Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Massey and VIMM researchers receive $1.8 million grant to test a promising prostate cancer immunotherapy

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Cen­ter and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) researchers Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., and Xiang-Yang (Shawn) Wang, Ph.D., have been awarded nearly $1.8 million from the Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) to test a promising prostate cancer immunotherapy that leverages tumor-reactive lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and a cancer toxic gene. The grant will allow Fisher and Wang to test this novel therapy using preclinical animal models. If successful, the team hopes to translate the research into clinical trials to further test it in patients with metastatic prostate cancer.

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

VCU Massey Cancer Center 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.

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Massey researchers develop the first cancer health literacy tool

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center researchers 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.

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Massey’s Dalton Oncology Clinic treatment area gets a face-lift

On October 20, VCU Massey Cancer Center opened the doors to its newly renovated treatment area in the Dalton Oncology Clinic, which is located on the ground floor of North Hospital at the VCU Medical Center downtown campus. The renovations were done to improve patient comfort, privacy and safety. The size of the treatment space was enlarged, and it features a fresh design, with soothing colors, updated fixtures and new furniture. The space includes four private treatment rooms as well as an expansive, open room comprised of 20 pods that give each patient a semi-private area with room for a family member or friend. Each pod is equipped with a television, set of headphones and nurse call bell system. More patient bathrooms, physician work rooms and nurse stations were also added. 

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You’ve got a friend

Kim McGaughey is a four-time cancer survivor. In 2008, she was diagnosed with stage 1B cervical cancer and stage 4 breast cancer. After beating her cervical cancer and getting her breast cancer under control, Kim was blindsided by a cervical cancer recurrence in 2011 that had metastasized to her lungs. Now, in 2014, Kim has just finished chemotherapy for her second recurrence of cervical cancer. For most, a journey like this would make you understandably negative – but not Kim. She and a group of her closest friends turned her daunting, 8-hour chemotherapy infusion treatments into celebrations, which they aptly named “chemo parties.”

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