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.

February 22, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 2/22/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Over the last week, Mayo Clinic researchers and expertise have been cited in wide range of news stories, from the ever present COVID-19 to telehealth, participation in cancer clinical trials, creatine supplements, artificial intelligence and more. Read on for headlines, excerpts and links.


Telehealth research & key resources: Research findings

American Medical Association, 2/19/2021

Telehealth use, which surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, has provided a way for physicians to provide care while keeping patients safe in their homes. These services also protected health care staff and safeguarded resources such as personal protective equipment (PPE).

To explore health care providers’ experiences with telehealth, the COVID-19 Healthcare Coalition recently conducted a survey of 1,594 clinicians across the country. The findings of the Telehealth Impact Study highlight the wide expansion of telehealth services in many specialty areas, high levels of satisfaction with the services and a look at barriers that could affect the continued use and improvement of these services.


‘Knowledge is Power’: Advocating for More Representation in Cancer-Related Clinical Trials

Cure, 2/19/2021

There are several health equity barriers in patients with cancer, one of which involves adequate access to clinical trials. Here, a panel of experts and a cancer survivor discuss ways to improve access.

NOTE: Read the full discussion, including comments from Mayo Clinic hematologist Pooja Advani, M.B.B.S., M.D.


Gene implicated in type of childhood cancer identified

Sify News, 2/21/2021

Researchers have identified that a chromosome instability gene -- USP24 -- is frequently missing in pediatric patients with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of childhood cancer.

The finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, provides important insight into the development of this disease.


Not All Creatine Supplements Work. Here's How to Buy One That Does

Men's Health, 2/17/2021

… Creatine helps you build a store of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) within your muscles. Your muscles then use that ATP to perform explosive exercises more effectively.

… Most research done on the amino acid creatine shows that creatine monohydrate is the safest, most effective form of the supplement, says Andrew Jagim, Ph.D., director of sports-medicine research at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

NOTE: Read the article for more from Dr. Jagim. You may also be interested in reading about some of his other research in this recent article on Advancing the Science.


FDA Advisors Pan Drug-Coated Balloon for Lower-Leg Ischemia

Medpage Today, 2/18/2021

An FDA advisory committee turned thumbs down on Becton Dickinson's Lutonix 014 drug-coated balloon (DCB) for peripheral artery disease (PAD) during a virtual meeting on Wednesday.

Circulatory System Devices Panel members voted 14-3 (with one abstention) that the benefits of the investigational angioplasty catheter do not outweigh its risks as a treatment for patients with critical limb ischemia (CLI) who have obstructive de novo or non-stented restenotic lesions in below-the-knee (BTK) arteries.

NOTE: One of the panel members quoted in the article is Mayo Clinic cardiologist Bernard Gersh, M.B., Ch.B., D.Phil.


AI Crushes Expert Reader at ECG Recognition of Long-QT Syndrome

Medscape, 2/18/2021

Perhaps 40% of persons with genetically confirmed long-QT syndrome (LQTS) do not show the telltale electrocardiographic (ECG) feature, a prolonged heart-rate-corrected QT (QTc) interval, when their 12-lead ECGs are read by experienced readers. That indicates plenty of room for improvement in the early identification of LQTS, which can predispose patients to sudden cardiac death (SCD).

… The ECG can yield far more information than conventional readings are designed to catch, observed Michael J. Ackerman, MD, PhD, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, for theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

"Our AI-based solution looked at what information and knowledge exists in the 60,000 unique data points that comprise each 12-second 12-lead ECG waveform, besides the QTc value itself," said Ackerman, who is senior author of the article. The study was published February 10 in JAMA Cardiology.


What you need to know about high blood pressure and pregnancy

New4JAX, 2/18/2021

A recent study from the American Heart Association found that high blood pressure complications in U.S. pregnancies have nearly doubled.

Dr. Sabrina Phillips, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic and volunteer with the American Heart Association, said the statistics are heartbreaking because high blood pressure can predict complications during pregnancy and also heart disease problems down the road as you age. “It’s so important that before conception and during pregnancy you seek health care. That you make sure you get your blood pressure taken,” Phillips said. She said part of the battle for the AHA is getting resources to communities of need.

NOTE: Learn more about Sabrina Phillips, M.D., from her clinical profile.


GETS REAL: Jacksonville nonprofit helping tackle racism one ‘race card’ at a time 

Action News Jax, 2/18/2021

Action News Jax is celebrating Black History Month with a look to the future. A local nonprofit is battling division in our country by using dialogue to create understanding, starting with getting back to basics.

... Soon, the conversation will go digital because 904WARD has received funding from Mayo Clinic’s “EverybodyIN Fund for Change,” a program that will help the nonprofit develop a race cards app.


Avacopan for ANCA Vasculitis: A New Treatment Paradigm? 

MedPage Today, 2/17/2021

An investigational C5a receptor inhibitor, avacopan, was effective as a steroid-sparing induction treatment for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis in a phase III trial known as ADVOCATE, investigators reported. …

"The ADVOCATE trial heralds a change in the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis that was previously unthinkable -- the possibility of inducing disease remission without glucocorticoids," wrote Kenneth Warrington, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in an accompanying editorial.

NOTE: Read the article for more about the study and Dr. Warrington's comments.


