Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

2013 Archive

New drug enhances radiation treatment for brain cancer in preclinical studies

A novel drug may help increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy for the most deadly form of brain cancer, report scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center. In mouse models of human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the new drug helped significantly extend survival when used in combination with radiation therapy. Recently published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the study provides the first preclinical evidence demonstrating that an ATM kinase inhibitor radiosensitizes gliomas. 

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Clinical trial studies effectiveness of diet and exercise in preventing gynecologic cancer recurrence

The Gynecologic Oncology Group is leading a nationwide phase III clinical trial called the “Lifestyle Intervention for Ovarian Cancer Enhanced Survival (LIvES)” study. Led locally by Weldon Chafe, M.D., Dianne Harris Wright Professor of Gynecology Oncology at VCU Massey Cancer Center, this trial is the first to study if diet and exercise can affect cancer recurrence in women treated for ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. Ovarian cancer begins in the female reproductive glands called ovaries. Ovarian cancer accounts for about 3 percent of all cancers in women.

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Massey post-doctoral student recognized for his research at annual Women’s Health Research Day

Akimitsu Yamada

Akimitsu Yamada, Ph.D., a VCU Massey Cancer Center post-doctoral student was recently recognized for his research at the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health Ninth Annual Women’s Health Research Day, a networking opportunity celebrating and promoting excellence in interdisciplinary women’s health research. Yamada’s poster, “Human breast cancers that co-express sphingosine kinase 1 and ABCC1 have significant shorter disease free survival,” received the Elizabeth Fries Young Investigator Award. 

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Hometown healthcare heroes at Massey

In the May 2013 issue of Our Health Richmond magazine, Massey staff members Donna Cox, John McCarty, Ellie Coyne and Mandy Gatesman were recognized as “Hometown Healthcare Heroes.” The winners were selected by a panel of community members based on their community involvement, dedication to the field of healthcare and commitment to improve services and procedures.

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Clinical trials seek to enhance the treatments and quality of life for melanoma patients

Andrew Poklepovic, M.D., is leading two clinical trials for melanoma at Massey. One trial studies the effects of investigational drug ipilimumab, a biological agent that has been shown to have anti-tumor activity in advanced (stage 4) melanoma, versus FDA-approved drug interferon alpha-2b, which has been shown to reduce the risk of melanoma returning in a portion of patients. The other clinical trial is a phase 2 study that tests a combination therapy of experimental drugs on patients who have a genetic mutation called B-Raf gene (BRAF V600E).

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