Virginia cancer experts assemble for annual Massey conference
Oncologists and clinical cancer researchers from across the state gathered for VCU Massey Cancer Center’s seventh annual Cancer Symposium and Clinical Research Affiliation Network Retreat on April 20 and 21 at the Hilton Richmond Hotel & Spa in Short Pump, VA. Friday’s symposium provided continued professional education for clinicians while Saturday’s retreat helped facilitate the operations of Massey’s Clinical Research Affiliation Network, which works to bring clinical trials to eight affiliated community hospitals and oncology practices in Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Metro Richmond, South Hill and Winchester. The retreat also aimed to develop deeper connections, collaborations and knowledge sharing to ultimately improve cancer care and increase access to clinical trials throughout Virginia.
Steven Grossman, M.D. PhD, deputy director and Dianne Nunnally Hoppes Chair in Cancer Research at Massey Cancer Center, welcomed 77 clinicians from around the commonwealth who attended Friday’s symposium. The event featured a series of presentations by experts from Massey, the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) and the University of Florida Health Cancer Center.
Worta McCaskill-Stevens, M.D., M.S., director of NCORP, chief of community oncology and prevention trials and research group head for breast cancer prevention at the NCI, presented on the history and future direction for NCORP and oncology research in the community.
Thomas J. George, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P., director of the GI Oncology Program and experimental therapeutics incubator and associate director for clinical investigation at University of Florida Health Cancer Center, presented on the changing practice patterns for multidisciplinary treatment of rectal cancer.
Sarah Gordon, D.O., medical oncologist and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at Massey, presented on the integration of immunotherapy as a component of multimodality treatment for lung cancer. Dr. Matin concluded the symposium with closing remarks.
Khalid Matin, M.D., F.A.C.P., medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations at Massey, provided closing remarks.
The Clinical Research Affiliate Network Retreat on Saturday focused on updates to Massey’s clinical trials, specifically efforts to promote NCI-sponsored clinical trials to patients in the community through NCORP, and cancer care delivery research.
Presenters from Massey included Harry Bear, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Division of Surgical Oncology, Walter Lawrence, Jr. Chair in Surgical Oncology and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program, and Victor Yazbeck, M.D., M.S., physician-researcher. Charles Geyer, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P., associate director for clinical research, provided NCORP updates.
“Thank you to all of the physicians, nurses, staff and researchers who came from around the state to attend the symposium and the retreat this weekend, as well as all our affiliates who continue to work with us to provide cutting-edge clinical trials to more patients,” said Dr. Matin. “As this conference continues to grow each year, it’s exciting to see so many health care providers and researchers band together for the common goal of improving cancer care in Virginia.”