January 29th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Pharmacogenomics: A Primer

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

PGx 2

Pharmacogenomics. Try saying that fast three times in a row. That’s probably why all of us here at the Center for Individualized Medicine, or CIM as we commonly refer to it, probably just call it PGx.

Occasionally on the CIM blog, we like to take a step back from our updates on genomic biomarkers in pancreatic cancer and research studies to identify vascular risk factors in aging, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease to offer a primer on some of the basic concepts, programs and practices used at CIM and in the practice of genomic medicine. Whether you’re a patient, clinician or health care provider just getting interested in genomic medicine, these blogs [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Dr Richard Weinshilboum, IndividualizedMedicine, personalized medicine, PGx, pharmacogenomics, precision medicine

January 26th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Next-Generation Sequencing Settling Into the Laboratory

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

ngs panel

Thanks to next-generation sequencing, it’s now easier than ever to provide comprehensive genetic analysis to guide therapeutic decisions for patients with cancer, but it’s important to use resources wisely, says Linnea Baudhuin, Ph.D. Dr. Baudhuin is an associate professor of laboratory medicine and pathology at Mayo Medical School and co-director of the clinical genome sequencing and personalized genomics laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

For many laboratories today, next-generation sequencing is a test they send out, but it won’t always be. With new emerging technologies and platforms becoming more user-friendly, larger hospitals and health systems will bring the testing in-house. Mayo Medical Laboratories is one of the early adopters of next-generation sequencing.
[...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, DLMP, Dr Linnea Baudhuin, Mayo Medical Laboratories, MML, Next generation sequencing

January 22nd, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Genomic Rearrangement Drives Pancreatic Cancer

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Dr. George Vasmatzis

Dr. George Vasmatzis

Pancreatic cancer remains the fourth leading cause of cancer-associated deaths in the United States. While prognosis has improved for other major cancers thanks to early diagnosis, better therapies and a more comprehensive knowledge of genetic factors, death rates from pancreatic cancer continue to rise.

Roughly 90 percent of pancreatic cancers are ductal pancreatic adenocarcinomas (PDAC) that appear when patients are in their 70s. Only 6 percent survive five years after diagnosis. Currently, only 15–20 percent of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed early enough for patients to benefit from surgery. The majority of tumors have already spread to the surrounding tissues or distant organs.

According to George [...]

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Tags: biomarker, Biomarker Discovery Program, biomarkers, Cancer, center for individualized medicine, Dr George Vasmatzis, genomic medicine, NIH, pancreatic cancer

January 19th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

How Mayo Clinic’s Center for Individualized Medicine Is Impacting Patient Care

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

CE5FbtgXIAEuCvv.jpg largeBy Paldeep Atwal, M.B., Ch.B.

It’s been over a decade since the human genome was first sequenced. In that time, we have seen a great deal of progress take place as we head toward genomic medicine. But what does it actually look like, and what still needs to happen to get us there?

After the first human genome was sequenced in 2003 there was a great deal of anticipation and excitement. The vision was of a new era of “Genomic Medicine” where the complexities of a patient’s DNA would be used seamlessly and integrated with current medical treatment. However, there were no immediate or tangible benefits apparent, and while the media storm died [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Dr Paldeep Atwal, Genetic Counselor, Genome Sequencing, genomics, Individualized Medicine, individualized Medicine clinic, personalized medicine, precision medicine, whole genome sequencing

January 14th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Rise of the Microbiome

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Microbiomes image-full

You may love or hate all that happens in your gut, but understanding it will have a profound effect on your health. Mayo Clinic researchers in the Microbiome Program, one of the signature programs here at the Center for Individualized Medicine, are discovering that the human microbiome does much more for us — both good and bad — than we ever imagined.

Using genomic sequencing, we are discovering that communities of bacteria, known as the human microbiome, are more important to our health than we ever imagined. The number of human bacteria and their genetic material far outnumber human cells and genes, and we know that bacteria play an important role [...]

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Tags: c. dif, c. difficile, center for individualized medicine, Clostridium Difficile, Colon Cancer, Dr Heidi Nelson, Dr Purna Kashyap, fecal transplant, IBS, irritable bowel syndrome, microbiome, Microbiome Program, nicholas chia

January 12th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Awarded $5.3 Million Federal Grant to Study Vascular Risk Factors in Dementia

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Aging handsThe Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine and the Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine, two of the signature transformational centers at Mayo Clinic, are coming together in a major study on aging and dementia. Mayo Clinic’s Florida campus was recently awarded a $5.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify vascular risk factors in aging and dementia, and translate that knowledge into studying potential targets for treatment.

