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July 2022

Director’s Update

Robert A. Winn

“We are Virginia’s cancer center.”

This month, I said those words to Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares when he visited our cancer center. Miyares has a personal connection to cancer and shared how it has impacted his family. During his visit, he learned more about challenges of cancer and of cancer health disparities that many in our region face. Cancer is the No. 1 killer of Virginians, and the work we are doing at Massey — from prevention to clinical care and survivorship — is our plan of attack in a battle that we refuse to lose. Knowing that Miyares is an ally gives us that much more momentum.

At Massey, we envision a future without cancer. Thank you for your continued commitment to Massey. We are one team and one fight against cancer.


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 Involved

Support advances in cancer research

Two events. One fight against cancer.

Make a day of it on Saturday, Aug. 27, and combine fun with fighting cancer.
Crazy Wig Night at The Diamond: Raising awareness for Swim Across America on Aug. 27

Crazy Wig Night at The Diamond: Raising awareness for Swim Across America on Aug. 27

When Richmond Flying Squirrels pitcher Chris Wright learned his mom, Michele, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the baseball team was eager to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer. This summer, the Squirrels hosted Crazy Wig Night at The Diamond in support of Swim Across America and was featured on CBS-6 “Beyond the Roster.” “For us to be here as a family and for us to participate together just fuels my fire to keep pushing and keep fighting,” Michele said.

Now, you can participate in Swim Across America’s Open Water Swim on Aug. 27.
Drink for a Cure. Fight Cancer Stay Positive

Fight Cancer, Stay Positive Dunk for a Cure event noon-6 p.m. Aug. 27

For Julie Shudtz, who lost her husband, Geoff, to pancreatic cancer in 2019, fighting pancreatic cancer is more than a mission; it is also a way to remember and honor Geoff’s legacy by giving back to help fight pancreatic cancer. Throughout their cancer journey, Geoff and Julie adopted a motto to “Fight cancer, stay positive.” They made T-shirts and hosted a dunking event to rally friends and family around the cause while spreading positivity.

On Saturday, Aug. 27, the FCSP Dunk for a Cure event is back in person at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.

Be Informed

Learn how we are improving health
Massey receives record $25 million in state funding

Massey receives record $25 million in state funding

Massey Cancer Center, which is already among the nation’s top 4% of cancer centers as designated by the National Cancer Institute, has received unprecedented support in Virginia’s 2022-24 budget. Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the General Assembly approved $25 million in funding for Massey, the first time the state has reached or exceeded the $20 million goal Massey has targeted for several years.

“At Massey, we envision a future without cancer and what that means for the communities we serve across Virginia,” said Massey Director Robert A. Winn, M.D. “When state leaders commit to this level of funding, it helps in our fight against cancer and will help to save more lives. A future without cancer is within reach. Thank you to the commonwealth for investing in the future of Virginians.”
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Massey’s work supports LGBTQ community needs

Massey’s work supports LGBTQ community needs

Listening sessions to inform fall event

Massey continues to fulfill its commitment to health equity and building trust within communities. The center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement, in collaboration with the VCU Health Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, plans a series of listening sessions focused on the needs of the LGBTQ community. The initiative will expand to include a larger group of community members and stakeholders to help create a community event in the fall as a lead-up to Richmond’s Pride Fest. Want to learn more?

Research to understand unique experiences

Massey doctoral candidate Viktor Clark is leading a two-part study called Q-VOICES (Queer Voices in Oncology Igniting Change through Empowered Stories of Survivorship) to better understand the cancer burden the LGBTQ community bears and capture experiences that LGBTQ people face during their cancer journeys, with particular focus on strengths community members use to survive. Clark is using crowdfunding to support the research initiative.

Be Innovative

Check out our latest research news
Oral bacteria could offer clues to fight pancreatic cancer growth and improve treatment

Oral bacteria could offer clues to fight pancreatic cancer growth and improve treatment

Pancreatic cancer is the sixth-leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Because of limited screening and treatment options, the vast majority of patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage, making long-term survivorship unlikely. A new scientific review led by Massey surgeon-in-chief Jose Trevino, M.D., suggests that microscopic organisms found in the mouth could hold key answers to the development, diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
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International clinical trial of a novel breast cancer drug yields promising results

International clinical trial of a novel breast cancer drug yields promising results

In a recent interview with CBS 6 WTVR-TV, Massey breast oncologist Hetal Vachhani, M.D., discussed the findings of an international breast cancer clinical trial that is making headlines. Vachhani is leading the clinical trial at Massey, which uses the drug Enhertu in high-risk, HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Vachhani explained that the drug kills tumor cells from within, saying, “We’re really excited about this trial. It’s a novel drug.”
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At Massey, a future without cancer is how we will measure our success.
Make a gift or tribute in honor or memory of a loved one affected by cancer to support lifesaving cancer research at VCU Massey Cancer Center.
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