Center news & funding
Massey and VIMM researchers receive $1.8 million grant to test a promising prostate cancer immunotherapy
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center and VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine (VIMM) researchers Paul B. Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D., and Xiang-Yang (Shawn) Wang, Ph.D., have been awarded nearly $1.8 million from the Department of Defense (DOD) Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) to test a promising prostate cancer immunotherapy that leverages tumor-reactive lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, and a cancer toxic gene. The grant will allow Fisher and Wang to test this novel therapy using preclinical animal models. If successful, the team hopes to translate the research into clinical trials to further test it in patients with metastatic prostate cancer.
Bradley awarded endowed chair
Cathy J. Bradley, Ph.D., associate director for cancer prevention and control at VCU Massey Cancer Center, has been awarded the Theresa A. Thomas Memorial Foundation Chair in Cancer Prevention and Control in recognition of her exemplary contributions to Massey’s research mission. Bradley also serves as program leader for Massey’s Cancer Prevention and Control research program, founding chair of VCU School of Medicine’s Department of Healthcare Policy and Research and interim chair of VCU’s Department of Social and Behavioral Health. She previously held the RGC Professorship in Cancer Research.
Massey’s Dalton Oncology Clinic treatment area gets a face-lift
On October 20, VCU Massey Cancer Center opened the doors to its newly renovated treatment area in the Dalton Oncology Clinic, which is located on the ground floor of North Hospital at the VCU Medical Center downtown campus. The renovations were done to improve patient comfort, privacy and safety. The size of the treatment space was enlarged, and it features a fresh design, with soothing colors, updated fixtures and new furniture. The space includes four private treatment rooms as well as an expansive, open room comprised of 20 pods that give each patient a semi-private area with room for a family member or friend. Each pod is equipped with a television, set of headphones and nurse call bell system. More patient bathrooms, physician work rooms and nurse stations were also added.
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.
Poklepovic presents at TEDxRVA
Andrew Poklepovic, M.D., oncologist and member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program at VCU Massey Cancer Center and assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at VCU School of Medicine, presents at this year’s TEDxRVA event. Dr. Poklepovic’s presentation, “Redefining the War on Cancer,” discusses targeted therapies, which target specific DNA mutations found to contribute to or help prevent the growth and development of cancer, and next generation immunotherapies, which are treatments that “reprogram” a person’s immune system cells so that they can better recognize and ultimately destroy cancer cells.