A new drug combination featuring the widely-known impotence drug Viagra has been found to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment while protecting the heart from harm caused by a popular form of chemotherapy. With nearly half of all cancer survivors dying from other conditions than cancer, most notably cardiovascular disease, this new treatment is not only innovative but necessary.
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).
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.
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.
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.