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.
Pfizer had clues its blockbuster drug could prevent Alzheimer’s. Why didn’t it tell the world?
The results were from an analysis of hundreds of thousands of insurance claims. Verifying that the drug would actually have that effect in people would require a costly clinical trial—and after several years of internal discussion, Pfizer opted against further investigation and chose not to make the data public, the company confirmed. Researchers in the company’s division of inflammation and immunology urged Pfizer to conduct a clinical trial on thousands of patients, which they estimated would cost $80 million, to see if the signal contained in the data was real, according to an internal company document obtained by The Washington Post. Via The Washington Post.
White meat is just as bad for you as red beef when it comes to your cholesterol level, study says
The red meat or white meat debate is a draw: Eating white meat, such as poultry, will have an identical effect on your cholesterol level as eating red beef, new research indicates. The long-held belief that eating white meat is less harmful for your heart may still hold true, because there may be other effects from eating red meat that contribute to cardiovascular disease, said the University of California, San Francisco researchers. This needs to be explored in more detail, they added. Non-meat proteins such as vegetables, dairy, and legumes, including beans, show the best cholesterol benefit, according to the new study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Via CNN.
Mayo Clinic News
Mayo Clinic plans research building with $32 million gift
Mayo Clinic plans to use a $32 million philanthropic gift to boost research in Rochester, including construction of a four-story building. The money comes from the New York-based Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, which is named for two former Mayo Clinic patients. Stephen Kellen, who was chief executive of an investment firm based in New York, and his wife represent the first of four generations in their family who have received care at Mayo, according to a news release issued this week by the clinic. Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, the Mayo Clinic chief executive, said in a statement: "This remarkable gift will allow us to meet a critical need for research space on our Rochester campus." Via Star Tribune.
A tick gave a toddler a rare and deadly disease. Here’s what his parents want you to know.
Bobbi Pritt, a physician and co-director of Vector-Borne Diseases Lab Services at Mayo Clinic, said that although Rocky Mountain spotted fever is considered low-risk, it can be rapidly fatal. In fact, she said, when patients have symptoms consistent with the disease, doctors will typically start treatment without waiting for lab results. Pritt said that the treatment, an antibiotic called doxycycline, is found to be effective when the disease is diagnosed early. Via The Washington Post.
Companies report progress on blood tests to detect cancer
It’s not clear what evidence the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would require to consider for approval. Sometimes tests can be sold through looser lab accreditation pathways rather than by seeking FDA approval. Grail and Thrive already have larger studies underway. “We’re not going to diagnose every cancer,” but may not need to because so many are not found now until it’s too late for effective treatment, said Dr. Minetta Liu, a Mayo Clinic cancer specialist who is presenting Grail’s results at the cancer conference. Via Associated Press.