Week in Review: Jan. 1

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 Medical Laboratories news, and upcoming events.


Industry News

Year in Review: Top 10 Health Issues of 2015

It was a big year for health news. Bad news—from outbreaks of the measles and foodborne illnesses to skyrocketing drug prices—was mixed with glimmers of hope and the seemingly impossible, including using the body’s immune system to fight cancer and research to slow biological aging. Here is a roundup of some of the top-10 health issues of the past year. 1. Drug prices, 2. Cancer immunotherapy, 3. Vaccinations, 4. Cancer screening, 5. Allergies, 6. Foodborne illness, 7. What’s in your age, 8. Perils of meat, 9. Preventing heart disease, 10. Dr. Tech. Via Wall Street Journal.

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U.S. Patients Get Higher Radiation Doses in Some Heart Tests

Compared to patients in other countries, the typical U.S. patient is more often exposed to excessive radiation during myocardial perfusion imaging, a new study suggests. Myocardial perfusion imaging (also called a nuclear stress test) is performed on millions of people a year in the U.S. alone to help diagnose and treat coronary artery disease. A typical patient in the U.S. received a 20% higher radiation dose than someone getting this test outside the U.S., in part because American labs were less likely to adhere to recommended dosing guidelines, researchers report in JAMA Internal MedicineVia Reuters. 

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Gene Editing Tool Hailed As a Breakthrough, And it Really is One

Every once in a while a technology comes along that completely alters the way scientists do their work. It's hard to imagine astronomy without a telescope or high energy physics without an accelerator. From here on in, it's going to be impossible to imagine biology without CRISPR-Cas9. Simply put, CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to make specific changes to specific genes in living cells. Such a thing was possible in the past using techniques called zinc finger nucleases and Talens. But those techniques were cumbersome and weren't widely adopted. Via NPR Health.

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New Norovirus Strain Found Amid Recent Outbreaks

The new year may be a big one for the norovirus after numerous outbreaks have infected hundreds across the United States, including one outbreak found with a new strain of the virus, which the CDC warns can increase infections by 50 percent. The Minnesota Department of Health announced that it found the new norovirus strain in connection with an outbreak earlier this week. Via CBS News.

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Doctors Look to Prevent Abuse in Midst of Opioid Epidemic  

The U.S. is in the grips of a prescription drug epidemic, fueled in part by an explosion in opioid prescriptions over the past several decades. Roughly half of those prescriptions are written by primary care doctors. Via NPR.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic's Phoenix Proton Center to Open in March

Arizona's first proton therapy facility — the new $182 million center set to open on the famed Mayo Clinic campus in Phoenix — is inching ever closer to becoming operational. Via DotMed.

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Familial Hypercholesterolemia Associated with High Risk for Aortic Valve Calcification

A new study highlights a high prevalence and large extent of aortic valve calcification in patients with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Aortic valve calcification was defined as calcium at the aortic valve leaflets. Calcium levels were measured by Agatston units. The researchers also measured coronary artery calcification and LDL receptor mutation status. Via Cardiology Today.

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Dr. David Dodick of the Mayo Clinic Talks Concussions in Sports

The issue of concussions in sports, or concussions in general has never been a hotter topic - fueled by some high profile tragedies in the NFL. Joining from the Mayo Clinic facility in Phoenix was Dr. David Dodick - Medical Director of the Headache Program and the Sports Neurology and Concussion Program. Via Fox 11.

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Age of Antibody Therapeutics Dawns for Multiple Myeloma 

A flurry of activity by the FDA in November last year saw the approval of the first two therapeutic antibodies for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma: Janssen's daratumumab, and Bristol-Myers Squibb's elotuzumab. The green light provides access to two long-awaited new classes of agent that can be combined with current treatment regimens. “There's a real excitement in the field that we have the tools now to at least test the possibility that [multiple myeloma] might be cured,” says Vincent Rajkumar, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic, who was not involved in the development of the antibodies. Via Nature.

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2015: Here Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

At Mayo Clinic, we are fortunate to work with patients from around the world to help them lead a healthier and happier life. And, we are also very lucky to be able to share some of the extraordinary stories of people whose life we've touched and in return, touched ours and others. We've put together some of our favorite stories of the 2015 as well as some of the ones you the viewer have enjoyed. Via Mayo Clinic News Network. 

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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.