Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Cancer Prevention and Control

Program Leader
Darlene H. Brunzell, Ph.D.

VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) program consists of a highly interactive group of scientists from across the entire VCU campus. The program is committed to transdisciplinary research and brings together a diverse group of health services and behavioral scientists with clinicians (oncologists, primary care physicians, palliative care specialists and nurses) to study behavioral, policy, organizational and environmental factors that affect cancer risk, diagnosis, treatment and survival. The program includes 29 members from 14 departments in VCU School of Medicine, VCU School of Nursing and VCU College of Humanities and Sciences.

Scientific goals

  • The establishment and increased use of the Behavioral Measurement Shared Resource

  • The establishment of community-based participatory research programs
  • The expansion of informatics research
  • The expansion and continuing development of survivorship research

The program has accomplished these goals and reached new milestones in patient/physician decision-making, communication and disparities research.


  • To understand the socioeconomic and cultural forces causing or contributing to disparities in cancer outcomes with a focus on both underserved minority populations and communities, and the medically indigent
  • Enhance cancer care outcomes through survivorship by focusing on the lived experiences of patients diagnosed with cancer
  • Focus on the cognitive and behavioral conditions that promote behavior change to minimize cancer’s burden
  • Develop an innovative line of research that enhances treatment delivery, cancer outcomes and clinical trial enrollment by integrating communication and medical decision-making research into clinical practice