When AI isn't all that revolutionary

Politico, 2/17/2021

COVID RESPONSE SHOWS AI'S LIMITS: Hospitals are learning the limits of AI as they trot out new tech during the pandemic, whether to triage patients or identify potential drug therapies. And it’s not the panacea some had hoped for.

Reality check: “We’re not really at the point where AI is really a useful entity at the bedside, and it’s barely useful at the moment as a planning tool,” said Mayo Clinic’s Brian Pickering, who chairs critical care research.Pickering’s team had tested out an AI system flagging patients likely to deteriorate in theICU, but “the AI doesn’t particularly add a lot of value.”


ICU Admissions After CAR-T Therapy Likely to Due to CRS

Clinical Oncology News, 2/18/2021

About one-third of patients who were admitted to ICUs after chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for cancer had common toxicity syndromes, a study from 11 U.S. medical centers has found.

… CAR-T, genetically modified T cells designed to traffic to and bind to a target antigen, has shown promising results for the treatment of refractory malignancies. However, the cutting-edge therapy has some common, unique toxicities, said study co-author Heather May, PharmD, BCCCP, an assistant professor of medicine and pharmacy at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. Her presentation highlighted 105 patients who received axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), a CAR-T therapy approved for large B-cell lymphoma. …


Health Care Providers: How To Make Sure Your Online Reputation Is Accurate

Forbes, 2/18/2021

Patients find health care providers in a variety of ways that include insurance lists, referrals from their doctor, referrals from friends and family, and via online searches like Google. No matter how potential patients become aware of a doctor, they are likely to check online reviews before selecting one: According to one survey, 79% of patients consider online reviews before choosing their health care provider.

… A Mayo Clinic study found that doctors with negative online reviews had similar patient satisfaction levels as those with good reviews, which confirms our experience. However, the study found that the doctors with poor reviews lacked in areas other than patient interaction, like front desk, wait time, etc. — typically the reason for low review ratings. 


FDA Medical Device Cybersecurity | Avast

Security Boulevard, 2/16/2021

Even if you don’t live in the US, you probably have heard about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US federal agency responsible for regulating what we eat and what medicines we use. The FDA has been in the news during the pandemic, issuing emergency approval orders as Covid-related vaccines have come off their research trials and begun distribution to the public.

… Measuring relative device risks is certainly a huge undertaking. I asked about this with John Halamka, who now works at the Mayo Clinic and was a former hospital CIO who has been a friend and colleague of Fu for many years. Halamka told me that assembling this framework means figuring out what “good enough” means, how it will be measured, and figuring out how to create the appropriate test labs to evaluate products against these metrics.


Check out these 4 podcasts that feature women in science

Lifestyle Asia, 2/17/2021

Women remain underrepresented in the scientific community, as they make up less than 30% of the world’s researchers according to the United Nations. While research has shown that girls start doubting their abilities to take on male-dominated roles at a very young age, podcasts can be a great way to encourage them to overcome the many institutional and cultural challenges of being a woman in science. Here is a selection of four podcasts to listen to in observance of this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science. …

Beyond the Microscope

We often imagine scientists as being cartoonish, eccentric figures with wild hair playing with tubes in a lab. People who are not like us. “Beyond the Microscope” challenges this perception by sharing the voices of women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). An episode of the series, hosted by Lindsay Claiborn and Mumu Xu, focuses on nanotechnology and nanomedicine with Dr. Joy Wolfram, who heads the Nanomedicine and Extracellular Vesicles Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Who’s afraid of big scary science now?

NOTE: You can learn  more about Dr. Wolfram in this Advancing the Science article and on her lab's website.


Using MRD to Inform Treatment Decisions in Transplant-Eligible Myeloma

OncLive, 2/18/2021

Rafael Fonseca, MD, discusses several clinical trials that support the use of quadruplet regimens in myeloma, the utilization of MRD in clinical decision making, and future directions for research.

NOTE: You can learn more about Dr. Fonseca in his research bio.


New Drugs for Hematologic Malignancies

Pharmacy Times, 2/19/2021

Several oncology drugs have been approved by the FDA since 2019 for treating hematologic malignancies. Heidi D. Finnes, PharmD, BCOP, FHOPA, highlighted some of these approved therapies during the Advanced Practitioner Society for Hematology and Oncology annual meeting, 2020 JADPRO Live Virtual.1

Finnes, a senior manager of pharmacy cancer research at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, provided clinical study data for each drug she presented, as well as other information pertinent to oncology pharmacists, such as adverse effects (AEs). …


Mayo Clinic weighs in on COVID-19

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Tags: Andrew Jagim, artificial intelligence, Bernard Gersh, blood pressure, Brian Pickering, cancer, CAR T-cell therapy, cardiology, cardiovascular medicine, clinical trials, COVID-19, FDA, health disparities, health equity, Heather May, Heidi Finnes, hematology, integrative medicine, John Halamka, Joy Wolfram, Kenneth Warrington, long QT syndrome, lymphoma, Mayo Clinic Health System, Michael Ackerman, myeloma, nanomedicine, News, News of the Week, oncology, patient experience, patient safety, pediatric oncology, pediatric research, pharmacy, Pooja Advani, pregnancy, Rafael Fonseca, Sabrina Phillips, sports medicine, sudden cardiac death, supplements, telehealth, telemedicine, transplant, vasculitis

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