: The article contains more discussion from Dr. Ackerman, as well as other experts.


3 Innovative Digital Advertising Campaigns From Nonprofit Organizations

DMS Insights, 10/28/2020

… Truth Initiative has also launched multiple smoking and vaping cessation campaigns that rely on digital strategies and tools. “This Is Quitting,” a digital campaign from Truth, is geared at teens, offering support via mobile SMS and social media. And, BecomeAnEx, a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, is a “digital quit-smoking plan and online community of thousands of smokers and ex-smokers.” Both programs rely on robust content marketing across a family of landing pages to keep those enrolled or interested in the programs motivated and informed. Truth Initiative offers a tone and tenor that, while research based, appeals to younger, tech native audiences and doesn’t feel stodgy or out of date like more traditional anti-smoking platforms. 

NOTE: Read more about Mayo Clinic's Nicotine Dependence Center, which leads the relationship with Truth Initiative.


An American Family in 2020: A Child With a Mystery Illness and Medical Bills to Pay

Fatherly, 10/3/2020

… Finally, Leah got Miles admitted to the Mayo Clinic. They were supposed to go in March, and then, COVID-19 hit. Miles suffered for a few more months. Then, in mid-July, they got on an airplane (Leah wiping down Miles’s seat for fear of contact allergy) and flew to Minnesota, where, for the first time in a long time, Leah felt like her child might be able to get his life back again. 

“We literally saw seven doctors in five days,” she says. “We had 30 appointments.” It was at the Mayo Clinic that doctors first noticed that Miles’ kidneys weren’t working properly and that his adrenal glands didn’t work. They also noticed that he wasn’t absorbing iron and that his trachea was malformed. 

“There were so many things that no one had addressed — or they mentioned it here or there but they said, ‘That’s not that big of a problem,’ ” Leah says. 

The Mayo Clinic re-instilled the family’s faith in health care. Leah met a team of doctors who coordinated, who actually spoke to one another. The week at the Mayo Clinic was physically and financially draining. But it was also the first time in a long time she felt relief. …

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Tags: About, Adrian Vella, Amy Oxentenko, artificial intelligence, breast cancer, cancer, cardiology, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, clinical research, COVID-19, depression, education, Findings, gastroenterology, genetic testing, hormones, hypertension, infection, infectious disease, influenza, Kelly Pennington, Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars, lung transplant, maternal and fetal medicine, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, menopause, Michael Ackerman, Michael Joyner, News, News of the Week, Nicholas Boddicker, Nicotine Dependence Center, nursing research, oncology, People, physician burnout, physiology, radiation therapy, research education, resiliency, Saranya Chumsri, sleep apnea, sleep medicine, Stephanie Faubion, tobacco cessation, vaccines, Virend K. Somers, vitamin D, William F. Marshall, women's health

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