VCU Massey Cancer Center

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Cancer Prevention and Control

Program co-leaders
Darlene H. Brunzell, Ph.D.
Vanessa B. Sheppard, Ph.D

The central theme of the Cancer Prevention and Control (CPC) program is to translate research findings into practice and policy to improve the prevention, detection, treatment, and control of cancer. The CPC program strives to enhance the quality of life for all individuals affected by cancer, including a large African-American population served within Massey’s catchment area. Massey received distinction as a Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program to advance research in this area of need. Additionally, CPC clinical trials and much of the program’s basic science research addresses disparities in this population.

Scientific goals

  • Reduce cancer risk
  • Improve cancer-related care

The scientific goals are tied together by the cross-cutting theme of alleviating disparities. CPC accomplishments include:

  • Translation of MCC basic science findings into clinical trials for a novel smoking cessation therapy
  • Inform the FDA and WHO tobacco policy on modified-risk tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes with a multi-PI P50 grant
  • Decrease cancer risk through obesity control in high-risk populations like adolescents and African Americans
  • Improve cancer screening decision making
  • Enhance patient and caregiver experience with cancer care
  • Identify Medicaid and other policy effects on access to care
  • Identify barriers to African American enrollment in clinical trials
  • Developing methods to overcome these barriers

In line with NCI's priority to foster multidisciplinary research, Massey has facilitated cross-cutting collaborations by generating an award program dedicated to CPC inter-programmatic pilot projects, several of which have led to large externally funded grant projects. CPC also sponsors education and training through monthly seminars, inter-programmatic research retreats, competitive CPC pilot grants, and support for student and trainee fellowships.

The CPC program is a dynamic and growing program within Massey Cancer Center, which addresses the unique needs of the MCC catchment area and the nation. The program, with its vibrant research agenda, engaged multidisciplinary membership, and ongoing support from Massey, will continue to build upon the impact of its high-quality basic science, clinical, policy, and outcomes research.