Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

2012 Archive

Scientists discover mechanism that promotes lung cancer growth and survival

Paul Fisher

A multi-institutional research study has uncovered a new mechanism that may lead to unique treatments for lung cancer, one of the leading causes of death worldwide. “Cancer cells are remarkably adaptive and depend on a variety of mechanisms to ensure their survival and continued growth when challenged by their environment,” says John C. Reed, M.D., Ph.D., professor and CEO of Sanford-Burnham. “By reducing levels of BI-1, it appears we were able to modulate intracellular signals and starve lung cancer cells of the energy needed to carry out one of their most important survival mechanisms, autophagy.”

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Massey researchers see potential in novel leukemia treatment

Scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center may be one step closer to developing a new therapy for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) after discovering that the targeted agents obatoclax and sorafenib kill leukemia cells much more effectively when combined than when the drugs are administered individually.

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Governor McDonnell ceremonially signs cancer legislation at VCU Massey Cancer Center

At a celebration event today, Governor Bob McDonnell ceremonially signed four cancer-related bills at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center. The legislation continues the Commonwealth’s unprecedented support for advancing cancer research, treatment and education at Massey and throughout Virginia. Last year, the Governor presented $5 million in state funds for cancer research at Massey, representing a substantial increase over the $1 million in annual funding provided previously by the Commonwealth. This year, state support for Massey climbed even further to $7.5 million, with the opportunity to apply for additional funding through the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund as stipulated in one of the bills signed.

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Egidio Del Fabbro named program director of palliative care at Massey

Egidio Del Fabbro, M.D., has been named program director of palliative care at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center, effective May 1, 2012. A nationally recognized expert in palliative care – comprehensive care for patients and families with a focus on alleviating suffering from serious illness – Del Fabbro comes to VCU Massey from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where he is currently an associate professor in the Department of Palliative Care and Rehabilitation Medicine. He is also director of the Outpatient Cachexia Clinic and associate director of the Palliative Care Fellowship Training Program.

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Study finds nearly half of cancer survivors died from conditions other than cancer

Although cancer recurrence may be the overriding fear for many survivors, a study from VCU Massey Cancer Center found only 51 percent of cancer survivors died from cancer, meaning nearly half of survivors died from other conditions. These results indicate survivors could potentially benefit from a more comprehensive, less cancer-focused approach to their health, according to lead researcher Yi Ning, M.D., Sc.D., assistant professor in the department of epidemiology and community health at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and associate research member at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

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