VCU Massey Cancer Center designation to bring more access, clinical trials to Richmond area

VCU Massey Cancer Center designation to bring more access, clinical trials to Richmond area

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Logo: VCU

VCU Massey Cancer Center has been designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

Massey’s receipt of the highest level of recognition from the NCI places it among a group of cancer centers influencing a new standard of care through research, education and community engagement.

Massey’s director, Robert A. Winn, M.D., is the first African American to lead a cancer center to comprehensive status. Under Winn’s leadership, Massey has effectively championed a community-centered approach, recognizing community members as equal experts and strategic partners in its research efforts.

“We are so proud to reach this milestone, and to be leading the charge not just in research but in building trust and breaking down barriers between medical institutions and communities,” said Winn. “We are truly the first of a new generation of community-focused cancer centers, where world-class science and research is informed by the people we serve, and accessible for all.”

The NCI commended Massey for its significant strengths in the full spectrum of cancer research, robust pathway for cancer research training and education and plans to further enhance the diversity of its trainees and faculty.

The renewal of its Cancer Center Support Grant provides Massey with funding for its cancer research programs over five years and makes the cancer center eligible for additional information sharing and resources reserved for the top institutions that demonstrate superior research capabilities.

“This important national designation reflects our mission and our commitment to the highest levels of treatment, research, prevention and control as we focus on improving and saving even more people’s lives,” said VCU Health President Michael Rao, Ph.D.

With Massey’s new comprehensive status, those living in the area are promised even greater access to life-saving cancer screenings and clinical trials.

“This is an incredibly exciting moment for Massey and VCU Health, and for the patients and families who come through our doors,” said Paula Fracasso, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, deputy director of Massey and senior vice president of the cancer service line at VCU Health. “With the increased funding from our CCSG, we will have additional research dollars to extend our reach into the forefront of science and translational work, that will provide better ways to predict, prevent, diagnose and treat our patients with cancer.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.