Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

About VCU Massey Cancer Center

VCU Massey Cancer Center is among the top 4 percent of cancer centers in the country and is one of two in the state designated by the National Cancer Institute to lead and shape America’s cancer research efforts. Founded in 1974, Massey is dedicated to discovering, developing, delivering and teaching effective means to prevent, detect, treat and cure cancer through innovative research, patient care and education.

Massey conducts cancer research at every level, including basic science (laboratory), translational, clinical and population sciences research. A major strength for Massey is in facilitating the translation and real-world application of research discoveries into improved treatments and patient care and advances in cancer prevention and control.

A key part of the research cycle is developing and conducting clinical trials that test promising scientific breakthroughs, and Massey leads Virginia in offering one of the largest cancer clinical trials menus as well as a statewide clinical trials network that bring Massey’s cutting-edge trials to patients throughout the Commonwealth.

Massey is nationally recognized for its work in cancer disparities, studying the socioeconomic and cultural forces causing or contributing to disparities in cancer outcomes with a focus on minorities and the medically indigent.

Additionally, Massey provides comprehensive, award-winning cancer care with a full range of medical and support services, the highest-quality treatments, advanced technologies and a compassionate approach. Massey treats patients with all kinds of cancer, including rare and complex cancers. World-class outpatient and inpatient care are delivered at Massey at various sites across the state by multidisciplinary teams of leading specialists who collaborate to fully coordinate and customize each patient’s course of treatment. Massey boasts the state’s largest, most comprehensive bone marrow transplant program and is an internationally recognized pioneer in palliative care.

Massey also serves as a vital resource for education, offering academic programs and training for students, cancer researchers and oncology health care professionals as well as health outreach programs for cancer patients, caregivers and the community. 

Our mission

Our mission is to serve as a comprehensive center of excellence in cancer research, prevention and control, patient care and education. Our guiding principles are to make important discoveries about cancer and to translate these discoveries rapidly into better prevention, detection, treatment and control of cancer to enhance the quality of life of all individuals affected by cancer.

The Goodwin Research Laboratory features state-of-the-art technology, open architecture to support scientific collaboration and modular labs that can adapt to Massey's evolving research needs.

The Goodwin Research Laboratory features state-of-the-art technology, open architecture to support scientific collaboration and modular labs that can adapt to Massey's evolving research needs.

Our history

1838 – Hampden-Sydney College created the Medical Department.

1854 – The Medical Department became the Medical College of Virginia (MCV) after receiving an independent charter from the Virginia General Assembly.

1860 – MCV became state-affiliated.

1917 – The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health was established on what is known today as VCU’s Monroe Park Campus.

1925 – The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health became the Richmond division of the College of William and Mary.

1939 – The Richmond School of Social Work and Public Health changed its name to Richmond Professional Institute.

1939 – A tumor board and a multidisciplinary tumor clinic were established at MCV.

1962 – Richmond Professional Institute separated from William and Mary to become an independent state institution.

1966 –The Divisions of Surgical Oncology and Medical Oncology were created within the Departments of Surgery and Medicine, respectively, at MCV.

1968 – MCV merged with the Richmond Professional Institute to form Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU); MCV became the health sciences campus of VCU, called the MCV Campus.

1974 – The VCU Board of Visitors established a cancer center on the MCV Campus and a planning grant was received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

1975 – The first Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) was funded by the NCI, with Walter Lawrence, Jr., M.D., a surgeon and former president of the American Cancer Society, as principal investigator and director of the cancer center.

1983 – The cancer center was named VCU Massey Cancer Center in honor of a major gift by William and Evan Massey.

The Massey Research Pavilion on the top two floors of the McGlothlin Medical Education Center provides dedicated space to support Massey’s clinical trials research, cancer prevention and control research and Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care administration.

The Massey Research Pavilion on the top two floors of the McGlothlin Medical Education Center provides dedicated space to support Massey’s clinical trials research, cancer prevention and control research and Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care administration.

1986 – North Hospital (renovated former E.G. Williams Hospital) opened, which today houses VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Dalton Oncology Clinic, Radiation Oncology Department, BMT in-patient and out-patient clinics and Thomas Palliative Care Unit.

1987 – The Department of Radiation Oncology was established.

1988 – I. David Goldman, M.D., now director of Albert Einstein Cancer Center at Yeshiva University, became director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

1993 – The Schools of Medicine and Basic Health Sciences merged.

1995 – Francis Macrina, Ph.D., now vice president for research at VCU School of Dentistry, became interim director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

1997 – Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., former associate director of the University of Minnesota Cancer Center, became director of VCU Massey Cancer Center.

2006 – VCU Massey Cancer Center opened Goodwin Research Laboratory, an 80,000-square-foot, state-of-art cancer research facility.

2008 – VCU Medical Center opened the Critical Care Hospital, which includes VCU Massey Cancer Center’s in-patient oncology care unit.

2013 – A new hub for cancer research known as the Massey Research Pavilion opened in the VCU School of Medicine’s McGlothlin Medical Education Center, which opened that same year. Located on floors 11 and 12, the Massey Research Pavilion provides 27,000-square-feet of dedicated space for VCU Massey Cancer Center’s clinical trials research, cancer prevention and control research and Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care administration.

Today – Under Dr. Ginder’s tenure, VCU Massey Cancer Center has taken on and maintained a trajectory of carefully planned steady growth, substantially building its scientific base while simultaneously sharpening its cancer focus and its dedication to translational research.