February 2017
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Reducing Overscreening for Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancers among Older Adults (R01)




View a full list of current funding opportunities. 

Highlighted positions related to cancer for which VCU is currently hiring. View the full list.


Associate Director, Basic Research (F51620)


Program Co-Leader, Cancer Molecular Genetics (F36090)

Shared Resource Spotlight
Biological Macromolecule Core Laboratory Closure

The VCU Biological Macromolecule Laboratory will cease operations on April 30 due to the loss of support previously enjoyed through the Cancer Center Support Grant for this resource, along with changing usage patterns, evolving scientific priorities and the ongoing commercialization and commoditization of services. The core staff's priority between now and April 30 will be to complete to the best of their ability any projects that have already been initiated. If there are unfinished projects at the time of closure, all work product and research notes will be turned over to the contracting primary investigator. No new business will be accepted within the core after February 28, except incidental services that can with a high degree of certainty be competed within the remaining timeframe. 


If you have any questions specifically regarding projects you have already contracted or work that you were hoping to initiate, please contact Lisa Shock, Ph.D., Core Laboratory Interim Director, or Kimberly Stratton, Core Laboratory Manager.

Leaders' Update Update 
A message from Mary Ann Hager, associate director for clinical services

Massey's clinical services are continuing to expand, with new physicians, clinics, treatments and programs.


This message continues with more on Massey's:

  • New physicians
  • New Pancreas & Biliary Neoplasm Program
  • New colorectal surgery and screening clinic
  • Expansion of collaborations with VCU Health CMH
  • Growth of the Integrative Health Program
  • Addition of Survivorship Care Plans
  • Medical-Legal Partnership
  • Extension of social work services
  • Re-accreditation of the Palliative Care Program
Research HighlightsHighlights
Pilot study suggests genetic testing could better identify breast cancer patients who would benefit from preoperative hormone therapy
Harry Bear, M.D., Ph.D.
Developmental Therapeutics member
Preliminary findings from a pilot study led by Harry Bear suggest that it may be possible to use Oncotype DX, a 21-gene recurrence scoring system, to identify more breast cancer patients who would benefit from neoadjuvant hormone therapy as an alternative to chemotherapy. Presented by Bear at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the findings indicated that patients with an intermediate Oncotype DX score who received preoperative hormone therapy were able to successfully undergo breast conservation surgery at the same rate as patients who received chemotherapy.


Center News Center1
Massey joins NCI cancer centers in endorsing updated HPV vaccine recommendations

Massey again united with each of the 68 other National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers in issuing a joint statement in support of recently revised HPV vaccination recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HPV vaccines can prevent the majority of cervical, anal, oropharyngeal and other genital cancers, but vaccination rates remain low across the U.S. The new guidelines recommend that children aged 11 to 12 should receive two doses of the HPV vaccine at least six months apart. Adolescents and young adults older than 15 should continue to complete the three-dose series.

Member Showcase MemberShowcase

Da Rocha working to develop novel nanotherapeutics for lung cancer

Sandro da Rocha, Ph.D. Developmental Therapeutics member
Sandro da Rocha joined Massey as a member of the Developmental Therapeutics research program in 2016. He hopes to eventually develop novel drugs that can be used as a primary or adjuvant therapy for multiple forms of lung cancer. In addition, da Rocha is the director of pharmaceutical engineering and an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutics at the VCU School of Pharmacy.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Fuemmeler appointed as the Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., Chair in Cancer Research

Cancer Prevention and Control member
Massey researcher and associate director for cancer prevention and control, Bernard Fuemmeler, Ph.D., M.P.H., was appointed as the Gordon D. Ginder, M.D., Chair in Cancer Research in January. He was awarded the chair in recognition of his exemplary contributions to teaching, research and public service. The appointment highlights Fuemmeler's commitment to improving public health, and his continued achievements are an integral part of VCU's and Massey's vision to make a difference as a major research university.

EventsUpcoming Events

Cancer Research Seminars
Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k
Massey is the official charitable partner of the Ukrop's Monument Avenue 10k presented by Kroger on Saturday, April 1st. Team Massey has more than 30 teams signed up with a goal of $500,000. Consider accepting the Massey Challenge and joining us as we put cancer on the run!

For a full listing of events, 

mediaMassey in the Media

NewsTop Cancer News

Cancer mortality declined overall in the U.S. between 1980 and 2014, but there are important differences in mortality based on regions. The report was covered by CBS News,
CNN and FOX News.

Two studies, one from the University of California, San Francisco, and one from Baylor College of Medicine, concluded that women with early-stage breast cancer who received chemotherapy and underwent scalp cooling were more likely to experience significantly less hair loss. The studies received coverage from CNN, NPR, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Share with us your research, awards and accomplishments!
Submit your news to Blake Belden at beldenba@vcu.edu or (804) 628-4578.
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