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August 2022

Director’s Update

Robert A. Winn

Summer is all about spending time together in meaningful ways. This month at Massey is no exception. Every day, we come together — in the lab, in the community, in the clinic — to advance cancer research. We work to make possible novel therapies, to bring cancer prevention and education to all, to provide our patients with access to the latest technologies — to make a difference and save lives. These aren’t just words. At Massey, this is what we — this is what YOU — are making happen every day.

This month, we invite you to join us to celebrate, in big and small ways, all we are accomplishing. Read on for updates on our research and for ways you can continue to be an active participant in the fight against cancer. Swim, float, dunk — celebrate — with us. Being part of One Team, One Fight isn’t just something we say. It’s something we do.


Robert A. Winn, M.D.
Director and Lipman Chair in Oncology, VCU Massey Cancer Center
Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Innovation, VCU School of Medicine

Be Informed

Learn how we are improving health
Robert Winn, M.D., on the importance of clinical trials

Robert Winn, M.D., on the importance of clinical trials

In a recent video, Massey Director Robert A. Winn, M.D., reaffirmed his stance as a champion for clinical trials and the translational cancer research that has the potential to find cures. “I’m committed, and I hope everyone else will join me, in the fight of understanding that, at the end of the day, the more people we put on clinical trials equals more lives saved,” Winn said.
Watch video
Massey researchers on leadership team for $3 million women's health grant

Massey researchers on leadership team for $3 million women’s health grant

Massey researchers Vanessa B. Sheppard, Ph.D., and Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., will lead a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to the VCU Institute for Women’s Health. Over five years, the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health grant will support eight to 10 junior faculty at VCU with research focused in five areas particularly relevant to women’s health, including cancer.
Massey earns top rankings for surgical care in colon, lung and ovarian cancers

Massey earns top rankings for surgical care in colon, lung and ovarian cancers

For the 12th year in a row, U.S. News & World Report has recognized VCU Medical Center as the No. 1 hospital in the Richmond metro area, according to its 2022-23 Best Hospitals rankings. VCU Medical Center also earned the highest ranking on 10 critical procedures and conditions, including surgeries for colon, lung and ovarian cancers.

Be Inspired

Meet the people who inspire us
Massey Advisory Board spotlight: Rudene Mercer Haynes

Massey Advisory Board spotlight: Rudene Mercer Haynes

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.
For VCU Massey Cancer Center Advisory Board member Rudene Mercer Haynes, challenge is a part of life. It’s how you step up and face a challenge that makes all the difference.

This month, Massey sat down with the attorney, mom and cancer survivor to talk about her life and family, her work and her passion for giving back. This summer, the Rudene Mercer Haynes Clinical Trials Office Summer Internship was launched to honor Haynes for her work to promote cancer and health equity. The program provides undergraduates with a stipend to work with Massey leadership to promote cancer health equity for all people, regardless of race or locality.
Read more
Tabatha Smith

Breast cancer survivor stresses importance of early detection

Massey patient Tabatha Smith was 24 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, the disease had not spread. Smith received cutting-edge care at Massey and has been cancer free since. She now uses her experience to be an advocate for early detection. “I’m just so grateful to still be here — to really be here to help other people to know that you should always listen to your body and to know that no matter what the circumstances at the time, you can really overcome it,” Smith said.
Watch video

Be Involved

Support advances in cancer research
Three weeks, three events. One fight against cancer.

Three weeks, three events. One fight against cancer.

Mark your calendar for Aug. 27 and Sept. 9, when you can support cancer research at Massey! Please join us for three events that offer active, fun, family-friendly and festive ways to make a difference.

Dunk for a Cure: Join Team Massey and celebrate Aug. 27

VCU Massey Cancer Center is ready to dunk (and be dunked) to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. Chief of Surgery Jose Trevino, M.D., is captaining a team for the Fight Cancer Stay Positive’s annual Dunk for a Cure. Read more and watch a video from Dr. Trevino, and join Dr. Trevino this coming Saturday, Aug. 27, at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery for an afternoon of live music, great beer and food, and — of course — dunking. What better way to help fight cancer?
Register now

Swim Across America: Swim or float to benefit Massey on Aug. 27

Registration is open for the fourth annual Richmond Open Water Swim in the James River on Saturday, Aug. 27. Whether you’re a veteran swimmer, looking to do your first open-water swim or just want a fun, relaxing float down the river, everyone is welcome at the event and to help “Make Waves to Fight Cancer.”

Massey on the River returns in person Sept. 9

Massey on the River is back in person, at a new location, and you’re invited. Join us Friday, Sept. 9, at Historic Tredegar for Richmond’s best end-of-summer party, hosted by the Massey Alliance, our young professionals board, and presented by Truist. The event features live music, great food and drink, and views overlooking the James River, all to support innovative research and advances in cancer treatment and care. Tickets are on sale now.

Be Innovative

Check out our latest research news
Novel targeted therapy shows promise for deadly childhood cancer

Novel targeted therapy shows promise for deadly childhood cancer

New research recently demonstrated that a novel targeted therapy could be an effective treatment option for a deadly pediatric cancer known as neuroblastoma. Massey researcher Anthony Faber, Ph.D., and his team were able to shrink neuroblastoma tumors in mice in some of the models.
Read more
A woman in a white lab coat
A woman in a yellow shirt

Paving the way for better treatment and survivorship among breast cancer patients

Researchers at Massey, VCU Health and the VCU College of Engineering are working to understand how to survive and to thrive with breast cancer.

Road-mapping for breast cancer metastasis

Metastasis remains the primary cause of cancer-related death, and the ability to accurately model cancer progression in mice is critical to evaluating the effects of novel therapeutic interventions. In the Journal of Visualized Experiments, Massey researcher Paula Bos, Ph.D., recently published a step-by-step methodology for effectively establishing models of primary breast tumor cells and how they spread to the lungs.

Preventing heart disease in young breast cancer patients

A new five-year, $3.1 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute will enable researchers from Massey Cancer Center, Wake Forest University and Duke University to collaborate on a first-of-its-kind prospective study to look for the earliest signs of heart vessel damage in pre-menopausal breast cancer survivors.
Massey Cancer Center. VCU
At Massey, a future without cancer is how we will measure our success.
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