The grant is one of the first awarded as part of the National Alzheimer’s Project Act, which called for an aggressive and coordinated national Alzheimer’s disease plan. The first goal of the national plan [...]

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Tags: aging, Alzheimer’s disease, center for individualized medicine, Center for Regenerative Medicine, dementia, Dr Guojun Bu, Dr Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner, Dr Melissa Murray, IndividualizedMedicine, Mayo Clinic Brain Bank, National Alzheimer's Project Act, National Institutes of Health, NIH

January 8th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Foreseeing the Future of Vaccines

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Dr. Greg Poland

Dr. Gregory Poland

Is there a new “omics” coming to health care? Here at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine we have epigenomics and pharmacogenomics. We have clinomics, and faithful readers of this blog know we love discussing genomics. Now, doctors at Mayo Clinic are pioneering a new field of research called vaccinomics. Their hope is to be able to use gene testing to find out exactly who's at risk of getting the flu, who will benefit from the vaccine and who won't.

Since the first vaccine paved the way for the near-eradication of smallpox over 200 years ago, societies have [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, clinomics, Dr Greg Poland, epigenomics, Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group, pharmacogenomics, vaccinomics

January 5th, 2016 · Leave a Comment

Watching Over Patients With Angelman Syndrome

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Eileen Braun and her daughter, Kaitlin, who has Angelman syndrome. Photo used with permission by the family. Courtesy of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

Eileen Braun and her daughter, Kaitlin, who has Angelman syndrome. Photo used with permission by the family. Courtesy of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

The diagnostic odyssey of a patient with a rare disease has been described as making a journey through a maze, a journey of wrong turns, dead ends and false starts. Sometimes even a diagnosis provides no clear direction. As in the case of Stephanie Hays, whose son, Bo, was diagnosed by geneticists at Mayo Clinic with Angelman syndrome 14 years ago.

Hays found that there [...]

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Tags: Angelman syndrome, Angelman Syndrome Foundation, CGC, diagnostic odyssey, Dr Ralitza Gavrilova, genetic testing, Mayo Clinic, rare disease, Sarah Mets

December 29th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Delivering on the Promise of Precision Medicine: 2015 Year in Review

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Year in review 3

 

2015 was the year of precision medicine.

“Individualized medicine is already providing profound changes in how we treat patients,” said Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., the Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director of the Center for Individualized Medicine, as he opened the 2015 Individualizing Medicine Conference. “It is offering hope to people who had no hope, it is prolonging lives, and allowing people to live better, healthier lives than ever before. Now, we need to build on these early successes so that every cancer patient, every child with a rare disease, every elderly person with Alzheimer’s disease has the opportunity to lead a rich and fulfilling life.”

Tags: biobank, biomarkers, Breast Cancer, center for individualized medicine, Dr Keith Stewart, Genome Sequencing, Gianrico Farrugia, Individualized Medicine, diagnostic odyssey, Dr Aleksandar Sekulic, Dr J Craig Venter, Dr Konstantinos Lazaridis, Dr Richard Weinshilboum, Individualizing Medicine Conference 2015, Katherine Burbank, National Press Foundation, PGx, Pharmacogenetics, precision medicine

December 23rd, 2015 · 1 Comment

Whole Genome Sequencing

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

gene sequencing 3In the not-so-distant future, whole genome sequencing — determining your entire unique DNA makeup in the laboratory — will be as routine as X-rays and cholesterol testing. Whole genome sequencing provides the most comprehensive collection available of an individual's genetic variation.

Genomic information has been instrumental in identifying inherited disorders, characterizing the mutations that drive cancer progression, and tracking disease outbreaks. Rapidly dropping sequencing costs and the ability to produce large volumes of data with today’s sequencers make whole genome sequencing a powerful tool for genomics research. What once took 15 years and $3 billion to accomplish can now be done in a few days for a few thousand dollars. And with supercomputers able [...]

