Week In Review — Sept. 5

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.

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New Advice for Vaccines to Stave Off Pneumonia 

People age 65 and older should get two separate vaccines to protect against pneumonia and other infections starting this fall, a change of decades-old advice, according to new health guidelines. An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently recommended that people get a second vaccine, called Prevnar 13, because of limitations with the older shot, called Pneumovax 23. Both vaccines, which are usually administered once in older adults, are designed to protect against infections of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, but they work in different ways. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Global Health Officials Warn That Window for Bringing Ebola Under Control is Closing Fast 

Leading international health officials said Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is accelerating and the window for getting it under control is closing… The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden, who returned Monday from a week-long trip to the countries hardest hit by the epidemic — Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea — said he was shocked by how rapidly the disease is spreading. Via Washington Post.

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CVS Stores Stop Selling All Tobacco Products

At a CVS store near Times Square, the shelves are notable for what they no longer display: cigarettes. Now the only smoking products to be found are those that could help customers quit. As of midnight on Tuesday, all 7,700 CVS locations nationwide will no longer sell tobacco products, fulfilling a pledge the company made in February, as it seeks to reposition itself as a health care destination. Via NY Times.

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Airline Crews May Be More Likely to Get Skin Cancer

Pilots and flight attendants may be at an increased risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer, suggests a new analysis. While the study cannot pinpoint why flight crews are at higher risk, the researchers suggest it could be the result of greater exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which causes damage to the DNA in skin cells, at high altitudes. Via Reuters.

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After Slow Growth, Experts Say, Health Spending Is Expected to Climb

Government experts on Wednesday predicted a rebound in national health care spending as expansions in coverage and improvements in the economy take hold after four years of exceptionally slow growth in the nation’s medical bills. The combined effects of the Affordable Care Act, faster economic growth and the aging of the population will fuel the growth of health spending this year and in the coming decade, according to a report by a team of nonpartisan economists and actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Via NY Times.

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Measles Shot Helps Eliminate Woman's Cancer

Stacy Erholtz battled cancer for 10 years. But now, she says her cancer is in remission after a massive dose of the measles vaccine. While her journey has been tough, her faith hasn't wavered. After returning from a taping a segment in Los Angeles with "The Doctors," Erholtz stopped by KARE 11 to chat about her journey. She said the show will highlight her treatment… Erholtz, 49, of Pequot Lakes, was one of two patients in a Mayo Clinic clinical trial last year using virotherapy.  Via Kare 11.

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Pulse on Health: Test Should Add Dollars for Mayo Clinic Research 

A new screening test for colorectal cancer has far-reaching implications for Mayo Clinic, where the test was invented. Cologuard, a product developed collaboratively with Exact Sciences Corp., alerts health providers to colorectal cancer's DNA and biomarkers. Via Post-Bulletin.

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Should States Require Doctors to Report Dense Breast Tissue to Catch Cancer?

Letters with mammogram results started going out from Mayo Clinic this month with information on tissue density. The response has been so mild that the clinic's director, Dr. Karthik Ghosh, wonders if women are reading beyond the first sentence indicating a negative test result. Via Chicago Tribune.

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Mayo, Advanced Biological Laboratories to Develop NGS Diagnostics

Mayo Medical Laboratories will collaborate with Advanced Biological Laboratories to develop a next-generation sequencing pipeline for laboratory-developed diagnostic tests. Under the terms of agreement, the Mayo Clinic Division of Clinical Microbiology will select the clinical samples on which the tests will be validated, while ABL will lead development of information technology. ABL is a Luxembourg-based medical data technology company that develops information technology and health solutions for patient management and sequencing data analysis. Via GenomeWeb.

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Low Use of Herpes Zoster Vaccine Raises Concerns

Despite the availability of the herpes zoster (shingles) vaccine, rates of vaccination remain relatively low. However, increasing vaccination rates for the virus may be an uphill battle, according to those on the ophthalmic frontlines who see patients with the ocular complications of this disease …“I encourage all patients over the age of 50 to get the vaccine,” said Dr. Liesegang, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL. Via Opthalmology Times.

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical 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 new kitten, and exploring new foods.