Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Last post: MD Anderson Cancer Center 

Egidio Del Fabbro first became interested in palliative care as a practicing internist, when he recognized certain deficiencies in his training. “I wanted to become more accomplished at treating pain symptoms,” he said. He felt managing patients’ symptoms in a supportive way was crucial to caring for them.

So Del Fabbro, who earned his medical degree in South Africa and did residencies in the UK and the U.S., headed to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a palliative care fellowship. “Six months into the fellowship, I realized there was a real gap in knowledge with regard to palliative care,” he said. “There was an opportunity to do pioneering work.” He stayed on as faculty, helping to direct the palliative care program and co-founding a clinic for patients
with cachexia, also known as wasting syndrome. His research studies have included testosterone replacement for fatigue and melatonin treatment for patients whose lack of appetite results in weight and muscle loss.

Del Fabbro became program director of palliative care at the Massey Cancer Center last May. Initially drawn to the MCV Campus for its comprehensive palliative care center, he’s since been impressed by the knowledge and integration of palliative care both in and outside of oncology. Del Fabbro says that’s a great setting in which to do meaningful research.