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Mayo Clinic Highlights
2002 Highlights

Patient care

  • Mayo Clinic's designation as a comprehensive cancer center in Rochester, Minn., was extended to include Mayo Clinic locations in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jacksonville, Fla. Mayo Clinic is the first multi-center clinic in the United States to receive comprehensive cancer center designation by the Nation Cancer Institute for its entire cancer program.
  • Transplant surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville performed a rare four-organ transplant. The patient was only the fourth person in the United States to receive a transplant of the heart, two lungs and liver. One of the previous quadruple transplants was preformed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Earlier in 2002, the first combined heart and lung transplant at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville was performed.
  • Researchers at Mayo Clinic in Rochester developed a new imaging test for diagnosing breast cancer. The new test, magnetic resonance (MR) elastography, uses a combination of sound waves and MRI to detect breast tumors. IN the future, this could mean earlier and more reliable diagnosis of breast cancer.
  • Surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Rochester began using robotic "hands" to perform complex laparoscopic surgery. This minimally invasive technology, called the da Vinci system, enhances a surgeon's skills and often results in a faster recovery time for patients. It was approved in 2001 and now is available in only a handful of medical centers.
  • Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale became one of seven locations worldwide with a new mobile cancer radiation technology, called the Mobetron, used for patient with advanced colorectal, gynecologic and renal cancers. The technology is one of the world's most advanced and effective forms of cancer-fighting radiation therapy.
  • Mayo Clinic in Rochester participated in a National Eye Institute study on using eye drops vs. a patch for children with amblyopia, or lazy eye. This study found that atropine eye drops given once a day to treat lazy eye -- the most common cause of visual impairment in children -- work as well as the standard treatment of patching one eye.
  • Mayo Clinic physicians in Rochester found that a risky heart-rhythm disturbance called atrial fibrillation is common in patients with leaky mitral valves. The study showed that repairing the valve surgically should be addressed promptly in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • Gastroenterologists at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville reported that photodynamic therapy appears to destroy the abnormal tissue of Barrett's esophagus as well as superficial esophageal cancer. At the time of the clinical study, 48 patients were treated with photodynamic therapy.
  • Surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale performed their 100th liver transplant in April 2002. The liver transplantation program in Scottsdale began in 1999.
  • A clinical study at Mayo Clinic in Rochester showed that cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may help patients with heart valve disease avoid surgery. The findings could lead to the first non surgical treatment for aortic stenosis.
  • Surgeons at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville began using a surgical procedure to salvage limbs that might otherwise be amputated. Surgeons remove the section of disease, damaged or dead bone, and then fill the space with a section of living bone. The procedure, called free vascularized fibular grafting, also is used to reconstruct bone at the hip joint that has lost its blood supply.
  • In June 2002, Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale celebrated 15 years of providing patient care, research and education in Arizona. Since 1987, more than 600,000 patients from around the world have traveled to the clinic for care.


  • Mayo Clinic celebrated a milestone of biomedical research with the opening of the Mayo Proteomics Research Center in Rochester. The center focuses on the role that proteins play in directing cellular behavior and is one of only a dozen such centers worldwide.
  • An international clinical study led by researchers at Mayo Clinic showed that radio-frequency ablation significantly reduces pain and enhances quality of life for patients whose cancer has spread to the bone. The study led to the Food and Drug Administration approval of this treatment in some cancer patients.
  • Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale joined three other prominent research institutes to establish the Arizona Parkinson's Disease Center. The center will intensify efforts to find new treatments that will increase the survival and quality of life for patients with Parkinson's disease.
  • Mayo Clinic researchers found that the oral combination of the drugs thalidomide and dexamethasone provides treatment benefits equal to or better than chemotherapy for patients who are newly diagnosed with multiple myeloma.
  • Mayo Clinic researchers found a new clue in the search for a way to stop the tissue damage that occurs in multiple sclerosis (MS) or related diseases of the central nervous system. This was a first-ever finding of the link between an enzyme that may damage tissue and the debilitation that MS patients experience.
  • Molecular medicine researchers at Mayo developed a "cancer snitch," a genetically engineered, trackable virus that can keep doctors informed about the progress of viral treatment inside a tumor.
  • Researchers at Mayo Clinic developed a DNA-based test that can rapidly detect tiny amounts of the deadly smallpox virus. The test has potential to alert local public health officials quickly in the event of a bioterrorism attack involving smallpox, and to more rapidly determine how far the virus has spread.
  • Mayo Clinic scientists developed a new, more accurate test for strep A that gives final, confirmed results within eight hours -- much more quickly than previous rapid antigen/culture method. The new test will enable health-care providers to prescribe antibiotics in a more timely and accurate manner.
  • A Mayo Clinic study revealed that Prozac, a medication often prescribed for treating depression, can safely and significantly relieve hot flashes in women who have been treated for breast cancer.
  • Genomic medicine has helped Mayo Clinic researchers find a renewed use for a test once deemed ineffective in detecting a genetic cardiac condition sometimes cited as the cause of previously unexplained sudden deaths. The test is used to determine if patients are at risk of long QT syndrome, the first genetically defined type of arrhythmia to be understood at the molecular level.
  • Researchers conducting a Mayo Clinic-led study found that a new high-definition technology that involves measurement of the heat patterns created by the face accurately detected lying in more than 80 percent of cases studied. The new high-definition technology can significantly assist authorities in detecting deception.


