Governor McDonnell Signs Bills to Fight Back Against Cancer

Legislation Expands Commonwealth’s Support for Cancer Research, Treatment and Education

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell today signed six pieces of legislation that expand the Commonwealth’s support for cancer research, treatment and education. The governor was joined by legislators, VCU President Dr. Michael Rao, representatives from Women’s Clubs of Virginia, patient advocates and representatives from the Medical Society of Virginia, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Association and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. In addition to the legislation signed today, state support in the biennial budget for Massey has increased to $7.5 million annually, with the opportunity to apply for additional funding through the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund as stipulated in House Bill 1182 (Cox). The budget also includes more than $2.3 million annually for the University of Virginia for cancer research.

Speaking about the legislation, Governor McDonnell said, “The legislation signed today expands Virginia’s support for advancing the life-saving cancer research at institutions like VCU Massey Cancer Center,” said Governor McDonnell. “While we can celebrate that more and more Virginians are surviving cancer today because of the work of cancer organizations like Massey, we must continue to work to find a cure. With the Commonwealth’s support, that important work will continue and expand.”

Lieutenant Governor Bolling said, “Cancer impacts the lives of thousands of Virginians every year. In fact, my mom and dad, as well as Jean Ann’s dad, lost their lives to cancer. Unfortunately, our story is not unique. Every year, more than 35,000 Virginians are diagnosed with cancer. That’s why it is so important for us to do everything we can to combat this disease and promote effective programs to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. We can accomplish this goal by promoting healthy living, investing in cancer research and treatment, and advancing legislative solutions like those the Governor is signing today. Doing so is and will continue to be an important part of our effort to build a better and healthier Virginia.”

 Bills Signed Today

 HB1182 (Cox) Allowing Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Funding for Cancer Research


  • · Allows the Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Fund to provide grants for scientific research performed at one of the Commonwealth's National Cancer Institute-designated research institutes designed to advance the treatment and prevention of cancers that directly impact the citizens of tobacco-dependent communities throughout the southside and southwest regions of the Commonwealth.

HB83 (Orrock) / SB544 (Edwards) Required Notice for Breast Density

· Requires the Board of Health to establish guidelines requiring licensed facilities or physicians' offices where mammography services are provided to

    • o include information on breast density in mammogram letters sent to patients and
    • o in mammogram letters sent to patients who have dense breast tissue, include a notice containing information about the potential effects of dense breast tissue on mammograms and explaining that patients may wish to contact their physicians for additional information

HB1273 (Peace) / SB450 (Vogel) Parity of Coverage for Oral Chemotherapy

· Provides parity for oral chemotherapy health care drugs to ensure fairness to patients undergoing cancer treatment

  • · These bills ensure drug access within the same health plan regardless of whether it is administered orally or intravenously

HJ120 (Sickles) Mesothelioma Awareness Day

· Designates September 26, in 2012 and in each succeeding year, as Mesothelioma Awareness Day in Virginia.

About VCU Massey Cancer Center

VCU Massey Cancer Center is one of only 66 National Cancer Institute-designated institutions in the country that leads and shapes America’s cancer research efforts. Working with all kinds of cancers, the Center conducts basic, translational and clinical cancer research, provides state-of-the-art treatments and clinical trials, and promotes cancer prevention and education. Since 1974, Massey has served as an internationally recognized center of excellence. It has one of the largest offerings of clinical trials in Virginia and serves patients in Richmond and in four satellite locations. Its 1,000 researchers, clinicians and staff members are dedicated to improving the quality of human life by developing and delivering effective means to prevent, control and ultimately to cure cancer. Visit Massey online at or call 877-4-MASSEY for more information.