Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Protein found to block benefits of vitamin A cancer therapy

Retinoic acid is a form of vitamin A that is used to treat and help prevent the recurrence of a variety of cancers, but for some patients the drug is not effective. The reason for this resistance was unclear until this week when researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center demonstrated that a protein known as AEG-1 blocks the effects of retinoic acid in leukemia and liver cancer. Because AEG-1 is overexpressed in nearly every cancer, these findings could impact the care of countless cancer patients.

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Scientists develop mouse model that could lead to new therapies for liver cancer

Researchers have created the first mouse model demonstrating the role of a cancer promoting gene, Astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1), in hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver cancer. The mouse model represents a critical step in understanding the molecular mechanisms of liver cancer progression and could lead to novel therapies for the disease.

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Massey leader Harry Bear appointed to prestigious board

VCU Massey Cancer Center leader and physician-researcher Harry Bear, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the NSABP Foundation, Inc. The NSABP – National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project – Foundation is the world’s leading cooperative group for designing and conducting large-scale breast and colorectal cancer clinical trials. Supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) since its inception more than 50 years ago, the group has pioneered trials that have changed the way breast and bowel cancers are treated and prevented.

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Massey offers microsurgical breast reconstruction

Santosh Kale

Santosh Kale, MD, plastic surgeon in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at VCU Medical Center and VCU Massey Cancer Center, is one of a few plastic surgeons in the Richmond area to offer microsurgical breast reconstruction. Because of the high level of skill and specialized equipment required to perform microsurgery, this form of breast reconstruction is typically only offered at specialized medical centers such as Massey.

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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.

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