February 24th, 2017
Mayo Clinic in the News is a weekly highlights summary of major media coverage. If you would like to be added to the weekly distribution list, send a note to Emily Blahnik with this subject line: SUBSCRIBE to Mayo Clinic in the News.
AP Exclusive: Twin tragedies give survivor a new face
by Sharon Cohen
He'd been waiting for this day, and when his doctor handed him the mirror, Andy Sandness stared at his image and absorbed the enormity of the moment: He had a new face, one that had belonged to another man. His father and his brother, joined by several doctors and nurses at Mayo Clinic, watched as he studied his swollen features. He was just starting to heal from one of the rarest surgeries in the world — a face transplant, the first at the medical center. He had the nose, cheeks, mouth, lips, jaw, chin, even the teeth of his donor. Resting in his hospital bed, he still couldn't speak clearly, but he had something to say. He scrawled four words in a spiral notebook: "Far exceeded my expectations," he wrote, handing it to Dr. Samir Mardini, who read the message to the group.
Reach: The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative, owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members. News collected by the AP is published and republished by newspaper and broadcast outlets worldwide.
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Context: A multidisciplinary team of surgeons, physicians and other health professionals recently completed a near-total face transplant on a Wyoming man on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus. The extensive, life-changing surgery will improve the patient’s ability to chew, swallow, speak, breathe and smell. The recipient, Andrew Sandness, is a 32-year-old man from eastern Wyoming whose face was devastated by a gunshot wound at the age of 21. He is doing well. “I am absolutely amazed at the outcome so far,” says Sandness. “I am now able to chew and eat normal food, and the nerve sensation is slowly improving, too. My confidence has improved, and I’m feeling great ― and grateful. I am so thankful to my donor and the donor’s family, and to all of the people who have supported me throughout this process.” For more information on the face transplant, the following segments are available on Mayo Clinic News Network:
Contact: Ginger Plumbo
Mayo researcher Abba Zubai is sending stem cells for study on the International Space Station
by Charlie Patton
As a boy growing up in Nigeria, Abba Zubair dreamed of becoming an astronaut. But as he prepared to apply to college, an advisor told him to find a different path. “He said it may be a long time before Nigeria sends rockets and astronauts into space, so I should consider something more practical,” Zubair saud. He decided to become a physician, and is currently the medical and scientific director of the Cell Therapy Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. And while he’ll almost certainly never get to make a journey outside the Earth’s atmosphere himself, if the weather stays good Saturday he’ll be sending a payload into space.
Context: Consider it one physician’s giant leap for mankind. Today, the latest rocket launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, included a payload of several samples of donated adult stem cells from a research laboratory at Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus. The launch by SpaceX, an American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, is part of NASA’s commercial resupply missions to the International Space Station. The biological cells come from the laboratory of Abba Zubair, M.D., Ph.D., who says he has eagerly awaited the launch following several delays over the past couple of years. Dr. Zubair, who specializes in cellular treatments for disease and regenerative medicine, hopes to find out how the stem cells hold up in space. He says he’s eager to know whether these special cells, which are derived from the body’s bone marrow, can be more quickly mass-produced in microgravity and used to treat strokes. Microgravity is the condition in which people or objects appear to be weightless. The effects of microgravity can be seen when astronauts and objects float in space. Microgravity refers to the condition where gravity seems to be very small. More information can be found on Mayo Clinic News Network.
Contact: Kevin Punsky
Can't sleep? When is it time to seek professional help
by Mary Bowerman
It’s no secret that Americans aren’t getting enough sleep. For those who are self-medicating or tossing and turning, it may be time to look at your sleeping habits once and for all, according to Timothy Morgenthaler, co-director of Mayo’s Center for Sleep Medicine in Rochester. "I think it's becoming increasingly clear that sleep is a vital component of health; for many years we've been aware of nutrition and exercise, and I think we now realize that sleep is very closely entwined with overall health," Morgenthaler said.
Contact: Sharon Theimer
Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup
by Pat Evans
New findings about America’s heart health awareness, opinions, and behaviors have been uncovered as part of the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup, which first launched in January 2016 and provides a quick pulse on consumer health opinions and behaviors at multiple times throughout the year. “The Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup helps us to better understand the health knowledge and practices of all Americans, beyond the patients that walk through our doors,” says John Wald, M.D., Medical Director for Public Affairs at Mayo Clinic.
Reach: KARE-TV is the NBC affiliate serving the Minneapolis-Saint Paul market.
Context: A new survey by Mayo Clinic revealed that more than two-thirds of African-Americans are concerned about their heart health (71 percent), which is significantly more than Caucasian (41 percent) or Hispanic (37 percent) respondents. Respondents from the South (51 percent) were also significantly more likely to express concern than those in the Northeast (39 percent) or West (35 percent). These findings were uncovered as part of the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup, which first launched in January 2016 and provides a quick pulse on consumer health opinions and behaviors at multiple times throughout the year. More information can be found on Mayo Clinic News Network.
Contact: Kelly Reller
FOX 13 Tampa Bay
Vaccine could prevent breast, ovarian, lung cancer
by Dr. Joette Giovinco
It's a dream many parents would welcome for their children: a vaccine that could prevent breast, ovarian and some lung cancers. It's also the dream of immunology professor Dr. Keith Knutson. "The hope is we can develop vaccines before the development of cancer much in the way that we use a polio vaccine or a flu vaccine," Dr. Knutson tells us in in his Mayo Clinic Jacksonville laboratory.
Reach: Fox 13 is the Fox affiliate in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Context: Researchers on Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus have been awarded a $13.3 million, five-year federal grant to test a vaccine designed to prevent the recurrence of triple-negative breast cancer, a subset of breast cancer for which there are no targeted therapies. The grant, the Breakthrough Award from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program, will fund a national, phase II clinical trial testing the ability of a folate receptor alpha vaccine to prevent recurrence of this aggressive cancer following initial treatment. More information, including a video interview with Dr. Knutson, can be found on Mayo Clinic News Network.
Contact: Paul Scotti
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