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Access to Massey cancer clinical trials expanded across coastal Virginia

Doctor and patient looking at computer screen

Cancer patients living in coastal Virginia have greater access to cutting-edge clinical trials now that Riverside Health System has joined VCU Massey Cancer Center’s Clinical Research Affiliate Network. This collaboration will bring National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored clinical trials testing promising new cancer treatments to seven Riverside locations, including Peninsula Cancer Institute locations in Newport News, Williamsburg and Gloucester; Cancer Specialists of Tidewater locations in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake and Suffolk; and Riverside Shore Cancer Center in Onancock.

“We are excited that Riverside Health System is joining our affiliate network and partnering with us to serve the needs of the residents of coastal Virginia,” says Dr. Khalid Matin, associate medical director of the Cancer Service Line at VCU Massey Cancer Center and interim chair of the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Palliative Care at the VCU School of Medicine. “Not everyone is able to travel for their care, so it’s important that we bring clinical trials to our communities and that participants in our trials reflect all walks of life.”  

Massey’s Clinical Research Affiliate Network extends NCI-sponsored clinical trial offerings statewide to provide more patients easier access to the latest cancer therapies and prevention methods before they become widely available. 

The Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program grant (NCORP-MU) originally received by Massey in 2014 and again in 2019 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. 

“As we strive to become Virginia’s first NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center, we are focused on expanding access to cutting-edge clinical research,” says Matin. “This strategic partnership will grow our Clinical Research Affiliate Network to seven oncology practices with 16 locations throughout the state while serving the unmet needs of diverse communities within the populous Hampton Roads area as well as the more rural Upper Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck regions.”   

Riverside Health System and VCU Health System have a history of collaboration that has strengthened in recent years. Earlier this month, a purchase agreement was finalized for VCU Health System to acquire Riverside’s hospital and physician practices in the Northern Neck and upper Middle Peninsula region of Virginia, including Riverside Tappahannock Hospital. Prior to this announcement, Massey was already partnering with Riverside to provide medical oncology and hematology physician services at Riverside Tappahannock Hospital.