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Virginia cancer care providers and clinical researchers convene for tenth annual Massey conference

Apr 01, 2021

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Oncologists and clinical cancer researchers from across the state gathered virtually for VCU Massey Cancer Center’s tenth annual Cancer Symposium and Clinical Research Affiliate Network Retreat on March 20.

The symposium provided continued professional education for clinicians while the retreat helped facilitate the operations of Massey’s Clinical Research Affiliate Network, which provides health systems and oncology medical practices throughout the commonwealth with access to Massey’s excellence in research and its expertise in developing and managing clinical trials.

Robert Winn, M.D, director of Massey, welcomed 73 clinicians who attended the symposium. The event featured a series of presentations by experts from Massey, the Mayo Clinic and Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Aminah Jatoi, M.D., professor of oncology and the Betty J. Foust, M.D. and Parents’ Professor of Oncology at the Mayo Clinic, spoke about older patients, cancer clinical trials and how to remedy unmet needs.

Efrat Dotan, M.D., associate professor of medical oncology and director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Training Program at Fox Chase Cancer Center, presented on treatment advancements in metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Keri Maher, D.O., M.S., assistant professor in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU School of Medicine, presented on novel therapeutics and practice-changing trials in acute leukemia.

The retreat provided an opportunity for Massey’s clinical research partners to hear updates related to clinical research operations and collaborations. This year’s topics included cancer care during COVID-19 and cancer survivorship. A panel discussion led by patient advocates closed the event.

Massey’s Clinical Research Affiliate Network brings clinical trials to affiliated community hospitals and oncology practices in order to expand access to clinical trials, increase participant enrollment and ultimately improve cancer care in Virginia and beyond.

The Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program grant (NCORP-MU) received by Massey in 2014, provides additional support for the statewide research affiliation network, with particular emphasis on access to cancer research for minority and underserved patients in the commonwealth. Massey is one of 14 NCORP sites around the country that is designated as a Minority/Underserved community site.

In previous years, awards were given to affiliates who recruited the most patients to research studies. This year, Virginia Cancer Institute was recognized for the most treatment trial accruals and Centra Lynchburg Hematology-Oncology Clinic Inc. was honored for the most overall accruals and data performance.

Masey Ross, M.D., M.S., medical director of community oncology and clinical research affiliations at Massey, provided closing remarks.

“Thank you to everyone who attended the symposium and retreat today, as well as all our affiliates who continue to work with us to provide cutting-edge clinical research,” said Ross. "Due to the virtual format, the conference looked different this year. Despite this, we had an excellent turnout of health care providers and researchers, all uniting for the common goal of improving cancer care in Virginia."

Written by: Melissa Mitchell

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