The $125 billion question: how will the ACA affect cancer survivors?
In 2010, the total cost of cancer care in the United States reached $125 billion. Cancer patients are also living longer today, which is further increasing the cost of their continued care. As the health insurance exchanges have opened and heated debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues, many questions remain, including the $125 billion question: “How will the ACA affect the most expensive disease: cancer?”
Massey scored highest in Virginia for cancer care by U.S. News for third year
For the third year in a row, VCU Massey Cancer Center was the top scoring hospital in Virginia providing high-performing cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals list. Massey received the best score in cancer care of the 24 Virginia hospitals that made the list of the nearly 130 total hospitals in the state. Additionally, VCU Medical Center, which includes Massey’s oncology patient care, was ranked the best hospital in the Richmond metro area, marking the fourth consecutive year the hospital has led in the area.
Fenstermacher appointed chief research information officer at Massey
VCU Massey Cancer Center research member David A. Fenstermacher, Ph.D., has been appointed chief research information officer at Massey. In this role, Fenstermacher will oversee all aspects of the cancer center’s informatics activities. He will also collaborate with basic science, translational and clinical researchers at Massey to determine their needs for data management and analytic services to support the emergence of personalized health care, and work with VCU Health System IT and VCU IT to develop novel information systems to realize that vision.
The Promise of Immunotherapy
Recently, the American Association for Cancer Research partnered with Time magazine, the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center and the Cancer Research Institute for a Twitter chat on “The Promise of Immunotherapy.” VCU Massey Cancer Center oncologists and researchers, John McCarty, M.D., and Andrew Poklepovic, M.D., provided expert commentary as the moderators posed a series of questions and discussion topics.
Whole exome sequencing shows potential to improve efficacy of stem cell transplants
Stem cell transplant donors and recipients are matched using a process known as human leucocyte antigen (HLA) testing, but graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in which the donor's immune system attacks the recipient’s body, continues to pose a significant threat to transplant patients. Now, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center have sequenced the DNA of a small group of stem cell transplant recipients and their donors and discovered significant variation in their exomes that may help explain why some HLA-matched stem cell transplant recipients still suffer from GVHD.
Massey researcher receives $2 million grant to improve melanoma treatment
VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Jason Reed, Ph.D., has been awarded a roughly $2 million grant with a collaborator at the University of California, Los Angeles, to develop a new method to rapidly determine how a cancerous tumor responds to a battery of candidate therapies and then to pick the agents that are most effective for treating the patient’s particular disease.