Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Research

Innovative approach to treating pancreatic cancer combines chemo- and immuno-therapy

VCU Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) researchers discovered a unique approach to treating pancreatic cancer that may be potentially safe and effective. The treatment method involves immunochemotherapy – a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy, which uses the patient’s own immune system to help fight against disease. This pre-clinical study, led by Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., and Luni Emdad, M.B.B.S., Ph.D., found that the delivery of [pIC]PEI – a combination of the already-established immune-modulating molecule, polyinosine-polycytidylic acid (pIC), with delivery molecule polyethlenimine (PEI), a polymer often used in detergents, adhesives and cosmetics –  inside pancreatic cancer cells triggers cancer cell death without harming normal pancreatic cells.

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Chat on precision medicine in lung cancer

Last week, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) hosted a Twitter chat on precision medicine in lung cancer. Danielle Shafer, D.O., hematologist-oncologist, member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at Massey Cancer Center and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU School of Medicine, provided expert commentary as Dr. Shakun Malik, head of thoracic oncology therapeutics for the NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, posed a series of questions and discussion topics.  

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Massey researchers develop the first cancer health literacy tool

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center researchers have developed the first and only tool that can accurately measure cancer health literacy (CHL) and quickly identify patients with limited CHL. This tool has the potential to improve communication and understanding between physicians and patients, which, in turn, could lead to better clinical outcomes.

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Chat on the current state of cancer treatment and research

Grossman for blog

This past Tuesday ABC News hosted a Twitter chat with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) on the current state of cancer following the release of the Cancer Progress Report 2014. Steven R. Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., deputy director of Massey Cancer Center, provided expert commentary as Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News Chief Health/Medical Editor, posed a series of questions and discussion topics. 

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Study uncovers genetic driver of inflammation, uses it to prevent and treat liver cancer

Inflammation has been shown to be a driving force behind many chronic diseases, especially liver cancer, which often develops due to chronic inflammation caused by conditions such as viral hepatitis or alcoholism and has relatively few effective treatment options. Now, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have demonstrated for the first time in preclinical studies that blocking the expression of a gene known as astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) halts the development and progression of liver cancer by regulating inflammation. This research could impact not only the treatment of liver cancer, but many inflammation-associated diseases.

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