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VCU Massey Cancer Center


Palliative care

VCU Massey Cancer Center is an international award-winning pioneer in palliative care; care that relieves suffering of the critically ill by managing pain and symptoms and addressing psychological, emotional and spiritual needs. Massey’s palliative care program is transforming the standards of care through clinical practice, education and research.

Patient care

Massey is advancing the practice of medicine by integrating palliative care into the treatment of critical or chronic illness.

Palliative care is provided through a consult service, on an inpatient basis in the Thomas Palliative Care Unit and on an outpatient basis in the supportive care clinic. Massey also offers palliative radiotherapy for the alleviation of pain in hospice cancer patients. 


Massey is refining medical education by placing greater emphasis on assessing, addressing and relieving the pain and symptoms of serious illness. Much of the curricula now used by Palliative Care Leadership Centers to teach institutions how to build successful palliative care programs were developed at Massey. Also, Massey is training future palliative care leaders through the Virginia Initiative for Palliative Care and through the Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship program in the VCU School of Medicine.


Massey researchers are creating statistical models that make the case for evidence-based pain and symptom management, changing the way health care providers understand the value of palliative medicine. Massey scientists also are testing new therapies, more effective ways of managing symptoms and improved psychosocial interventions that focus on quality of life, not just disease treatment.

Massey’s palliative care team has helped make serious illness easier to bear for many. To learn more, explore the sections at left.

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