National Cancer Institute Deputy Director keynotes VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer

Community is invited to Oct. 12 symposium to engage with leading cancer experts

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Douglas Lowy, M.D.

Note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret to announce that the VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer originally scheduled to occur on Saturday, Oct. 12, will be postponed to occur at a later date. We will announce the new date for the symposium as soon as it has been determined. We hope that you will be able to join us then.

Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao, Ph.D., and VCU Massey Cancer Center will host the VCU Presidential Symposium on Cancer on Oct. 12, and physicians, dentists, nurses, cancer researchers and cancer survivors, caregivers and community members across Virginia are invited to attend to discuss the latest in cancer care, research and prevention.

Douglas Lowy, M.D., deputy director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), will deliver the keynote address on advances in cancer research and the direction of cancer research going forward, and he will give an update on the HPV vaccine. In collaboration with colleague John Schiller, Ph.D., Lowy discovered a way to generate infection-fighting antibodies that led to the development of a vaccine for the types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause a majority of the forms of cervical cancer, which is the second most common cause of cancer death in women worldwide. Lowy and Schiller are the first and second inventors on government-owned patents covering these discoveries, which are now licensed to Merck & Co., Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline for commercial development of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix.  Cancer researchers are now investigating the use of the vaccine for oral and anal cancers that may be caused by HPV.

"This symposium offers an excellent opportunity for the community to engage with top cancer experts from Massey and the NCI to celebrate the strides we are making in reducing people's suffering and death from cancer and to discuss the collaborative approach that will continue moving us forward,” Rao said.

"Virginia Commonwealth University's mission is really all about people, including our unrelenting commitment to human health. That is why I am proud that VCU Massey Cancer Center is one of the nation's leading cancer centers, designated by the National Cancer Institute.”

In addition to the keynote address, the symposium will also include three sessions:

·        Making the most of routine care, with presentations on dental cancer screenings, primary care and cancer screenings and the use of personal health records in primary care  

·        Cancer clinical trials and translational therapies, with an overview of cancer research, panel discussion on cancer clinical trials and presentation on physician-patient communication

·        Supportive care and cancer survivorship, with presentations on supportive/palliative cancer care, adult cancer survivorship and pediatric cancer survivorship, and a cancer survivor testimonial

Additionally, symposium participants will have the opportunity to engage with Massey cancer experts during intimate round-table discussions or to take a guided tour of the Center for Human Simulation and Patient Safety, a state-of-the-art educational environment with aids designed to provide a near-to-life experience for tomorrow’s health care providers.

“Working toward a cancer-free Virginia is a community effort,” says Gordon Ginder, M.D., director of VCU Massey Cancer Center. “My hope is that this symposium will bring Massey together with our community, health care providers and cancer survivors across the state to learn from each other.”

The symposium will be held on Oct. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the McGlothlin Medical Education Center on VCU’s MCV Campus in downtown Richmond. General attendance is free, and continuing education credit is offered for physicians and dentists. More information about the symposium, including the full agenda, speakers’ bios and registration, can be found at


About VCU Massey Cancer Center
VCU Massey Cancer Center is one of only 68 National Cancer Institute-designated institutions in the country that leads and shapes America’s cancer research efforts. Working with all kinds of cancers, Massey conducts basic, translational and clinical cancer research, provides state-of-the-art treatments and clinical trials, and promotes cancer prevention and education. Since 1974, Massey has served as an internationally recognized center of excellence. It offers the most cancer clinical trials in Virginia and serves patients at 10 locations. Its 1,000-plus researchers, clinicians and staff members are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by developing and delivering effective means to prevent, control and ultimately cure cancer. Visit Massey online at or call 877-4-MASSEY for more information.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls nearly 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-six of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see