Mayo Clinic Laboratory and Pathology Research Roundup: Sept. 19

The Research Roundup provides an overview of the past week’s research from Mayo Medical Laboratories consultants, including featured abstracts and complete list of published studies and reviews.

Featured Abstract

Adverse Disease Features in Gleason Score 3 + 4 "Favorable Intermediate-Risk" Prostate Cancer: Implications for Active Surveillance

ProstateCancerAccording to a recent National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines update, patients with Gleason score 3 + 4 prostate cancer and "favorable intermediate-risk" characteristics might be offered active surveillance. However, the risk of unfavorable disease features and its prediction in this subset of patients is not completely understood. Mayo Clinic researchers conducted a study to identify the risk of unfavorable disease and potential predictors of adverse outcomes among these patients. The study found patients with Gleason score 3 + 4 at biopsy, low prostate-specific antigen, and low stage might consider the option of active surveillance, but the use of clinical information alone might be not adequate for thorough risk-adapted counseling. The study was published in European Urology

Spt4 Selectively Regulates the Expression of C9orf72 Sense and Antisense Mutant Transcripts

labAn expanded hexanucleotide repeat in C9orf72 causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (c9FTD/ALS). Therapeutics are being developed to target RNAs containing the expanded repeat sequence (GGGGCC); however, this approach is complicated by the presence of antisense strand transcription of expanded GGCCCC repeats. Mayo Clinic researchers found that targeting the transcription elongation factor Spt4 selectively decreased production of both sense and antisense expanded transcripts, as well as their translated dipeptide repeat products, and also mitigated degeneration in animal models. Knockdown of SUPT4H1, the human Spt4 ortholog, similarly decreased production of sense and antisense RNA foci, as well as dipeptide repeat proteins, in patient cells. Therapeutic targeting of a single factor to eliminate c9FTD/ALS pathological features offers advantages over approaches that require targeting sense and antisense repeats separately. The study was published in Science.

Published to PubMed This Week

brentwestra (@brentwestra)


Brent Westra is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. He leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing along with new media innovations. Brent has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011.