Welcome to the Division of Surgical Oncology

Faculty members in the Department of Surgery’s Division of Surgical Oncology are teachers at the VCU School of Medicine and physicians and researchers at VCU Health. Our surgical oncologists are integrated in and contribute to the clinical care, education, and training programs, and basic, translational, and clinical research activities of VCU Massey Cancer Center, Richmond’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer center.

Patient Care

Our surgical oncologists are board-certified and have expertise and experience that distinguishes them as leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of tumors. They use cutting-edge techniques and the latest technologies to offer the most advanced procedures.

Visit the VCU Health website to learn more about the surgical procedures we offer and the locations of our clinics.

Our surgeons work in multidisciplinary teams at VCU Massey Cancer Center to treat the following disease types:

  • Breast cancer and benign breast conditions
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Endocrine tumors, including thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal
  • Gastrointestinal cancers and benign GI conditions, including stomach, esophageal, and liver cancers
  • Pancreatic and biliary neoplasms
  • Sarcomas
  • Skin cancer, including melanoma

For patient appointments, please call (804) 628-3111

 

Clinical Expertise

Faculty members in our division are research members at VCU Massey Cancer Center and are engaged in basic, translational, and clinical cancer research. They are collaborating with laboratory and social and behavioral researchers to investigate new and better treatment options and explore ways to improve the patient care experience. They serve as principal investigators of clinical trials for gastrointestinal cancers, melanoma, breast cancer, and immunotherapy. They also conduct basic and translational research on breast cancer biology and immunotherapy.

  • Harry Bear helped Massey Cancer Center pioneer neoadjuvant therapy for breast cancer. Neoadjuvant therapy, which involves pre-operative chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or radiation therapy to shrink tumors before surgery, may improve surgical outcomes or allow patients who were not candidates for surgery to become eligible. He also developed a phase 2 clinical trial at Massey based on his laboratory research that is testing the benefits of adding an experimental immunotherapy combination before standard chemotherapy and surgery for breast cancer patients.

  • Leopoldo Fernandez is leading one of only two hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) programs in the state of Virginia and is currently studying the outcomes of this therapy on the treatment of advanced abdominal cancers.

  • Amelia Grover was the first in the region to perform robotic thyroidectomies, a thyroid surgery assisted by a robot that is minimally invasive and has a quicker recovery time. She also chairs the American College of Surgeons Committee on Diversity Issues, addressing disparities in health care and the workforce.

  • Raphael Louie recently completed an NIH T32 training grant in geriatric oncology at UNC where he was working with mentors in medical oncology, geriatrics, and public health to implement patient-reported outcome measures to improve perioperative risk assessment in geriatric surgical oncology population. His current research combines surgical oncology and public health interests to innovatively address disparities and to improve cancer care for the geriatric population.

  • Kandace McGuire was the first in the region to use a new, FDA-approved device named Magseed™ that guides surgeons in locating and removing breast tumors and is a simpler, more effective alternative to traditional wire localization methods.

  • Giao Phan is leading the first cell-based immunotherapy trial at Massey Cancer Center to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of an adoptive cell-transfer therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma.

  • Jose Trevino has expertise in the liver, bile duct, and pancreas surgery. He also conducts research with specific interests in pancreatic cancer. He currently holds multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Florida Department of Health that support his work examining pancreatic cancer biology and tumor microenvironment, cancer cachexia, novel therapeutics, and how it relates to pancreatic cancer health equity. His most recent groundbreaking study on ethnic subgroups and pancreatic cancer outcomes, published in the journal Cancer Medicine, is one of the first to examine the connection between the disease and ancestral racial diversity among Black and Latinx populations.

Research at Massey Cancer Center

Research

Clinical and outcomes research remain a central component of our division’s mission.

We participate in several industry, society and federally funded clinical trials; and clinical and experimental research projects. Current projects include:

  • Precision PromiseSM is a multi-center, Phase 2/3 platform trial designed to evaluate multiple regimens in metastatic pancreatic cancer.
  • NCI National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN) - Network Group Operations Center

PI/Researchers

Kandice McGuire:

Actively participates in clinical trials and in health services research in the VCU Massey Cancer Center (MCC). Served as the institutional PI for several cooperative group trials. Dr. McGuire’s particular research areas of interest are locoregional therapies for breast cancer in underserved populations. She also serves on the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center (MCC) Protocol Review and Monitoring Committee (PRMC).

