October 2014  
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list. 

Shared Resource Spotlight

The aims of PC-COC are:

- To facilitate inter-programmatic research that incorporates patient/ community-centered outcomes.

- Promote the inclusion of patient/community-centered outcomes during the pre-award developmental phase of studies, especially clinical trials.

- Assist Massey investigators with incorporating patient/community-centered outcomes via state-of-the-art qualitative, quantitative and multi-method research protocols.

Of the five research programs that Massey currently supports, PC-COC outcomes research generally falls within the context of the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) program.

To learn more about consultation and applied research services available for patient/community-centered outcomes research, visit the PC-COC website.

Leaders' UpdateUpdate

A message from Associate Director of Clinical Services Mary Ann Hager

Massey's clinical services are continuing to expand, with new physicians and clinics, enlarged clinic space and additional programs and accreditations.

This message continues with more on:
  • Massey's new physicians
  • Massey's new gync-onc clinic in Colonial Heights
  • Renovations to the Dalton Oncology Clinic
  • Massey's new sarcoma and thyroid clinics
  • The expansion of the Supportive Care Clinic
  • Massey's new IL-2 program
  • Massey's clinical accreditations
Research HighlightsHighlights
Massey researchers develop first cancer health literacy tool
Levent Dumenci, Ph.D.
Cancer Prevention and Control member

Massey researchers led by Levent Dumenci have developed the first and only tool that can accurately measure cancer health literacy (CHL) and quickly identify patients with limited CHL. This tool has the potential to improve communication and understanding between physicians and patients, which, in turn, could lead to better clinical outcomes.

Promising new cancer therapy uses molecular "Trash Man" to exploit a common cancer defense
Steven Grant, M.D.
Developmental Therapeutics
Cancer Cell Signaling

While many scientists are trying to prevent the onset of a cancer defense mechanism known as autophagy, researchers at Massey led by Steven Grant are leveraging it in a new therapy that causes the process to culminate in cell death rather than survival. Results from preclinical experiments suggest this experimental treatment approach that targets the p62 protein -- often referred to as the "Trash Man" --  could be particularly effective against multiple myeloma and potentially other forms of blood cancers.

Center News Center1
VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer, Nov. 1

Space is available and walk-ins are welcome at this Saturday's VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer, Tackling Tough Cancers. This event will bring together cancer care providers from across the state to engage in dialogue about how to care for patients with some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers. Experts from Massey will share the advances in and best practices for treating these cancers. The symposium will feature keynote addresses from David Ryan, M.D., chief of hematology and oncology and clinical director at Massachusetts General Hospital, who will present on pancreatic cancer, and Richard Stone, M.D., director of the Adult Leukemia Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who will present on acute myeloid leukemia.

The event is free and offers CME/CEU credits at cost.

Massey becomes the first cancer care provider in Virginia to perform next-generation genome sequencing for precision cancer treatment

Massey has taken precision medicine in Virginia to the next level with the introduction of advanced genomic sequencing for the treatment of cancer. Patients now have in-house access to Oncogenomics DX1, a single test that can sequence their cancer's DNA and match them with existing or experimental therapies that target the specific molecule or gene driving their disease.

Clinical Research Services executive director joins Massey as a member
Fredika Robertson, Ph.D. Developmental Therapeutics

Fredika Robertson, executive director of Clinical Research Services for the Center for Clinical and Translational Research, joins Massey as a new member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program.

As an expert in translational research, Robertson has been principal investigator of numerous National Institutes of Health-funded grants and holds a number of patents for her discoveries of novel therapeutics and treatment strategies for breast metastasis. She is also a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine in the VCU School of Medicine.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Researchers receive $1.8 million grant to test a promising prostate cancer immunotherapy
Paul B. Fisher., M.Ph., Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics
Xiang-Yang Wang, Ph.D.
Cancer Molecular Genetics


Massey researchers Paul B. Fisher and Xiang-Yang (Shawn) Wang have been awarded nearly $1.8 million from the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program to test a promising prostate cancer immunotherapy that leverages tumor-reactive lymphocytes and a cancer toxic gene. 



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