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Tags: biobank, center for individualized medicine, clinomics, Dr Keith Stewart, Genome Sequencing, Human Genome Project, Mayo Clinic, WGS, whole genome sequencing

December 21st, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Mayo Clinic Researchers Identify Potential Biomarkers for Bipolar I Disorder

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Biomarkers 2Biomarkers are molecular substances in the body that can be used to indicate health or disease. These biomarkers can be found in tissue, blood, urine and other body fluids. Biomarkers can lead to individualized diagnosis and treatment.

The Biomarker Discovery Program is one of the signature programs here at the Center for Individualized Medicine.  It is being used in diagnosis and treatment for a wide range of diseases, such as prostate and ovarian cancer, peripheral T-cell lymphoma, liver fibrosis, and mental health.  Biomarkers captures genetic information from cells and analyzes it, searching for genetic patterns to help physicians make more precise diagnoses and prescribe more effective, individualized treatments.

Recently, researchers from

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Tags: biomarker, biomarkers, bipolar, bipolar I disorder, center for individualized medicine, Dr Mark Frye

December 16th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Why Increased NIH Research Funding is Critical

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Dr. Gregory Gores

Dr. Gregory Gores

Under the federal spending bill, released early Wednesday, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive a $350 million increase for Alzheimer’s research funding in 2016.

“We applaud the agreement for the first increase in research funding for the NIH in over a decade. This significant act recognizes the importance of funding research and innovation in our nation,” says Gregory Gores, M.D., executive dean for Research at Mayo Clinic. “The increase in funding and commitment to research in areas such as precision medicine and Alzheimer’s disease would support discovery and translation to bring forward new treatments for our patients.”

An estimated 5.1 million Americans age [...]

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Tags: Alzheimer’s disease, center for individualized medicine, Dr Gregory Gores, Dr Keith Stewart, Dr Ronald Petersen, National Alzheimer's Project Act, NIH, Precision Medicine Initiative

December 15th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Melanoma Researchers at Mayo Clinic Say Odds Continually Improving for Patients

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

The nation has been buzzing recently over what sounds like miraculous news for former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The 91-year-old Carter announced he is cancer-free, just months after revealing he was battling malignant melanoma, which had spread.

In August, he had a cancerous mass removed from his liver. Four lesions were then found on his brain and were treated with radiation. Additionally, Carter was given a relatively new immunotherapy drug, called pembrolizumab.

Dr. Roxana Dronca

Dr. Roxana Dronca

Pembrolizumab is one of the first immunotherapy drugs. Instead of killing cancer cells, these drugs boost the immune system to do the job. The theory behind immunotherapy has been around for decades, but it is only in very recent [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Dr Roxana Dronca, Dr Svetomir Markovic, immunotherapy, Melanoma, Metastatic melanoma

December 11th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

CIM’s Katherine Burbank Receives ISONG’s Founders Award

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

KatieBurbankYoutubeNurses have been called the beating heart of our medical system by President Barack Obama. With advances in genetics and genomics being translated into practice every day, the demand is growing for nurses to bring their considerable skills and expertise to genomic medicine.

One genetic nurse who is doing that at an exemplary level is the Center for Individualized Medicine’s own Katherine Burbank, R.N. Burbank, who goes by Katie, recently received the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG) 2015 Founder Award of Excellence in Practice.

The ISONG Founders awards, established in 1996, is to honor individual ISONG members who have demonstrated excellence in genomic nursing education, research or service. Nominated by [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Founder Award, Genetic nursing, genetics, ISONG, Katherine Burbank, Katie Burbank

December 8th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Secondary Genetic Findings: Do You Want to Know?

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Biomedical-Ethics-Hi-ResGenomics is a field of medicine that is rapidly growing and developing. The details of a person’s genome may provide clues or sometimes direct answers that lead to treatment and improved care. As a result, this improved, individualized care is also changing the patient experience. Patients are faced with a wealth of information that appears intimidating, to say the least; genetic testing does not always provide clear answers, and can sometimes provide patients with secondary findings, or answers they were not expecting.

Richard Sharp, Ph.D., director of the Biomedical Ethics Program at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine, explains secondary findings from an ethical point of view in order to bring a [...]

