VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of just two facilities in the state of Virginia that the National Cancer Institute has designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. Located in Richmond, Virginia, the center’s mission is the eradication of cancer in Virginia and the extension of cancer treatment services and clinical trials to the state’s residents, regardless of their racial, geographic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. In addition to being a cutting-edge research center, Massey is a leading academic center that provides care across the continuum while training the next generation of researchers and health care professionals.
Facts about the VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center
VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center was among the earliest cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
VCU Massey is the only cancer center in the Richmond metropolitan region and one of only two NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the state of Virginia.
Massey’s cancer care is consistently graded as “High Performing” by U.S. News & World Report.
VCU received $405 million of sponsored research funding.
74% of VCU Medical Center patients would recommend their hospital.
VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center has roots that go back nearly two hundred years, to the creation of Hampden-Sydney College’s Medical Department in 1838, and in 1854, the department became the Medical College of Virginia. In 1939 the school established a tumor board and multidisciplinary tumor team, and in 1966 the Divisions of Surgical Oncology and Medical Oncology were created within the Departments of Surgery and Medicine.
Two years later, MCV merged with the Richmond Professional Institute to form Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and in 1974, the VCU Board of Visitors established a cancer center on the MCV Campus, followed by a planning grant being received from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). In 1983, the cancer center was named VCU Massey Cancer Center in honor of a major gift by William and Evan Massey. After decades of growth and expansion, in 2023 Massey achieved comprehensive status, the highest level of recognition from the NCI, and added comprehensive to its name.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center
VCU Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center offers lung cancer and mesothelioma patients the full continuum of care, from state-of-the-art tools for diagnosis to innovative treatments, surgical techniques, and equipment. The chest tumor team has expertise in the most advanced treatment options, including immunotherapy, minimally invasive surgery, and radiation therapy, and delivers it compassionately, with attention to the patient’s goals and a focus on the whole person.
Patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma have access to experts in the complex procedure cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC. VCU Massey is one of the few facilities in the country that offers it.
VCU Massey was founded to advance both patient care and research for residents of the state of Virginia and beyond. The center uses a “community-to-bench” model to ensure community access to clinical trials, thus addressing both the cancer burden and disparities of those the cancer center serves. Massy scientists conduct cancer research at every level, including basic research, translational, clinical, and population sciences. Nearly 150 members represent more than 38 academic departments and collaborate across three scientific research programs: Cancer Biology, Developmental Therapeutics, and Cancer Prevention and Control.
Massey is one of the largest facilities offering clinical trials in Virginia, and its translational research is key to the development of new therapeutic approaches. Massey also leads a statewide network for cancer clinical research through its Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program (MU-NCORP). The MU-NCORP brings state-of-the-art clinical trials to patients in their own communities, with an emphasis on the inclusion of minorities and medically underserved patients in clinical trials. Massey is one of only 14 MU-NCORPs in the nation.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
Massey’s cancer specialists come from many different disciplines to work together in the area’s largest and most comprehensive multidisciplinary teams. Both the thoracic cancer team and the peritoneal cancer team are dedicated to providing the most precise diagnosis and the highest-quality treatment, including innovative clinical trials, a full range of support services, and compassionate patient care.
The mesothelioma team at Massey features highly skilled practitioners, including interventional pulmonologists Dr. R. Wes Shepherd and Dr. Patrick Nana-Sinkam, cardiothoracic surgeons Dr. Walker A. Julliard and Dr. Anthony Cassano.
For patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, VCU’s Dr. Leopoldo Fernandez specializes in the complex procedure known as cytoreductie surgery with HIPEC.
Massey Comprehensive Cancer Center’s specialists serve the needs of lung cancer patients, as well as those diagnosed with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Their medical team provides a wealth of expertise in cancer diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and symptom management.