Massey Cancer Center Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, Virginia
The Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) was founded in 1974 and has been funded by an NCI Cancer Center Support Grant since 1975 because of its scientific excellence in cancer research and its vital role in reducing cancer morbidity and mortality.
More than 160 full, associate, and affiliate members from 28 academic departments, five schools and one college, come together at VCU Massey Cancer Center to conduct basic, translational, clinical and population sciences research to discover better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer. They collaborate on research in five key scientific programs: Cancer Cell Signaling, Cancer Molecular Genetics, Cancer Prevention and Control, Developmental Therapeutics, and Radiation Biology and Oncology.
The Cancer Cell Signaling program examines key signaling pathways that contribute to cancer. The Cancer Molecular Genetics program investigates genetic and epigenetic changes that underlie the molecular and cellular events contributing to cancer development and progression, and uses this information to construct new target-based therapies for cancer. The Cancer Prevention and Control program develops basic and applied research initiatives in behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity and mortality, and enhance quality of life.
The Developmental Therapeutics program explores cancer therapeutics, identifying molecular targets, assessing the molecular genetic profiles of tumors and translating these findings into the formation of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of cancer. The Radiation Biology and Oncology program analyzes the effects of radiation on tumor cells at the molecular level to determine radio-resistance and how to optimally deliver radiation to more effectively treat cancer.
All of the research members in these programs have contributed to translation of scientific findings into clinical or prevention and control trials. The amount of NCI-supported, peer reviewed research support awarded to VCU Massey Cancer Center investigators totals more than $38 million per year.
In addition to its research activities, VCU Massey Cancer Center provides comprehensive, nationally recognized clinical oncology care, including a full range of medical and support services. The Center treats patients with all kinds of cancer, but specializes in several key areas: breast cancer; hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplantation; colorectal and other gastrointestinal cancers; lung and respiratory cancer; ear, nose, throat, head and neck cancers; prostate and other urologic cancers; cancers of the brain and nervous system; and gynecologic cancers.
Both ambulatory and inpatient care are delivered at VCU Massey Cancer Center by multidisciplinary, disease-specific teams to fully coordinate and personalize each patient’s course of treatment. The Center is also a national leader in palliative care, providing pain and symptom management as well as emotional, spiritual and psychological support for patients and their families.
VCU Massey Cancer Center is undergoing a major expansion of its cancer clinical research program. Through a focus on investigator-initiated therapeutic trials and the development of a clinical research affiliations network, the Center is extending its clinical trial offerings to patients across Virginia, helping to bring new drug discoveries to the state’s residents.
* This profile was provided by the Massey Cancer Center.