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Tags: bioethics, biomedical ethics, Biomedical Ethics Program, Bob Nellis, center for individualized medicine, Discovery's Edge, Dr Gregory Gores, Dr Karl Nath, Dr Richard Sharp, genetic testing, Secondary findings

December 3rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D., Named Associate Director for the Center for Individualized Medicine, Arizona

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

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Dr. Aleksandar Sekulic

The Center for Individualized Medicine in Arizona will have a new associate director beginning January 1, 2016. Aleksandar Sekulic, M.D., Ph.D., has accepted the position, according to Keith Stewart, M.B., Ch.B., the Carlson and Nelson Endowed Director of the Center for Individualized Medicine. Dr. Sekulic succeeds Richard Caselli, M.D., who has been leading the center’s transition into the clinical practice for the past three years.

Dr. Sekulic serves on the Cancer Center Research Committee and is widely known for his genomic research in metastatic melanoma. An associate professor of dermatology, he was named in 2011 to the Stand Up To Cancer (SUTC) and Melanoma Research [...]

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Tags: Cancer, center for individualized medicine, Dr Aleksandar Sekulic, Dr Keith Stewart, Melanoma, Metastatic melanoma, Melanoma Research Alliance, Stand Up to Cancer

December 1st, 2015 · 2 Comments

Genetic Risk Information for Coronary Heart Disease Leads to Lower Bad Cholesterol

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

LDL CholesterolA group of researchers led by Mayo Clinic, and with substantive support from to the Center for Individualized Medicine, has discovered that disclosing genetic risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) results in lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol. The findings of the Myocardial Infarction Genes (MI-GENES) study were presented recently at the annual American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015 as a late-breaking clinical trial.

In this study, the investigators tested the hypothesis that incorporating genetic risk information into CHD risk estimates would lead to lowering of LDL levels. Participants were randomized to receive a CHD risk estimate that included genetic risk information versus an estimate based on [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, CHD, cholesterol, coronary heart disease, Dr Iftikhar Kullo, eMERGE, eMERGE Network, LDL bad cholesterol, MI-GENES

November 23rd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Celebrate Thanksgiving by Discussing Your Family’s Health History

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

ThanksgivingKnowing your family history is important for your future health. This Thanksgiving, the nation’s annual Family Health History Day, start a new tradition. Have a conversation about your family’s health history. What you learn might surprise you—and it may save a life.

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with family, share memories and make new ones. It’s a time for favorite foods and laughter and love. And it should be a time to start sharing and recording some of your family health history.

Knowing your family’s history is critical to understanding what health issues run in the family, from asthma and allergies to diabetes and cancer. When you visit the Mayo Clinic Center [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, Family History, genetic testing, National Family Health History Day, National Institutes of Health, Nationaly Family History Day, NIH, Thankgiviing

November 20th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Inspiring Hope

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

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Mayo Clinic will host a live broadcast of the grand opening of Angelman Syndrome Clinic on Monday, November 30, 2015, at noon CST. Please log in a few minutes before the start of the event.

A young girl with Angelm

A young girl with Angelman syndrome plays in the autumn leaves. Photo used with permission by the family. Courtesy of the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

Let’s call her Hope. She offers big hugs, a radiant smile, beautiful eyes and a gleeful laugh that infects all who encounter her. She loves to feed the ducks at the lake and belly laughs at the antics [...]

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Tags: Angelman syndrome, Angelman Syndrome Foundation, center for individualized medicine, CGC, Dr Ralitza Gavrilova, Marine Murphree, Mayo Clinic, Sarah Mets

November 16th, 2015 · 2 Comments

Diagnosing Rare Diseases Through Individualized Medicine

By JeffreyBriggs JeffreyBriggs

Maze-800x300

Many of the patients referred to Mayo Clinic’s Individualized Medicine Clinic have been on a diagnostic odyssey that can make navigating a maze seem simple. They have experienced a protracted and arduous journey of questions, uncertainties, and fear to find answers about rare medical conditions they suffer from.

For some people this frustrating and scary lack of diagnosis and care can go on for years. Twenty-five percent of patients on a diagnostic odyssey identified a gap of five to 30 years between getting their first symptoms and receiving a diagnosis. For Stacy Carlson, whose story we told here a few weeks ago, it took 36 years before Andrew [...]

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Tags: center for individualized medicine, diagnostic odyssey, Dr Andrew Engel, Dustin Bennett, Individualized Medicine, individualized Medicine clinic, precision medicine, rare disease, Stacy Carlson, whole genome sequencing