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UMN mourns loss of Lee Wattenberg, M.D., recognized as the “father of chemoprevention”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The faculty and staff of the University of Minnesota and the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota are mourning the loss of cancer pioneer Lee Wattenberg, M.D. Wattenberg died December 9 at the age of 92, and will be remembered for his immense contribution to the field of chemoprevention.

Wattenberg is credited with the creation of an entire field of research in the wake of his landmark 1966 paper in Cancer Research examining the effects of certain compounds on cancer development.  This led to a new emphasis on understanding cancer prevention, including the use of foods such as cabbage and broccoli to try to prevent cancer.

Study Suggests Unique Way to Prevent Infection after Kidney Transplant

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Viral infections are a leading cause of disease and death in patients receiving a kidney transplant. But a recent University of Minnesota study suggests a unique way to prevent the transmission of common viruses during kidney transplants.

Published in the journal Transplantation, the study tested whether inhibiting two common viruses in donors by giving them an antiviral drug would reduce the amount of virus transmitted by the donor kidney at transplantation.

University of Minnesota to offer new retinal prosthesis device in clinical trial

Monday, December 1, 2014

New visual prosthetic gives sight to patients with retinitis pigmentosa

A new device designed to restore some sight in patients blind due to retinitis pigmentosa is now being offered at the University of Minnesota. Designed by Second Sight Medical Products, ArgusII is the world’s first FDA approved artificial retina.

Known as a “retinal prosthesis system,” the Argus II is designed to partially restore vision in people with retinitis pigmentosa, a rare genetic condition severely damaging photoreceptors in the eye, causing blindness. 

New University of Minnesota analysis shows strong partnership between CPR and a common assist device may result in better outcomes for patients

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Research was presented at the annual meeting for the American Heart Association in Chicago

New analysis shows the use of an impedance threshold device (ITD) in partnership with quality CPR may lead to better outcomes for patients experiencing cardiac events. The analysis was presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions in Chicago on November 15, 2014. 

The analysis is a second look from the Resuscitation Outcomes Consortium (ROC) PRIMED Trial, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011. This new analysis was led by Demetris Yannopoulos, M.D., research director for interventional cardiology at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the medical director of the Minnesota Resuscitation Consortium. He is also the Robert K. Eddy Endowed Chair for Cardiovascular Resuscitation at the University of Minnesota.


University of Minnesota, Tufts University part of global workforce development against emerging pandemic threats

Monday, November 24, 2014

When a new pandemic threat like this year’s Ebola outbreak emerges, the importance of preventing and limiting disease spread becomes apparent. Well-trained global health professionals play a key role in preventing and responding to emerging zoonotic disease.

UMN research identifies new anti-bacterial coating for dental implants

Monday, November 10, 2014

University of Minnesota researchers have developed a novel coating for the titanium used in dental implants. The coating kills bacteria on contact and prevents biofilm buildup that can cause infection and implant failure. Researchers hope the coating could be used in prosthetics, medical implants and medical devices used in the body. The findings were published in PLOS ONE.

Two Minnesota research centers are part of national study to determine the best treatment for diabetes

Monday, November 3, 2014

Type 2 diabetes is a global epidemic. How to optimally use available drugs remains uncertain. In Minnesota alone, more than 300,000 people are estimated to have diabetes and that number continues to grow by 18,000 every year, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Also, given that the current estimated total costs due to diabetes in Minnesota exceed $3 billion, it is imperative that we spend our health care dollars effectively.
Fortunately, a number of new and existing medications are available to treat diabetes. However, despite the availability of these medications, doctors have little information to guide them to the best treatment option. The GRADE (Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes: A Comparative Effectiveness) Study, is looking for volunteers at the University of Minnesota and Park Nicollet International Diabetes Center (IDC) in Minneapolis, and is the first study that hopes to provide this critical information

Survival rates in pediatric umbilical cord transplants may indicate a new standard of care

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A new standard of care for children facing acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may be clear, following a multi-year study published in the latest edition of the New England Journal of Medicine

The research, led by John Wagner, Jr., M.D., director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation program at the University of Minnesota and a researcher in the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, compared outcomes in children with acute leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome who received transplants of either one or two units of partially matched cord blood. The study was conducted at multiple sites nationwide, between December 2006 and February 2012. Coordinating the study was the Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network (BMT CTN) in collaboration with the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Consortium and the Children’s Oncology Group.

While the study found similar survival rates in both arms of the study, survival was overall better than in prior reports.  This could create a new standard of care for pediatric patients for whom there is often an adequate single unit and adults for whom there is the need for a double unit should a single unit with an adequate number of blood forming stem cells may not exist.