Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center receives National Cancer Institute Designation Renewal

  • Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hollings Cancer Center One of Only 68 U.S. Cancer Centers with NCI Designation and Only NCI-Designated Center in South Carolina

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center has been awarded a five-year renewal of its National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation, a distinction held by only 68 cancer centers in the U.S. The Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) is the only institution in South Carolina with this prestigious status.

Andrew S. Kraft, MD, Director of the Hollings Cancer Center (HCC), said this renewal affirms that MUSC/HCC researchers and physicians are leaders in discovering, developing, and delivering cutting-edge treatments based on laboratory research to patients in South Carolina and beyond. The immediate benefit to patients is increased access to early clinical trials offering promising new treatments.

“This renewal confirms that MUSC researchers and clinicians are working together as a team to make advances in the war on cancer,” Dr. Kraft said. “We are grateful that this outstanding effort by so many is being recognized and supported through continued NCI Designation.”

The five-year renewal is accompanied by $7.5 million in funding to sustain and grow research efforts at MUSC. The NCI awards designation and renewal based on outstanding facilities, commitment to research, leadership, and vision.

MUSC President David J. Cole, MD, hailed the renewal as affirmation of the strength of the work being done at Hollings: “It's gratifying to see the Hollings Cancer Center receive renewal of our NCI designation. Hollings continues to be at the forefront of biomedical research at MUSC, and this renewal validates the significant, ongoing and dedicated effort by Hollings scientists toward advances in cancer prevention, diagnoses and treatment, with the ultimate goal of finding cancer cures.”

NCI-designated cancer centers are characterized by scientific excellence and the capability to integrate diverse research approaches that focus on cancer. They play a vital role in advancing the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality from cancer through increased clinical trials that offer patients new drugs and treatment protocols that would be unavailable to them otherwise.

When NCI Designation was initially achieved by the HCC, U.S. Senator Lindsey L. Graham called the designation a “game changer for the thousands of South Carolinians with cancer,” adding “The NCI designation only comes to the best and brightest. It is a compliment to the men and women who put in countless hours at this facility and recognition that the Hollings Cancer Center is among the best of the best in cancer research.”

According to the NCI, designated cancer centers are a major source of discovery of the nature of cancer and of the development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis, and therapy. They also deliver medical advances to patients and their families, educate healthcare professionals and the public, and reach out to underserved populations. They are characterized by strong organizational capabilities, institutional commitment, and trans-disciplinary, cancer-focused science; experienced scientific and administrative leadership; and state-of-the-art cancer research and patient care facilities.

NCI Designation is awarded for a five-year period, after which centers undergo an extensive renewal submission and examination. HCC submitted its Cancer Center Support Grant renewal to NCI in 2013, underwent a three-day site visit in September, and received official notification of renewal in late June.

Etta Pisano, MD, Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean, College of Medicine, added, “We are very proud of our faculty and staff who serve our cancer patients and do outstanding cancer research. This renewal is a tribute to their excellence.”

About Hollings Cancer Center

Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer program in South Carolina. In addition to the full range of clinical services, the cancer center has more than $42 million in cancer research funding and more than 200 clinical trials open to patients. Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques with multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and other specialists equipped to the full range of cancer care. For more information, please visit www.hcc.musc.edu.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 68 National Cancer Institute designated centers), Level I Trauma Center and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.com.

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