Jose Trevino:

The pancreatic cancer health disparities lab is led by Jose Trevino. Our research focus is dedicated to the better understanding of adenocarcinoma amongst a diverse patient population with investigations of key questions impeding better clinical outcomes and therapeutic target development. I have a significant basic science/translational research background with expertise in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (pancreatic cancer).  My clinical research interests are in pancreatic cancer health disparities where there seems to be a biological role in how pancreatic cancer is more aggressive in Blacks when compared to White.  My role as a surgeon-scientist allows for better understanding of the clinical problem in order to form provocative and actionable translational questions.  My group is on the forefront of therapeutic discovery for personalized medicine and we relate our translational work for clinical trial development.  We address the significant cancer health disparity in pancreatic cancer. 

Our group has championed the under recognized health disparity in pancreatic cancer.  Epidemiologic data from our group has established certain racial/ethnic groups have a worse outcome (Blacks) while others have a survival benefit (Hispanic/Latinx).  When all socioeconomic and clinical data are controlled, the pancreatic cancer disparity still exists and thus promoting our work in possible biological differences amongst races of different ancestry.

Harry Bear:

Serves on the NRG Oncology Breast Committee and Breast Working Group and co-chair the NRG Immunomodulation Subcommittee. Also a member of the NCI Breast Immuno-Oncology Task Force, formed in November, 2017. Previously, Currently, he is the MCC interim associate director for clinical research. Co-PI of VCU MCC’s Minority/Underserved NCI Community Oncology Research Program, funded by a grant from the NCI. We are particularly proud that our accrual of minority patients to clinical trials closely mirrors our patient population, with 25-30% of trial subjects coming from under-represented minorities. Dr. Bear has created the breast clinical research program, within the Division as well as creating a culture of emphasis on translational research and clinical trials and have worked diligently over the years to spread this culture to other site-specific programs.

Publications

Surgical Oncology Team

Faculty & Advanced Practice Providers

Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD

Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD

Professor

Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD

Harry D. Bear, MD, PhD

Professor

Department of Surgery

Professor of Surgery and Microbiology and Immunology and Interim Associate Director for Clinical Research of Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: harry.bear@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital, 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

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Leopoldo Fernandez, MD

Leopoldo Fernandez, MD

Assistant Professor

Leopoldo Fernandez, MD

Leopoldo Fernandez, MD

Assistant Professor

Department of Surgery

Surgical Oncologist at Massey Cancer Center

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: leopoldo.fernandez@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital, 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

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Amelia C. Grover, MD

Amelia C. Grover, MD

Professor

Amelia C. Grover, MD

Amelia C. Grover, MD

Professor

Department of Surgery

Surgical Oncologist at Massey Cancer Center

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: amelia.grover@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

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Raphael Louie, MD, MPH

Raphael Louie, MD, MPH

Clinical Professor

Raphael Louie, MD, MPH

Raphael Louie, MD, MPH

Clinical Professor

Department of Surgery

Surgical Oncologist at Massey Cancer Center

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: raphael.louie@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital, 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

Kandace P McGuire, MD

Kandace P McGuire, MD

Professor

Kandace P McGuire, MD

Kandace P McGuire, MD

Professor

Department of Surgery

Surgical Oncologist at Massey Cancer Center

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: kandace.mcguire@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital, 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

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Giao Q. Phan, MD

Giao Q. Phan, MD

Associate Professor

Giao Q. Phan, MD

Giao Q. Phan, MD

Associate Professor

Department of Surgery

Surgical Oncologist at Massey Cancer Center

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: gaio.phan@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital, 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

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Jose G. Trevino, MD

Jose G. Trevino, MD

Division Chair

Jose G. Trevino, MD

Jose G. Trevino, MD

Division Chair

Department of Surgery

Walter J. Lawrence Jr. Distinguished Professor of Oncology, VCU School of Medicine
Chair, Division of Surgical Oncology, Department of Surgery
Surgeon-in-Chief, VCU Massey Cancer Center

Phone: 804-628-2322

Email: jose.trevino@vcuhealth.org

Address/Location:
1200 East Broad St.
West Hospital, 4th Floor, South Wing
Box 980011
Richmond, VA 23298-0011

View Faculty Expertise Profile

Surgical Oncology Fellowship

The Division is dedicated to the advancement of education for future and current surgeons and oncologists. Our surgeons teach continuing professional development courses for physicians and other health care professionals to contribute to their medical knowledge and clinical competence, positively impacting health outcomes in our community. We also offer a surgical oncology fellowship program, which provides opportunities for the next generation of surgical oncologists to train in one of the country’s leading cancer centers.

Surgical Oncology Fellowship

Contact Us

Jose G. Trevino, MD, FACS
Chair, Division of Surgical Oncology
jose.trevino@vcuhealth.org

Biliana Ivanova, MBA
Associate Administrator
biliana.ivanova@vcuhealth.org

Office Location
West Hospital
4th Floor, South Wing

Mailing Address 
Box 980011
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0011

Phone: (804) 628–2322
Fax: (804) 828-4808
For patient appointments, please call (804) 628-3111