Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

As President Obama proposes national investment in precision medicine research, Massey leads the way in Virginia

Catherine Dumur, Ph.D., operates next generation DNA sequencing equipment in the VCU Molecular Diagnostics laboratory

President Obama recently proposed a major Precision Medicine Initiative that allocates $215 million in the federal 2016 budget for precision medicine research. Designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to lead and shape the nation’s fight against cancer, Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center has already taken steps to bring the benefits of precision medicine to Virginia. Of the President’s $215 million proposed investment, $70 million will be provided to the NCI to scale up efforts to identify the genomic drivers in cancer and to translate this information into more effective strategies to prevent and treat cancer.

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Massey researcher appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Alex Krist, M.D.

VCU Massey Cancer Center researcher Alex Krist, M.D., M.P.H., has been appointed to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent, volunteer panel that reviews medical research and makes evidence-based recommendations about screenings, counseling services and other clinical preventive care.

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International study co-led by Massey researcher finds ovarian suppression reduces breast cancer recurrence for some young women

Results from a large international study co-led by a VCU Massey Cancer Center physician-scientist concluded that adding ovarian suppression to adjuvant therapy (post surgery) with tamoxifen substantially reduced breast cancer recurrence in young, premenopausal women with hormone-sensitive early breast cancer who received chemotherapy because of a high risk for recurrence of their cancer.

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Massey researchers co-lead global breast cancer trials

Massey researchers are part of two international leadership teams recruiting subjects for phase 3 clinical trials testing novel breast cancer therapies. The first trial, known as KATHERINE, will test the efficacy and safety of a new antibody-drug conjugate, trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), in comparison to the standard FDA-approved drug Herceptin as post-operative, or “adjuvant”, therapy for early stage Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer patients.  The second trial, OlympiA, will test the efficacy of the drug olaparib as adjuvant therapy for high risk, triple negative breast cancer patients with inherited loss of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 cancer suppressor genes.

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Massey awarded American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant for 40th year

For 40 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS) has continuously awarded VCU Massey Cancer Center $270,000 Institutional Research Grants (IRGs). The ACS-IRGs are awarded as block grants to prestigious institutions to provide funding for young investigators with an interest in cancer research.

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