Novel gene target shows promise for bladder cancer detection and treatment
Scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) have provided evidence from preclinical experiments that a gene known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9/syntenin (mda-9/syntenin) could be used as a therapeutic target to kill bladder cancer cells, help prevent metastasis and even be used to non-invasively diagnose the disease and monitor its progression. The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, was a collaborative effort between Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., who originally discovered the mda-9/syntenin gene, and Santanu Dasgupta, Ph.D., an expert in bladder cancer research.
Massey rated the top cancer center in Virginia by U.S. News two years in a row
For the second year in a row, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center was rated the top hospital in Virginia providing high-performing cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospitals list. Massey received the highest score in cancer care of the 20 Virginia cancer providers that made the list. VCU Medical Center, which includes Massey’s oncology patient care, also established itself as a No. 1 hospital overall in Virginia for a second consecutive year. It saw two specialty areas rank in the top 50 in the nation, nephrology at 41 and orthopedics in the No. 39 spot.
New Massey Research Pavilion fosters collaboration among cancer researchers
A new hub for cancer research known as the Massey Research Pavilion opened in April 2013 in the VCU School of Medicine’s McGlothlin Medical Education Center, a new 12-story, 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building. The Massey Research Pavilion—located on floors 11 and 12—provides 27,000-square-feet of dedicated space for VCU Massey Cancer Center’s clinical trials research, cancer prevention and control research and Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care chair, Steven Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., and his administrators. Each floor is appointed with a suite of research offices and conference rooms.
Khalid Matin named medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations
Khalid Matin, M.D., F.A.C.P., has been appointed medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations at VCU Massey Cancer Center and an associate professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care, Department of Internal Medicine, at the VCU School of Medicine, effective July 15, 2013.
Family tree, cancer risk and genetic testing
The genetic influence on the development of cancer has been heavily studied; however, it is still impossible to know with certainty whether someone will get cancer or, if they have it, why. But with the right information, experts can estimate an individual’s potential cancer risk based on genetics and can help him/her make important health and lifestyle choices based on that risk. If you are concerned that there is hereditary risk of cancer in your family, consider consulting your doctor or a genetic counselor.