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.
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.
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
- Skin cancer, including melanoma
Research and Innovation
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.
- Brian Kaplan was part of the first team in the world to implant an internal radiation device known as CivaSheet to treat early-stage pancreatic cancer.
- 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.
Education and Training
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
Advanced Practice Providers
Anna K Nizinski, NP
Patricia Bragg, NP
Harry Bear, MD, PhD, FACS
Chair, Surgical Oncology
Biliana Ivanova, MBA
Seventh Floor, West Wing
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0011
Phone: (804) 828-9322
Fax: (804) 828-4808
For patient appointments, please call (804) 628-3111.