Survival rates of anorexia sufferers, non-sufferers differ little

A long-term study of patients in Rochester, Minn., with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa found that their survival rates did not differ from the expected survival rates of others of the same age and sex. The results, published in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, add to the knowledge of anorexia nervosa and point to other areas that need greater study from researchers. “Although our data suggest that overall mortality is not increased among community patients with anorexia nervosa in general, these findings should not lead to complacency in clinical practice because deaths do occur,” says L. Joseph Melton, III, M.D., Mayo Clinic epidemiologist and an author of the report.

Thalidomide for multiple myeloma patients may lengthen survival

Nearly one-third of patients with advanced multiple myeloma who had failed current standard therapy of chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation responded to thalidomide for a median duration of nearly one year in a Mayo Clinic study of the effects of thalidomide on myeloma. The findings are reported in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.
Many studies in the last three years have determined that thalidomide is effective in the treatment of multiple myeloma, following the initial report by researchers at the University of Arkansas. However, information is limited on how long thalidomide therapy works and on survival rates with such therapy.

Photo therapy a success in esophageal cancer study

Gastroenterologists at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., report photodynamic therapy (PDT) appears to destroy the abnormal tissue of Barrett’s esophagus as well as superficial esophageal cancer. Here’s how PDT works. Patients are given an injection of a photosensitizing drug called porfimer sodium (Photofrin). Cells in the body absorb this drug. Normal cells get rid of it, but the drug tends to collect in premalignant and malignant cells. Two days after the injection of Photofrin, physicians insert and endoscope into the sedated patient’s esophagus. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a miniature camera on its tip. Physicians deliver a specific wavelength of red laser light through the endoscope to the targeted cells. The laser light destroys the Photofrin-containing cells. Normal esophageal cells grow back in their place.

No Difference Between Ionized Bracelet and Placebo for Pain Relief

Researchers from the Mayo Clinic say that wearing ionized bracelets for the treatment of muscle and joint pain is no more effective than wearing placebo bracelets. Authors of the published study randomly assigned 305 participants to wear an ionized bracelet for 28 days and another 305 participants to wear a placebo bracelet for the same duration. The study volunteers were men and women 18 and older who had self-reported musculoskeletal pain at the beginning of the study. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew which volunteers wore an ionized bracelet and which wore a placebo bracelet. Bracelets were worn according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Both types of bracelets were identical and were supplied by the manufacturer, QT, Inc.