Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Growth of Virginia’s first cardio-oncology program soars

Imagine being told that you are cancer free only to find out that your heart is failing as a result of your cancer treatments. The unfortunate reality is that the leading cause of death among cancer survivors is cardiovascular disease, and it is often caused by the same treatments that once saved their life. This reason is why VCU heart transplant specialist Michael Hess, M.D., decided to open Virginia’s first Cardio-Oncology Program at VCU Massey Cancer Center three years ago.

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A relentless battle against the odds

In February 2013, medical professionals told Keisha Harris that she likely had only 2-6 weeks left to live. Stage 4 cervical cancer had spread to her kidney and spinal cord. And after undergoing countless surgeries to remove the cancer, radiation therapy turned her insides into what she described as “the equivalent of wet toilet paper.” She was bleeding internally in excess of one pint per day. Her family members began to ask her what songs she would want played at her funeral.

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A VCU courtship on and off the court

The VCU Siegel Center erupted in a cascade of cheers when Jerry Riggins bent down on one knee in front of his girlfriend during the VCU men’s basketball matchup against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.

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First-of-its-kind head and neck cancer immunotherapy clinical trial opens at Massey

Erin Alesi

VCU Massey Cancer Center is recruiting participants for an international phase 2 clinical trial testing the first immune checkpoint inhibitors for head and neck cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors are drugs that cause the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells, and they have shown dramatic results in treating certain types of skin and lung cancers.  

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Massey joins nation’s cancer centers in urging the public for increased HPV vaccination for cancer prevention

In response to low national vaccination rates for the human papillomavirus (HPV), VCU Massey Cancer Center has joined 68 of the nation’s top cancer centers in issuing a statement urging for increased HPV vaccination for the prevention of cancer. These institutions collectively recognize insufficient vaccination as a public health threat and call upon the nations’ physicians, parents and young adults to take advantage of this rare opportunity to prevent many types of cancer.

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