  • Mayo Medical School celebrated its 30th anniversary in October 2002. The school enrolls a select class of 42 medical students each year, chosen from more than 2,500 applicants.
  • Journalists, physicians, government officials, public relations professionals, patients and others came together for Mayo Clinic's National Conference on Medicine and the Media. Attendees discussed how medical news is shared in the media in hopes of identifying ways to more effectively serve the public.
  • Mayo Clinic hosted Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel for the annual Occidental Petroleum Nobel Laureate lectureship held in Rochester. Professor Wiesel, a holocaust survivor, human rights activist and scholar received the Nobel Peace in 1986. The lectureship was established through an endowment from Occidental Petroleum Corporation to Mayo Graduate School to provide a rich educational opportunity for Mayo Clinic staff, students, educators and members of the community.
  • Three Mayo Medical School students were selected to participate in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholars program at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Md. Only 60 medical students from all United States medical schools are offered positions in this prestigious research opportunity.
  • Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale launched the MERIT Center (Mayo Clinic Scottsdale Evidence-Based Clinical Practice, Research, Informatics and Training Center). The center's curriculum provides staff members, medical residents and fellows with tools and methodologies to apply existing clinical information to medical practice to enhance patient care.

Honors and achievements

  • Mayo Clinic nurses in Rochester received the prestigious Magnet Award for Excellence in Nursing Services, the highest level of national and international recognition accorded to organized nursing services. The award is given by the American Nurses Association's American Nurses Credentialing Center. Mayo Clinic's award is re-designation of its original award, meaning it has continued to meet or exceed Magnet Award criteria.
  • Lake City Medical Center -- part of Mayo Health System -- in Lake City, Minn., was selected as one of four national recipients of the 2002 American Medical Group Association Acclaim Award for efforts in preventive care screening, depression care and diabetes care.
  • For the fourth consecutive year, Mayo Clinic Hospital was named the number one choice hospitals in the metropolitan Phoenix area. The award is based on the results of a comprehensive independent consumer research study that is conducted annually.
  • Mayo Clinic's health information Web site,, was identified as consumers' number one-ranked health site in a recent Web site credibility research study. Experts ranked number two of the 10 health information sites analyzed, second only to the National Institutes of Health site.
  • Mayo One and Mayo MedAir, Mayo Clinic's emergency helicopter and air ambulance service, were named the air medical industry's program of the year. The award is presented by the Association of Air Medical Services, which serves providers of air and surface medical transport systems throughout the world.
  • Mayo Clinic released a new book, The Mayo Brothers' Heritage: Quotes and Pictures which highlights the teachings and wisdom of William J. Mayo, M.D., and Charles H. Mayo, M.D., founders of Mayo Clinic.
  • Mayo Clinic and IBM announced an agreement to jointly develop an information system designed to give Mayo Clinic investigators access to information that can help them identify potential clinical trial participants faster. When completed, the system could enable Mayo Clinic's medical staff to quickly draw meaning from a wealth of medical data to support medical treatments.
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