September 2016
Table of Contents

Funding Opportunities

Biological Comparisons in Patient-Derived Models of Cancer (U01)


Social Epigenomics Research Focused on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01)


New Informatics Tools and Methods to Enhance U.S. Cancer Surveillance and Research (UG3/UH3)


View a full list of current funding opportunities. 

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



Chair, Division of Epidemiology - (F52780)


Shared Resource Spotlight
Tissue & Data Acquisition & Analysis Core

The TDAAC is a Massey-supported core laboratory designed to provide high-quality human tissue samples to investigators as well as customized services to assist them in collecting and processing tissue and consenting patients. Located on the second floor of the Clinical Support Center at 403 N. 13th St., the TDAAC offers a comprehensive tissue bank with solid tumors from over 50 different tissue types, both malignant and benign. The laboratory can be used for the cryopreservation of mononuclear cells from hematopoietic neoplasias, as well as to support clinical trials where patient screening and tissue sample acquisition are required.


For more information, visit the TDAAC website, view this PDF or contact facility manager Pamela Jill Grizzard at 804-628-3615.

Leaders' Update Update 
A message from Donna Berrier, M.P.A., associate director for administration

Berrier, Donna
We're in the final countdown for the NCI Site Visit -- it's just 3 weeks away!

This message continues with more about:

--the NCI Site Visit on  September 29
--a mock site visit with the Scientific External Advisory Board on  September 9 to help us prepare
--the development of a 5-year strategic plan

Research HighlightsHighlights
Researcher finds better risk management of opioid abuse needed among cancer patients
Developmental Therapeutics member
Opioids are commonly prescribed to control cancer pain, and Massey Palliative Care Program Director Egidio Del Fabbro says more should be done to identify the potential for abuse and addiction among cancer patients. Of 691 research articles on opioid addiction, Del Fabbro found 34 that related to cancer, and studies involving urine drugs screens indicated that at least one in five cancer patients may be at risk of opioid abuse. He concluded that additional studies are needed to better determine the effectiveness of various opioid abuse risk assessments.


Massey to contribute to Vice President Biden's $70M Genomics Data Commons project
Massey scientists are poised to become contributors to the Genomics Data Commons (GDC) after Vice President Joe Biden announced plans to invest more than $70 million in the development of the project. The GDC is an information center funded by the National Cancer Institute to help facilitate the sharing of genomic and clinical data among cancer researchers in order to advance personalized medicine. The GDC is expected to give Massey researchers convenient access to data from cancer genomic projects as well as strengthen the storage and analysis of DNA sequencing information from patients for the enhancement of precision medicine.


Center News Center1
Portable device offers alternative treatment for GBM patients

Massey now offers an alternative treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in the form of a portable, wearable device called Optune. Because it is difficult to remove a GBM tumor through surgery, Optune sends low intensity electric currents throughout the brain that target GBM cells for the purpose of terminating or reducing cellular growth and division. Through patches worn on the scalp, tumor-treating fields (TTFields) are transmitted over the tumor from a battery-powered device worn in a backpack. A clinical trial determined that nearly half of all patients who were treated with TTFields in combination with temozolomide (TMZ), a chemotherapy drug, were alive after two years or longer, compared to just 32 percent of patients who were only treated with TMZ.
Member Showcase MemberShowcase

Lee studies the role of enzymes in immune response to cancer cells developed from conception

Cancer Molecular Genetics member
Eun Lee joined Massey as a member of the Cancer Molecular Genetics (CMG) research program in 2015. Her primary research centers on re-introducing the ERAP2 enzyme into cancerous cells in hopes of eliciting an immune activation response that could potentially recognize and kill those cancer cells. Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the VCU School of Medicine as well as an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Researcher Recognition Recognition
Researcher awarded $25.2 million to lead a national clinical trial for veterans with lung cancer

 Cancer Prevention and Control member
Massey physician-researcher Drew Moghanaki was awarded $25.2 million from the Veterans Health Administration to lead a national study on an alternative treatment for lung cancer. Practicing as a radiation oncologist at the Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center, Moghanaki will co-chair a clinical trial that is expected to open later this year and be conducted at 16 Veterans Affairs medical centers across the country. The purpose of the trial is to investigate whether stereotactic radiotherapy might be a potentially more effective alternative to surgery, the current standard of care.

Join Massey from 12-5 p.m. on September 10 at Leigh St. in Scott's Addition to celebrate the creation of a world record-breaking art project composed of prints of clothing that represent those in our community impacted by cancer. In addition to the creation of the nearly 700-foot artwork, there will be art and craft vendors, food trucks, refreshments and more.

For a full listing of events, 

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