Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

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About VCU Massey Cancer Center

Founded in 1974, VCU Massey Cancer Center is a non-profit organization part of Virginia Commonwealth University, one of the nation’s top research universities, and VCU Medical Center, a leading academic health system ranked Virginia’s top hospital by U.S. News & World Report in 2012.

We are one of only 68 among 1,500 cancer centers in the country, and one of only two in Virginia, designated by the National Cancer Institute. Placing us among the top 4 percent of cancer centers in the country, NCI designation means we are leading and shaping America’s fight against cancer.

We are a vital resource for cancer research, treatment and clinical trials as well as training of the region’s oncologists.

Our mission

Our mission is to serve Virginia and the nation as a comprehensive center of excellence in cancer research, prevention and control, patient care, and education. Our guiding principles are to make important discoveries about cancer, and to translate these discoveries rapidly into better prevention, detection, treatment, and control of cancer to enhance the quality of life of all individuals affected by cancer.

Our history

1838 – Hampden-Sydney College created the Medical Department.

1854 – The Medical Department became the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) after receiving an independent charter from the Virginia General Assembly.

1860 – MCV became state-affiliated.

1917 – The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health was established on what is known today as VCU’s Monroe Park Campus.

1925 – The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health became the Richmond division of the College of William and Mary.

1939 – The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health changed its name to Richmond Professional Institute.

1939 – A tumor board and a multidisciplinary tumor clinic were established at MCV.

1962 – Richmond Professional Institute separated from William and Mary to become an independent state institution.

1966 –The Divisions of Surgical Oncology and Medical Oncology were created within the Departments of Surgery and Medicine, respectively, at MCV.

1968 – MCV merged with the Richmond Professional Institute to form Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU); MCV became the health sciences campus of VCU, called the MCV Campus.

1974 – The VCU Board of Visitors established a cancer center on the MCV Campus and a planning grant was received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

1975 – The first Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) was funded by the NCI, with Walter Lawrence, Jr., M.D., a surgeon and former president of the American Cancer Society, as principal investigator and director of the cancer center.

1983 – The cancer center was named VCU Massey Cancer Center in honor of a major gift by William and Evan Massey.

1986 – North Hospital (renovated former E.G. Williams Hospital) opened, which today houses VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Dalton Oncology Clinic, Radiation Oncology Department, BMT in-patient and out-patient clinics and Thomas Palliative Care Unit.

1987 – The Department of Radiation Oncology was established.

1988 – I. David Goldman, M.D., now director of Albert Einstein Cancer Center at Yeshiva University, became director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

1993 – The Schools of Medicine and Basic Health Sciences merged.

1995 – Francis Macrina, Ph.D., now vice president for research at VCU School of Dentistry, became interim director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

1997 – Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., former associate director of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, became director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

2006 – VCU Massey Cancer Center opened Goodwin Research Laboratory, an 80,000-square-foot, state-of-art cancer research facility.

2008 – VCU Medical Center opened the Critical Care Hospital, which includes VCU Massey Cancer Center’s in-patient oncology care unit.

Today – Under Dr. Ginder’s tenure, VCU Massey Cancer Center has taken on and maintained a trajectory of carefully planned steady growth, substantially building its scientific base while simultaneously sharpening its cancer focus and its dedication to translational research.