Week In Review — Dec. 12

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.


Breakthrough" Drug Shows Promise for ​Hodgkin Lymphoma

In a small new trial, a form of treatment based on the body's immune system appears to be helping patients with Hodgkin lymphoma for whom other treatments had failed. Hodgkin lymphoma -- a cancer of white blood cells called lymphocytes -- is one of the most common cancers in children and young adults in the United States, with about 10,000 new cases occurring each year. While current therapies are often successful in treating the disease, up to one-fourth of patients eventually suffer a relapse, experts say. Via CBS News.

Read article

Doctors No Match for Computers at Accurately Recording Patient Symptoms, Study Finds

Computer system was more effective than doctors at recording patient symptoms, highlighting the potential of computers to improve medical results, according to research by Cedars Sinai. The study evaluated the treatment of 75 patients at gastrointestinal clinics in Los Angeles. Patients first visited with doctors, who either typed or dictated patient symptoms and histories into an electronic health record system. The patients then self-reported symptoms on a website, which translated them into narratives. Via LA Times. 

Read article

Laughing Gas Could Treat Depression

Most people who have suffered from clinical depression will say they wish there were an instant cure. The creation of a pill like that is probably years away at best, but now a team of scientists think they've found a promising alternative: laughing gas. Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis say they've discovered that nitrous oxide -- a somewhat mild general anesthetic often used as a sedative in dental surgery -- may be an effective, rapid treatment for severe depression when a patient isn't helped by standard therapies such as antidepressant medications. Via CBS News.

Read article

Wellness At Work Often Comes With Strings Attached  

If you get health insurance at work, chances are you have some sort of wellness plan, too. But so far there's no real evidence as to whether these plans actually improve the health of employees. One thing we do know is that wellness is particularly popular with employers right now, as they seek ways to slow the rise of health spending. These initiatives can range from urging workers to use the stairs to requiring comprehensive health screenings. The 2014 survey of employers by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 98 percent of large employers and 73 percent of smaller employers offer at least one wellness program. Via NPR.

Read article

Flu Shot May Not Be Enough Protection This Season

"Get your flu shot." It's the most common health advice this time of year. Physicians and public health officials constantly stress the importance of protecting yourself from the seasonal flu, an illness that kills thousands of Americans every year. But now the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says this year's vaccine may not offer protection from a strain of the bug that's currently making the rounds. According a CDC health advisory released Wednesday, only 48 percent of flu virus samples taken through last month were closely related to this year's North American vaccine. Via CBS News.

Read article


Mayo Clinic Works To Develop Ovarian Cancer Vaccine

That’s why the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) spends most of their budget on funding research. WCCO’s Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield took a look inside the Mayo Clinic to see where some of that money goes. There are a lot of important things going on at this international hub for health. Inside one lab, Dr. Matthew Block is in charge of one of them. He works to “either reduce the curable rate or improve the cure rate or delay occupancies.” Via WCCO.

Read article

Mayo Seeks to Dominate with Data

The patients arrive at the Mayo Clinic from all over the world, thousands a day, each presenting a different medical challenge. Some have illnesses so rare that even medical journals don’t offer a time-tested treatment plan. Others bring a complicated combination of ailments — diabetes with heart failure and kidney disease — that offer conflicting treatment options… “What we’re trying to find out, if we can, is what does health care cost, and what of that spend really adds value to a patient’s outcome over time, especially with these high-impact diseases,” said Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. John Noseworthy. Additional stories: ‘Big data’ is changing American medical care, Timeline: A look back at key events in the history of the Mayo Clinic. Via Star Tribune.

Read article

Lab-on-a-Disc Device for Inexpensive Cancer Diagnosis

It’s the one word no one wants to hear escape from their doctor’s lips. But each year, 12.7 million people around the world do. The word is cancer.… What if there was a way to diagnose cancer quickly and easily, anywhere in the world? …“I think that could be transformative,” says Karen Anderson, an associate professor in Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and an oncologist at Mayo Clinic Arizona. Via AZO Nano.

Read article

Genotyping Errors Plague CYP2D6 Testing for Tamoxifen Therap

Clinical recommendations discouraging the use of CYP2D6 gene testing to guide tamoxifen therapy in breast cancer patients are based on studies with flawed methodology and should be reconsidered, according to the results of a Mayo Clinic study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute…"The potential benefit of CYP2D6 testing is obvious but has been difficult to establish. One major reason appears to be the lack of analytical validity," says Matthew Goetz, M.D., an oncologist at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and senior author of the study. Via Medical Xpress.

Read article

100th Anniversary of the ECG at Mayo Clinic

It’s a classic image for heart health, the zigzag lines of an ECG, or electrocardiogram. Even though Mayo Clinic conducts hundreds of thousands of ECGs each year, it is a test that’s never taken for granted. And, would you believe, the ECG is celebrating its 100th birthday at Mayo Clinic this year? Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

Read article


Dr. Paul Huddleston: Scoliosis-It's Not Just for Kids Anymore!


Call in: 507-282-1234

Twitter: #mayoclinicradio


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.