Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

New non-invasive technique could revolutionize the imaging of metastatic cancer

Bioluminescence, nanoparticles, gene manipulation – these sound like the ideas of a science fiction writer, but, in fact, they are components of an exciting new approach to imaging local and metastatic tumors. In preclinical animal models of metastatic prostate cancer, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer CenterVCU Institute of Molecular Medicine and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have provided proof-of-principle of a new molecular imaging approach that could revolutionize doctors’ ability to see tumors that have metastasized to other sites in the body, including the bones.

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Chat on Cancer Pain Management

Recently, the National Cancer Institute hosted a Twitter chat on cancer pain. Patrick Coyne, M.S.N., A.P.R.N., F.A.A.N., clinical director of the Palliative Care Program at VCU Massey Cancer Center and world-renowned pain management specialist, provided expert commentary as the moderator posed a series of questions and discussion topics.  

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Promising new cancer therapy uses molecular “Trash Man” to exploit a common cancer defense

While many scientists are trying to prevent the onset of a cancer defense mechanism known as autophagy, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center are leveraging it in a new therapy that causes the process to culminate in cell death rather than survival. The novel treatment strategy targets the p62 protein, which is often referred to as the “Trash Man” due to its role in disposing unwanted cellular proteins during autophagy. Results from preclinical experiments suggest this experimental treatment approach could be particularly effective against multiple myeloma and potentially other forms of blood cancers.

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Scientists in Switzerland

In July, VCU Massey Cancer Center scientists traveled to Hermance, Switzerland, to lead discussions at the Brocher Foundation Symposium titled, “Recent developments in phase 1 oncology trials: Implications for ethics, palliative care and society.” The symposium brought together researchers, oncologists, ethicists and palliative care specialists from all over the world, including the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Spain and the United States, to examine phase 1 clinical trials in cancer.

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VCU Massey Cancer Center receives $4.4 million NCI grant to support a statewide cancer clinical trials network, foster minority access to trials and focus research on cancer disparities

VCU Massey Cancer Center was awarded a $4.4 million, 5-year, renewable grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to support a statewide network for cancer clinical research in Virginia that brings state-of-the-art clinical trials to patients in their own communities and emphasizes the inclusion of minorities in clinical trials and a focus on research that addresses cancer disparities. Massey is one of only 12 institutions in the nation to receive this type of grant that fosters access to cancer research for minority and medically underserved patients.  

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