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Issue highlights
Massey earns gold seal for quality of palliative care
Collaboration yields new treatments and funding
How volunteers can collaborate with Massey
Upcoming events

For a full listing of Massey events, visit the online calendar.
HDL, Inc. Massey Challenge


For the eighth year, Massey is the official charitable partner of the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k presented by Martin's. Join family, friends and colleagues on April 13, 2013, as they run or walk to raise funds for cancer research at Massey. Sign up today.


More information


Thursday, Jan. 31
Learning and practicing mindfulness: a free overview of tai chi and qigong


Join Jo Lynne Robins, Ph.D., for a free class on mindfulness. Learn about tai chi and qigong meditation techniques designed to reduce stress and to improve health.


More information


Tuesday, Feb. 5
18th Annual Women & Wellness Forum Series


Continuing a tradition of bringing powerful, inspirational speakers to the community, the 2013 Women & Wellness Forum presents Lee Woodruff.


Wife of ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, who sustained a critical brain injury in Iraq, Lee Woodruff is the author of "In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing" and "Perfectly Imperfect." She conveys a message of hope and courage, tempered by an understanding that we're all fighting our own battles.


More information


Tuesday, Feb. 12
The annual Capitol Square Basketball Classic

It's the Governor's office versus the lobbyists and the House versus the Senate. It's fun for all and benefits Massey Cancer Center.

More information.  


Tuesday, Mar. 26
Palliative care: Easing suffering from serious illness

Massey's Egidio Del Fabbro, M.D., will discuss how palliative care can relieve pain and symptoms and ensure quality of life for individuals and their families facing severe or chronic illness.  


More information


Issue: 1
February 2013

Are healthier habits and weight loss among your new year's resolutions this year? Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent some cancers and their recurrence.  Obesity is linked to increased risk of cancers of the esophagus, breast, endometrium (the lining of the uterus), colon, rectum, kidney, pancreas, thyroid and gallbladder, as well as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. But expert advice and new research findings at VCU Massey Cancer Center offer hope for those battling excess weight.

miceMechanism found that could reverse obesity

Dr. Larner
Dr. Andrew Larner


An international team of scientists led by Massey researcher Andrew Larner, M.D., Ph.D., has successfully reversed obesity in mice by manipulating the production of a particular enzyme that they discovered helps regulate obesity in mice and humans.


"Our findings open new potential avenues for research and development of new pharmacological and nutritional treatments for obesity," said Larner. Read more.

The effect of diet and other lifestyle habits on cancer survival


Massey is currently conducting the Day and Night Lifestyle and Cancer Survival Study to analyze lifestyle habits, including diet, physical activity and sleep, in order to understand how they affect the quality of life of cancer survivors. The study is now recruiting cancer survivors from hospitals and oncology practices in Southside and Southwest Virginia as well as volunteers in that region without cancer.


According to the study's principal investigator Yi Ning, M.D., M.P.H., "the purpose of the study is to provide the evidence needed to develop effective strategies for improving the quality of life of cancer survivors and prolonging their survival." 


For more information, visit Massey's clinical trials portal and enter MCC-13728 in the field for "protocol number." 


Tips for maintaining a healthy weight

Having trouble keeping your healthy weight resolutions this year? Here are five tips to help you succeed. The first tip is to learn what your healthy weight should be by determining your Body Mass Index (BMI).


Your BMI is a numerical score based on the relationship between your height and weight. To reduce cancer risk, most people need to keep their BMI below 25. Use the BMI calculator to see how you score. Read more.


First in Virginia to receive Advanced Certification from The Joint Commission


Massey has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval® for its palliative care program, making it the first and only certified palliative care program in Virginia. The Joint Commission is a not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies health care organizations and programs in the United States.

Palliative care provides specialized, multidisciplinary care for patients with serious illnesses, including but not limited to cancer, by addressing physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. In achieving this certification for advanced palliative care, Massey's palliative care program has demonstrated its commitment to the highest level of care for patients with serious illness. Read more.


The latest Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries shows U.S. cancer death rates continue to drop. This decline continues a trend that began in the early 1990s, aided by a growth in collaboration in which scientists from different cancer centers, different disciplines and different countries are working together on research.

Viagra drug trio protects heart and improves effectiveness of cancer treatment  


Collaboration among scientists specializing in heart disease and cancer has yielded a new drug combination found to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment while protecting the heart from harm caused by a popular form of chemotherapy. With nearly half of all cancer survivors dying from conditions other than cancer, most notably cardiovascular disease, this new treatment is not only innovative but necessary.

Dr. Rakesh Kukreja

The research team used breast cancer cells and heart cells to study the effects of combining three drugs. The three drugs included cancer-fighting chemotherapy doxorubicin (Doxil, Andriamycin), erectile dysfunction medication Viagra (sildenafil) and immunosuppressant antibiotic rapamycin (sirolimus, Rapamune). The study was co-authored by Massey researcher Rakesh Kukreja, M.S., Ph.D., scientific director at the VCU Pauley Heart Center. Read more

Experimental chemo combo destroys lymphoma  


Many of the clinical trials developed at Massey are offered at multiple other cancer centers as part of a collaborative effort among cancer research cooperative groups. By partnering, Massey has a larger pool of patients from which to enroll more trial participants in order to reach the studies' needed sample sizes faster, thereby accelerating the research. An example is a Massey Phase I clinical trial that opened in 2011 and is ongoing at both Massey and Wilmot Cancer Center at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.


The study is testing the effects of a new combination of chemotherapies on rare forms of lymphoma. The trial is based on Massey's lab research that suggests the novel therapy may be particularly beneficial for patients with mantle cell lymphoma, a relatively rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Read more

Massey dedicates The Highlands-Massey Classic Research Wing   


The search for cancer treatments is also advanced by the fundraising efforts of community members such as The Highlands, a large community in Chesterfield County, and their event, The Highlands-Massey Classic, which has raised more than $1.5 million during the past seven
Dr. Rao Headshot
VCU president Michael Rao, Ph.D., acknowledges the passion of the volunteers who help Massey save lives.
years in support of cancer research at Massey.    

In recognition of the efforts of the volunteer leaders of The Highlands, Massey recently dedicated a wing in the Goodwin Research Laboratory as The Highlands-Massey Classic Research Wing.


Click the image at right to watch a video about the volunteers who collaborated on The Highlands-Massey Classic and what their efforts have accomplished.



"I would like to collaborate with Massey. How can I help?"


If you want to join the fight to eradicate cancer, there are many ways to collaborate with Massey by donating blood, marrow, time and funds.

Donate blood or marrow. These small acts can make a huge, potentially life-giving difference to someone in need. Join the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Learn how you can give blood and platelets.

Volunteer to help with patients. Volunteers receive specialized training to assist with patient-centered tasks, such as relieving family at the bedside, helping with the patient hospitality cart or assisting in the patient resource libraries. Learn more.

Volunteer to help with fundraising events. From wine tastings and road races, to concerts and forums, more than 60 events throughout the state raise the funds needed to support Massey's life-saving research, and volunteers are needed to help plan and staff them. Learn more.

Give. Your financial support will ensure that our physicians and scientists have the funds they need to pursue promising cancer discoveries. Learn more.



Momentum is published by VCU Massey Cancer Center.

David Raine, Jr.

If you have questions about cancer, cancer treatments or survivorship, please ASK MASSEY.

To learn more about VCU Massey Cancer Center, please visit our Web site at