Novel gene target shows promise for bladder cancer detection and treatment
Scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) have provided evidence from preclinical experiments that a gene known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9/syntenin (mda-9/syntenin) could be used as a therapeutic target to kill bladder cancer cells, help prevent metastasis and even be used to non-invasively diagnose the disease and monitor its progression. The study, published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, was a collaborative effort between Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., who originally discovered the mda-9/syntenin gene, and Santanu Dasgupta, Ph.D., an expert in bladder cancer research.
New Massey Research Pavilion fosters collaboration among cancer researchers
A new hub for cancer research known as the Massey Research Pavilion opened in April 2013 in the VCU School of Medicine’s McGlothlin Medical Education Center, a new 12-story, 200,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building. The Massey Research Pavilion—located on floors 11 and 12—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 chair, Steven Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., and his administrators. Each floor is appointed with a suite of research offices and conference rooms.
Khalid Matin named medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations
Khalid Matin, M.D., F.A.C.P., has been appointed medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations at VCU Massey Cancer Center and an associate professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care, Department of Internal Medicine, at the VCU School of Medicine, effective July 15, 2013.
Family tree, cancer risk and genetic testing
The genetic influence on the development of cancer has been heavily studied; however, it is still impossible to know with certainty whether someone will get cancer or, if they have it, why. But with the right information, experts can estimate an individual’s potential cancer risk based on genetics and can help him/her make important health and lifestyle choices based on that risk. If you are concerned that there is hereditary risk of cancer in your family, consider consulting your doctor or a genetic counselor.
VCU Massey Cancer Center hosts annual research retreat
The annual Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center Research Retreat showcases the most promising cancer research being conducted at Massey and throughout VCU and provides student researchers an opportunity to show off their contributions in the poster session, where they can receive up to $250 as Excellence in Cancer Research Awards winners. In addition to presentations from members of Massey’s research programs, this year’s keynote presentation featured Timothy Ley, M.D., who shared his work involving the acute myeloid leukemia (AML) genome.