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Governor McDonnell Announces Increased Funding to Support Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center
Friday, December 10, 2010

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2010
  
Contact: Stacey Johnson
Phone: (804) 225-4260
E-mail: Stacey.Johnson@Governor.Virginia.Gov
<mailto:Stacey.Johnson@Governor.Virginia.Gov>

  
Governor McDonnell Announces Increased Funding to Support Research at VCU Massey Cancer Center

$5 million to Expand and Strengthen Basic, Clinical and Prevention, and Control Research; Amendment Will Help Center in Effort to Gain Top Status with National Cancer Institute


RICHMOND-
Governor Bob McDonnell announced today a $5 million budget amendment to support the expansion of research activities at the VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond.  The amendment will be part of his formal budget recommendations. The state funding will help the Center to expand and strengthen its basic, clinical and prevention, and control research to meet the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) requirements for Comprehensive status, a potentially break through designation should the Center be successful.  Comprehensive status would make the VCU Massey Cancer Center the only facility in the Commonwealth with such a designation, and one of only 40 nationally, while providing access to significant new sources of private funding and making the Center eligible to receive additional NCI research grants.

           Speaking about the budget amendment, Governor McDonnell remarked, “Whether it has been a family member, friend, colleague, or their own personal struggle, cancer has touched every Virginian. Although we have made great strides in our knowledge and understanding of the disease, there is still a long way to go before we conquer cancer.  With this new funding, the talented professionals at VCU Massey Cancer Center can continue their life-saving work to find new methods of prevention, identify positive treatments for patients, and continue towards the ultimate goal: curing cancer in our lifetimes.”  

               
"VCU is grateful to Governor McDonnell for the tremendous boost the governor's budget amendment gives the Massey Cancer Center in the fight against cancer, saving the lives of thousands of Virginians and reducing the suffering of cancer for even more," said VCU President Michael Rao.  "The importance of the VCU Massey Cancer Center to Virginia cannot be overstated. It occupies a critical position in research to prevent and cure cancer as well as frontline efforts to provide advanced therapies and treatments for cancer patients across the state."

"The state funding will provide significant help in moving the Massey Cancer Center to place among the top National Cancer Institute-designated centers, bringing the benefit of some of the nation's most cutting-edge research, prevention and clinical care to Virginia citizens where they live," said Dr. Gordon D. Ginder, VCU Massey Cancer Center director.

Massey Cancer Center has maintained its current National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation for 35 years.  The Center is now working to attain a Comprehensive status from the NCI, with the review taking place in the spring of 2011.  The Comprehensive designation is awarded by the NCI through its cancer centers program.  The program recognizes several types of cancer centers based on their degree of research specialization.  The Comprehensive designation is the highest level of distinction.

A capital campaign is underway to raise private dollars needed to recruit and retain high caliber physician-scientists and researchers; shore up core research disciplines, enhance the clinical trials program, and provide additional research space in the new School of Medicine Building.  Massey's total cancer research revenue in FY2010 totaled $61.4 million.  About 45 percent of the Massey Cancer Center budget comes from philanthropy, while another 32 percent of the operating budget is supported by sponsored research grants. Massey has a growing Clinical Trials Network program, with partner sites in Fredericksburg, Lynchburg, Danville and the Peninsula area.  Patients are able to receive excellent cancer care and the latest cancer treatments right in the Commonwealth.

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