Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Researcher receives NIH grant to study patient recruitment and consent in tissue donation

Nationally recognized expert on decision-making in organ and tissue donation Laura Siminoff, Ph.D., received a $283,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support her contribution to the NIHs newly launched Genotype-Tissue Expression Project. The Genotype-Tissue Expression Project is designed to understand how genetic variation may control gene activity and its relationship to disease. It will generate data about how gene expression is regulated in different organs in the human body, which will then serve as a resource for researchers across the country to study inherited susceptibility to illness and establish a tissue bank for biological studies down the road.

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Too many cancer screening options confuse patients and lead them to avoid screenings altogether

Adhering to cancer screening recommendations is one of the best things people can do to reduce their risk of dying from cancer. But research at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center suggests that when patients are presented more than one colorectal cancer screening option, there is a greater chance of confusion and, therefore, a greater chance of neglecting screening recommendations.

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VCU Massey Cancer Center introduces safer, more effective form of radiation therapy

Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center has introduced a safer and more effective form of radiation therapy to treat cancer. The Center now offers volumetric modulated arc therapy delivery using the Philips Pinnacle3 SmartArc software to provide radiation treatment for multiple tumor sites, including prostate, head and neck, brain, breast, and lung. VCU Massey is the first cancer center in the Richmond area to offer this cutting-edge radiation technique.

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New approaches refine molecular imaging for detecting cancer metastasis

In the new study, published online in the December issue of the journal Nature Medicine, VCU researchers, together with researchers from the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, have shown how the genetic element, known as progression elevated gene-3 promoter, or PEG-Prom, can be used to image metastases in multiple animal models of human melanoma and human breast metastasis. The system can be used to measure gene expression, protein interaction or track gene-tagged cells in vivo. This approach offers significant advantages in sensitivity and accuracy over currently used imaging strategies.

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Novel therapy for metastatic kidney cancer developed at VCU Massey and VCU Institute for Molecular Medicine

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine have developed a novel virus-based gene therapy for renal cell carcinoma that has been shown to kill cancer cells not only at the primary tumor site but also in distant tumors not directly infected by the virus. Renal cell carcinoma is the most common form of kidney cancer in adults and currently there is no effective treatment for the disease once it has spread outside of the kidney.oma and brain, prostate, pancreatic, breast and colon cancers.

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