Week in Review: May 17

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.


Industry News

Researchers Hope New Vaccine Could Improve Odds for Pancreatic Cancer

For the past decade, Dr. Elizabeth Jaffee of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins has been bringing cutting-edge technology to the fight. A vaccine that teaches the body's immune cells, called T-cells, to recognize and attack the cancer. "What it can do very efficiently is deliver the protein, the pancreatic cancer protein, to the immune system and say 'Hey T-cells,  recognize me,'" Jaffee said. Via CBS Health.

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Low-Dose Aspirin May Be Linked to Bleeding in the Skull, New Study Finds

For people without heart disease, a new study found taking low-dose aspirin is associated with an increased risk for bleeding within the skull.  Patients with a low body mass index or Asian backgrounds face the highest risk, according to the study published Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology. The report follows the American Heart Association's recommendation for adults older than 70 not to take regular low-dose aspirin to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The March guidelines followed a clinical trial concluding daily low doses of the medication could be linked to major hemorrhages and did not prolong life in healthy, elderly people. Via USA Today.

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Federal Judge Blocks New U.S. Policy for Distributing Livers for Transplant

A federal judge temporarily blocked a new policy for distributing scarce livers for transplant Wednesday, deciding that patients and hospitals in less-populated areas will suffer if the new rules remain in effect. The decision by U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg in Atlanta came just a day after the policy was implemented. On Monday, she had declined to intervene but had asked the government to voluntarily delay it until the Supreme Court decided a case on relevant issues in coming weeks. Via Washington Post.

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Mayo Clinic News

'Zombie Cells' Buildup in Your Body May Play Role in Aging

Call them zombie cells—they refuse to die. As they build up in your body, studies suggest, they promote aging and the conditions that come with it like osteoporosis and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers are studying drugs that can kill zombie cells and possibly treat the problems they bring. Basically the goal is to fight aging itself, which hopefully will in turn delay the appearance of age-related disease and disabilities as a group, says geriatrics specialist Dr. James Kirkland of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. That's in contrast to playing a "whack-a-mole game" of treating one disease only to see another spring up, he said. Via Associated Press.

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Mayo Clinic Expands Deeper into Worksite Care with New Partner

The Mayo Clinic is partnering with Premise Health to improve health care for workers at large companies who already receive Premise’s primary care, occupational health, and pharmacy services at its wellness centers. Premise is focused on primary care and wellness services to self-insured employers so the arrangement with Mayo will add the noted clinic’s proprietary digital products and related services for more accurate diagnosis and treatment, particularly when it comes to more specialized care. Via Forbes.

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Home-Based Heart Rehab May Help Patients Who Can't Get to Clinics

“Patients who experience a cardiac event (such as a heart attack or heart surgery), should participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program,” said lead author of the statement Dr. Randal Thomas, medical director of the cardiac rehab program at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. “Such programs help patients recover better, feel healthier, and live longer,” Thomas said by email. “Patients who are not able to participate in a center-based cardiac rehabilitation program due to distance, cost, or other barriers, should discuss with their health care provider the possibility of participating in a home-based cardiac rehabilitation program.” Via Reuters.

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Suzanne R. Ferguson

Suzanne Ferguson is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories and has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2014. Outside of work, Suzanne can be found traveling, reading and spending time with her family.