Week In Review — May 9

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week's top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.


Researchers aim to make the U a major Parkinson's research center

Don Spicer was out walking with his wife, Jackie, about two years ago when he suddenly came to an unplanned halt. “My right leg was just like it was in a pool of cement,” the Bloomington 71-year-old recalled. “I just couldn’t move.” Spicer has “freezing-of-gait,” an exasperating and mysterious condition that can be triggered by an abrupt turn, a long hallway, a narrow doorway or seemingly nothing in particular. Via Star Tribune. 

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CDC: 5 things cause two-thirds of U.S. deaths

Five things kill more people in the United States than anything else: heart disease, cancer, lung disease such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, stroke and unintentional injuries such as those on roads or caused by medication overdoses. Together, these five conditions cause almost two-thirds of all deaths in the country -- nearly 900,000 each year. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is releasing its first report on potentially preventable deaths from those causes in each one of the 50 states. The data suggest we could prevent at least a third of those deaths. Via CNN.

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Scientists add letters to DNA’s alphabet, raising hope and fear

Scientists reported Wednesday that they had taken a significant step toward altering the fundamental alphabet of life — creating an organism with an expanded artificial genetic code in its DNA. The accomplishment might eventually lead to organisms that can make medicines or industrial products that cells with only the natural genetic code cannot. Via NY Times.

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Many people with gluten sensitivity haven’t had proper tests  

People who believe they are sensitive to gluten have often not been adequately tested to rule out celiac disease, reports a new study. Jessica R. Biesiekierski told Reuters Health that people with trouble digesting gluten who are not tested for celiac disease may not get proper treatment, which could lead to health problems down the line. Via Reuters

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Saudi Arabia identifies 18 new cases of MERS

There have been 449 cases of MERS in Saudi Arabia, which has seen the bulk of cases, and 121 people have died. In April, the number of cases in the country nearly doubled after outbreaks in hospitals. Officials in Saudi Arabia said late Wednesday they have identified 18 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in the country, Reuters reports. The government also said four more people died of the disease Wednesday. Via TIME.

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Race and obesity in multiple myeloma with Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, M.D., Mayo Clinic

How does race and obesity affect the occurrence of MGUS and multiple myeloma? Dr. Rajkumar describes findings on the two to three times increase in myeloma in blacks over whites and his observations that obesity provides a twofold risk factor. Via Multiple Myeloma Patient.


Mayo Clinic celebrates 150 years of service with traveling exhibit

As Mayo Clinic celebrates 150 years of medicine, a ribbon cutting took place in Peace Plaza Tuesday for a traveling museum documenting Mayo's history and achievements.  Mayo's official flower, the "Mayo Clinic Flower of Hope," otherwise known as the Electric Avenue Coreopsis, was on display and will be planted throughout the clinic's campuses. Via KTTC

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Novel drug for celiac disease reduces GI and non-GI symptoms

A novel drug designed for the treatment of celiac disease reduced both gastrointestinal (GI) and non-GI symptoms in people inadvertently exposed to gluten in a randomized placebo-controlled trial. Larazotide acetate, a first-in-class oral peptide, "met the study's primary end point of a reduction in GI symptoms," said Joseph Murray, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Via Medscape.

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ASCO issues guidelines for advanced HER2+ breast cancer 

The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has issued recommendations for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive advanced breast cancer and advanced HER2-positive breast cancer with brain metastases…In a second guideline, Naren Ramakrishna, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and colleagues conducted a formal expert consensus-based process to develop recommendations for the management of brain metastases for patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer. Via DoctorsLounge.

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Mayo Clinic hoping to sequence cancer patients more routinely by offering CLIA hotspot panel

The test, which analyzes hotspot regions of 50 genes associated with sensitivity to a variety of genomically targeted cancer therapies, will be available to all patients at the clinic with solid tumors, as well as outside patients and physicians through the Mayo Medical Laboratories. In some tumor subsets the panel may be performed routinely for all Mayo patients, Benjamin Kipp, the new test's lead designer, and Rob McWilliams, chair of the Genomic Tumor Board for Mayo's IM Clinic told PGx Reporter. Via Genome Web

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Kelley Luedke

Kelley Luedke is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her kitty, and exploring new foods.

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