February 20, 2020

The healing power of fruit flies

By Karl Oestreich

by Brianna Cook

From clinical trials to becoming cancer-free, only to get it again; Teri has been through it all. Now she’s getting maintenance treatment at Mayo Clinic. However, as if cancer and the chemotherapy weren’t enough to go through, Teri also has to deal with a side effect of her cancer drugs; peripheral neuropathy, or nerve damage. “I don’t have any feeling in the tips of my fingers so I can’t do things that require sort of that small movement. I can’t thread a needle anymore. I can’t manipulate certain things. In my feet, I have a difficult time walking great differences,” said Teri. She’s not alone. According to Mayo Clinic researchers, about 30% of people who receive certain platinum-based cancer drugs get nerve damage. For about half of them; it’s permanent. “In a quarter to a third of them, it’s more disabling than the cancer was originally,” said Dr. Anthony Windebank. He’s a Mayo Clinic neurologist and is in charge of a research lab. He and his team are working to fix that side effect. However, it’s how they’re fixing it that might seem a bit unusual.

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Reach: KAAL is owned by Hubbard Broadcasting Inc., which owns all ABC Affiliates in Minnesota including KSTP in Minneapolis-St. Paul and WDIO in Duluth. KAAL, which operates from Austin, also has ABC satellite stations in Alexandria and Redwood Falls. KAAL serves Southeast Minnesota and Northeast Iowa.

Context: Anthony Windebank, M.D. is a Mayo Clinic neurologist. Dr. Windebank's laboratory collaborates with clinicians and researchers in the departments of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Physiology and Biomechanical Engineering, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center.

Contacts: Sara Tiner, Heather Carlson Kehren

Tags: cancer drugs, Dr. Anthony Windebank, fruit flies, KAAL TV, nerve damage, Uncategorized

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