Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Key function of mutation in hereditary breast and ovarian cancer gene discovered

It is widely known that mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility 1 (BRCA1) gene significantly increase the chance of developing breast and ovarian cancers, but the mechanisms at play are not fully understood. Now, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have shown that certain BRCA1 mutations result in excessive, uncontrolled DNA repair, which challenges the prior assumption that mutations in BRCA1 only contribute to breast cancer through a reduction in function.

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Clinical trial shows benefit to adding Avastin to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

Amid the controversy surrounding the Food and Drug Administration’s ruling that Avastin should no longer be used to treat metastatic breast cancer, a new multinational phase 3 clinical trial shows that Avastin significantly increased tumor response rates in breast cancer patients when given before surgery.

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Steven R. Grossman named division chair of hematology, oncology and palliative care

Steven R. Grossman, M.D., Ph.D.

Steven R. Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., has been named division chair in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and at VCU Massey Cancer Center, effective July 1, 2011. Grossman, an internationally recognized expert in gastrointestinal cancers, comes to VCU from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass., where he is currently an associate professor in the Departments of Cancer Biology and Medicine. He is also medical director of the Simonds-Sinon Regional Cancer Center and co-director of the Center for Gastrointestinal Oncology at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center.

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Communication with doctors is critical to early, accurate colorectal cancer diagnosis

Headshot of Laura Siminoff for Blog Post

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., but if diagnosed early, patients have a five-year survival rate of 91 percent. In a study recently published in the journalPatient Education and Counseling, Laura A. Siminoff, Ph.D., and a team of researchers conducted in-depth interviews with 242 patients diagnosed with CRC in the six months preceding the study.

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Grant supports development of novel brain cancer treatment at VCU Massey

With the support of grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center are hard at work investigating a new "synthetically lethal" strategy for treating glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadly form of brain cancer.

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