Week in Review: March 10

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

Alzheimer's: The Disease That Could Bankrupt Medicare

Every 66 seconds this year, an American will develop Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association annual report. By the year 2050, that number is expected to double to one every 33 seconds. That means, says the report, that by the middle of the century, over half of all Americans 65 or older will have Alzheimer's. Those startling statistics are mirrored worldwide. In 2016, the World Alzheimer's Report estimated that 47 million people around the globe had dementia. To put that in perspective, it's a bit more than the current population of Spain. Via CNN.

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Patients Demand the "Right To Try" Experimental Drugs, but Costs Can Be Steep

In the last three years, 33 U.S. states have passed laws aimed at helping dying people get easier access to experimental treatments that are still in the early stages of human testing. Supporters say these patients are just looking for the right to try these treatments. Such laws sound compassionate, but medical ethicists warn they pose worrisome risks to the health and finances of vulnerable patients. California's "right to try" law went into effect in January. It protects California doctors and hospitals who want to prescribe any medicine that has successfully made it through a Phase 1 drug trial. That's the first stage of human testing required by the Food and Drug Administration—usually, all the study participants are healthy in the small Phase 1 trial, and it focuses merely on a drug's general safety and questions about dosage, not its effectiveness. Via NPR.

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Bacon, Soda, and Too Few Nuts Tied to Big Portion of U.S. Deaths

Gorging on bacon, skimping on nuts? These are among food habits that new research links with deaths from heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. Overeating or not eating enough of the 10 foods and nutrients contributes to nearly half of U.S. deaths from these causes, the study suggests. “Good” foods that were under-eaten include: nuts and seeds; seafood rich in omega-3 fats including salmon and sardines; fruits and vegetables; and whole grains. “Bad” foods or nutrients that were over-eaten include salt and salty foods; processed meats including bacon, bologna, and hot dogs; red meat including steaks and hamburgers; and sugary drinks. Via STAT

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As Obesity Keeps Rising, More Americans Are Just Giving up

The proportion of American adults who were either overweight or obese has been growing steadily for decades, rising from about 53% a generation ago to roughly 66% more recently. But the share of these adults who had gone on a diet dropped during the same period, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. The study relied on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, an ongoing project of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the first survey period, between 1988 and 1994, about 56% of overweight or obese adults reported they had tried to lose weight in the last year. By the last survey period, between 2009 and 2014, the proportion of overweight or obese respondents reporting recent weight-loss attempts had declined to about 49%. Via Los Angeles Times.

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Is Soy OK for Breast Cancer Patients?

Eating soy-based foods does not appear to be harmful and may even benefit some women with breast cancer, new research shows. The study may help clear up confusion over whether soy products such as tofu, soy milk, edamame, tempeh, and miso—foods rich in estrogen-like chemicals—are OK to consume if you have breast cancer. Higher estrogen levels have been linked to the growth and spread of breast cancer in the most common form of the disease. Via CBS News.

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Mayo Clinic News

Mayo Clinic Announces $70.5 Million Expansion in Jacksonville

Mayo Clinic took another step toward becoming the "premier destination medical center in the Southeast" with an $70.5 million expansion plan. That follows an already active development cycle for Mayo Clinic's Florida Campus that's located in Jacksonville. The hospital has invested more than $300 million in expanding its hospital campus. That has allowed for the global hospital system to grow their employee base to 5,900 in Jacksonville, according to Mayo Clinic. “We are extremely grateful to the family of Dan and Brenda Davis for their generous and unyielding support for Mayo Clinic,” said Gianrico Farrugia, M.D., Vice President of Mayo Clinic and CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. Via Jacksonville Business Journal.

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Mayo Clinic Consolidates and Relocates Labs with Zero Downtime

Mayo Clinic’s Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (DLMP) has relocated and consolidated three laboratories—Endocrine, Toxicology, and Drug Monitoring, and the Proteomics Core Mass Spectrometry Development Lab—into a singular core mass spectrometry laboratory. The two-story, 65,000-gsf addition to the Superior Drive Support Center (SDSC) is 10 to 15 minutes from Mayo Clinic’s downtown Rochester, Minnesota, campus. “Expansion of SDSC improves service levels and extends DLMP’s capacity to align with market opportunities, and the move frees up much-needed research space for DLMP at its downtown Hilton Building facility,” explains DLMP Operations Coordinator Matthew Barthel. Via Tradeline.

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Study Identifies Best Exercise to Reverse Signs of Aging

In the new study, published in Cell Metabolism, researchers found HIIT in aerobic exercises like biking and walking revved cells’ ability to generate more proteins within mitochondria and their protein-building ribosomes—essentially stunting aging at a cellular level. "Based on everything we know, there's no substitute for these exercise programs when it comes to delaying the aging process," senior study author  K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., a medical doctor and diabetes researcher at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said in a news release. "These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine."Via FOX News.

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Mayo Clinic Researchers Find New Experimental Drug That Shrinks Tumors in Multiple Myeloma Patients

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that an experimental drug, LCL161, stimulates the immune system, leading to tumor shrinkage in patients affected by multiple myeloma. The findings are published in Nature Medicine. "The drug, LCL161, was initially developed to promote tumor death," says Marta Chesi, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic biochemist and lead author of the study of 25 Multiple Myeloma patients. "However, we found that the drug does not kill tumor cells directly. Rather, it makes them more visible to the immune system that recognizes them as foreigner invaders and eliminates them." Via News-medical.net.

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Mayo Clinic Named to Fortune’s "100 Best Companies to Work For" List

Fortune named Mayo Clinic to its 2017 list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” ranking it No. 84. Mayo was No. 86 in 2016. This is Mayo’s 14th consecutive year on the list, which recognizes companies that rate highly with staff. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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Gina Chiri-Osmond

Gina Chiri-Osmond is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She manages public relations and media outreach. Gina has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2011. Outside of work, Gina is going for gold in volleyball at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo . . . or at small-town summer festivals.