Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Scientists discover mechanism that could reverse obesity

Massey research member Andrew Larner

Approximately 68 percent of U.S. adults are overweight or obese, according to the National Cancer Institute, which puts them at greater risk for developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and a host of other chronic illnesses.  But an international team of scientists led by Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researcher Andrew Larner, M.D., Ph.D., has successfully reversed obesity in mice by manipulating the production of an enzyme known as tyrosine-protein kinase-2 (Tyk2). 

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Massey partners with Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center to provide radiation oncology care

VCU Massey Cancer Center will jointly provide radiation oncology services at a new cancer center scheduled to open in April 2013 at Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center (SRMC) in Spotsylvania, Va. The two organizations have partnered under an agreement between HCA Virginia Health System and VCU Health System, a component of the VCU Medical Center that delivers Massey’s clinical oncology care.    

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VCU Massey improves radiation oncology for all veterans

Michael Hagan, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of radiation oncology at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and a Vietnam veteran, leads the VA Radiation Oncology program. Hagan had been serving as chief of radiation oncology at Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center in Richmond, Virginia for 12 years, continuing a Massey-VA partnership established in 1989 in which Massey provides a full spectrum of cancer care for Central Virginia’s veterans, including access to cutting-edge clinical trials. Hagan has been at the helm of the program since. “The Radiation Oncology Program was created to develop policies, guidelines and procedures to ensure that veterans are treated with radiation as safely and effectively as possible,” says Hagan.

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New Research on Employment-Based Insurance Sheds Light on Health Care Reform

Men with employment-contingent health insurance (ECHI) who suffer a health shock, such as a cancer diagnosis or hospitalization, are more likely to feel “locked” into remaining at work and are at greater risk for losing their insurance during this critical time as compared to men who are on their spouse’s insurance plan or on private insurance plans, according to a new study by Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center.

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Research breakthrough could halt melanoma metastasis

In laboratory experiments, scientists have eliminated metastasis, the spread of cancer from the original tumor to other parts of the body, in melanoma by inhibiting a protein known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9 (mda-9)/syntenin. More than 1 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year in the U.S., and melanoma is the deadliest form. With further research, the approach used by the scientists could lead to targeted therapies that stop metastasis in melanoma and potentially a broad range of additional cancers.

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