Hollings Cancer Center receives $3.4M for clinical trials, research

By Ashley Barker
abarker@scbiznews.com
Published August 14, 2014

Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina will receive $3.4 million over the next five years to conduct clinical trials and research studies, according to a news release.

The National Cancer Institute awarded a grant to Hollings Cancer Center researchers under the NCI Community Oncology Research Program for studies that will include minority and underserved communities.

Over the next five years, Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina will receive a $3.4 million grant to conduct clinical trials and research studies. (Photo/Ashley Barker)
Over the next five years, Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina will receive a $3.4 million grant to conduct clinical trials and research studies that will include minority and underserved communities. (Photo/Ashley Barker)
Chanita Hughes-Halbert, principal investigator for the grant and program leader for cancer control at Hollings Cancer Center, said the trials and studies are important to the entire state.

“We will now have greater access to the latest therapeutic forms for cancer treatment, greater access to top clinical trials, and we will provide expertise to develop new strategies for how cancer care is delivered to everyone represented in our communities,” Hughes-Halbert said in a statement.

Research through the grant will take place at MUSC, MUSC’s Hilton Head Breast Health Center and the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, according to the release.

NCI’s Community Oncology Research Program identifies and evaluates interventions that reduce cancer risk and incidence, according to the program’s director, Dr. Worta McCaskill-Stevens. The program also focuses on enhancing cancer patients’ quality of life and increasing access to clinical trials and research for minority, rural and other underserved patients, the release said.

To be one of the program’s 12 minority or underserved community sites, which Hollings Cancer Center is, the patient population must comprise at least 30% racial or ethnic minorities or rural residents.

“One of the strengths of the Hollings Cancer Center is that we have a diverse patient population, enabling us to reach a more diverse group in our research and ultimately help bring improved therapies to all populations,” Hughes-Halbert said. “Our research tells us that there are significant differences in how cancer occurs and reacts in differing groups within the population. It’s important that we understand these differences and seek treatments that best serve each individual.”

Hollings Cancer Center has received more than $42 million in cancer research funding, and more than 200 clinical trials are open to patients.

Reach staff writer Ashley Barker at 843-849-3144 or @AshleyNBarker on Twitter.

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