Jan 172007
 
Authors: Anica Wong

The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical facility based in Rochester, Minn., and CSU have drawn up a multi-year research agreement to strengthen the oncology and infectious disease research done at both facilities.

“The purpose of the agreement is to help both (facilities) to push new therapies into the marketplace and to patients faster,” said Tony Frank, provost and senior vice president at CSU.

The agreement was signed on Sept. 11 and will last for a couple of years, with renewal possibilities.

The Animal Cancer Center, a part of the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), has trained more medical and veterinary oncologists than any other veterinary institute in the world, according to a CSU press release.

This center is one of the main focuses of this recent agreement.

“Many of the spontaneous cancers in animals have ties to human cancer,” said Dr. Ron Marler, associate director for research/research alliances for Mayo Clinic, Ariz.

In this way, biomedical research done at the Animal Cancer Center can directly translate into finding cures and other therapies for human cancer, which can benefit the Mayo Clinic.

“It’s a very natural transition,” Marler said of the transition from cures for animal cancer to cures for human cancer.

Already, professionals at the Animal Cancer Center are finding ways to help both humans and animals who have cancer.

Dr. Nicole Ehrhart, a veterinarian and cancer expert at CSU, is developing a way for doctors to deliver intravenous radiation drugs to patients with bone cancer without causing damage to healthy cells and organs.

Another veterinarian at the VTH is working on a device that will help humans with bone cancer avoid limb amputations. Dr. Simon Turner’s bone replacement device will replace segments of bones in a patient where they have little bone available to place a device.

An additional facet of this collaboration is the ability to make more and more discoveries in the infectious diseases realm, especially here at CSU.

“This is an added attraction for infectious diseases,” Frank added.

And what should people in the program, as well as the public, see result from this agreement?

“The longer term issues would be drugs picked up by the pharmaceutical industry either for people or animals,” Frank said.

This agreement was built from a personal relationship between Marler and Frank, who have long been friends and colleagues. They kept in contact with each other and this agreement became the result of their friendship.

The Mayo Clinic is widely known for its groundbreaking research as well as their patient care in complex medical problems.

Frank believes that this collaboration will be a win-win for both groups.

“This is a great agreement for our institution,” Frank said.

Staff Writer Anica Wong can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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-CSU will be only the second university to collaborate with Mayo Clinic on research and education initiatives at its Scottsdale, Ariz., campus.

-Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated not-for-profit group practice in the world.

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