Virginia cancer experts attend annual Massey symposium and research retreat
For the ninth year, oncology care providers and clinical cancer researchers from across the state gathered for VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Cancer Symposium and Clinical Research Affiliation Network Retreat. This year’s events were held on March 7 at Jonah L. Larrick Student Center on the downtown MCV campus.
The symposium, held in the morning, provided continuing education credits to attendees. Steven Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., Massey’s deputy director and Dianne Nunnally Hoppes Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, welcomed the crowd of more than 80 before introducing Massey director, Robert Winn, M.D. Winn presented on the impact of the nation's cancer centers in advancing scientific discoveries into new standards of care and what's on the horizon for cancer research and care in the 21st century. Following Winn, Charles Geyer, Jr., M.D., F.A.C.P., deputy director at Houston Methodist Cancer Center, presented on recent clinical trials for advanced HER2 positive breast cancer and future directions in clinical research.
The final keynote presenter, Leslie M. Randall, M.D., M.A.S., Massey's division chief of gynecologic oncology, gave a talk on the current advanced cervical cancer landscape with a focus on progress and challenges. She discussed the role of HPV vaccination on cervical cancer, as well as seminal studies for metastatic disease. Following Randall’s presentation, the symposium concluded and the Clinical Research Affiliation Network Retreat began with a roundtable discussion by experts from the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).
The retreat provided an opportunity for Massey’s clinical research partners from across the state to learn about promising clinical trials and discuss administrative topics related to clinical research operations and collaborations. This year’s discussions focused on Massey’s UPBEAT clinical trial for breast cancer patients, open and pending clinical trials for neuro-oncology and updates on cancer care delivery research.
Massey’s Clinical Research Affiliation Network brings clinical trial offerings to seven affiliated community hospital and oncology practices in order to expand access to clinical trials, increase participant enrollment and ultimately improve cancer care in Virginia and beyond. The Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program grant (NCORP-MU) received by Massey in 2014, provides additional support for the statewide research affiliation network, with particular emphasis on access to cancer research for minority and underserved patients in the Commonwealth. Massey is one of 14 NCORP sites around the country that is designated as a Minority/Underserved community site.
Every year, clinical research affiliates who recruited the most patients to research studies are honored. This year, Virginia Cancer Institute received an award for the most treatment accruals and Centra Lynchburg Hematology Oncology received awards for most overall accrual and data performance.
Khalid Matin, M.D., F.A.C.P., medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations at Massey, provided closing remarks.
“Thank you to everyone came from around the state to attend the symposium and the retreat today, as well as all our affiliates who continue to work with us to provide cutting-edge clinical trials,” said Dr. Matin. “As this conference grows 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.”