Hollings Headlines // January 2021
Cervical cancer survivor: "Get your HPV vaccine"
Halea Wylie, 27, had big plans for 2020, including buying and renovating a house, getting engaged and spending time with her three children. What she didn't plan on was a diagnosis of stage 4 cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Now, as she awaits the results of her chemotherapy at Hollings, she's encouraging anyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against HPV, which is responsible for more than 90% of cervical cancer cases in the U.S.

“I never let my cancer diagnosis get me down. I never cried about it," said Wylie. "There’s a meaning behind everything – I just haven’t gotten to my meaning yet.”
What a women's health expert wishes women knew about cervical cancer
In honor of January being Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Hollings oncologist Jerlinda Ross, M.D., shares her expertise on what causes cervical cancer, how women can reduce their risk and how using research tools like geospatial technology can provide clues to help reduce existing disparities in women’s cancer care. Read her Q&A.
This Friday: Virtual visit from Ned Sharpless, M.D.
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is excited to welcome Ned Sharpless, M.D., director of the National Cancer Institute, for a special virtual visit this Friday, Jan. 29, from 12-1 p.m. Dr. Sharpless will give a presentation titled "Assuring Progress in Cancer Research During Challenging Times" and will take questions from Hollings members and staff.
Cancer center visits are a high priority for Dr. Sharpless and give him an opportunity to have an “ear to the ground” to hear what issues and topics are of interest among centers across the country.

Hollings members and staff can register for the event here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event via Zoom.
Shining a light on clinical trials
When Tony Pesavento was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in 2015, he underwent what felt like “every treatment under the sun” to stop the progression of the disease. Then, he was approached about enrolling in a Phase I clinical trial at Hollings — a trial he now credits with saving his life.

“I’m living proof that if cancer research didn’t exist, I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Pesavento, who is now cancer-free. “That’s why I believe it’s important to continue conducting research to keep discovering more modernized ways to combat cancer."
Latest trials target advanced prostate cancer
Led by oncologist Michael Lilly, M.D., Hollings researchers are testing a new drug developed in part at MUSC that may help to expand treatment options for men with metastatic prostate cancer whose disease is progressing despite standard treatment.
Hollings investigators are conducting a Phase II trial to determine whether changing the order in which certain treatments for metastatic prostate cancer are administered can prolong life for men with the disease. The trial is led by Todd Gourdin, M.D.
Head for the Cure virtual 5K to benefit Hollings
Part of the proceeds raised during this year's Head for the Cure virtual 5K in Charleston will go directly to Hollings to help researchers better understand brain cancer. Learn more about how current treatments for brain tumors are falling short in this Q&A with Hollings neuro-oncologist David Cachia, M.D.
New Biostatistics Shared Resource director
Join us in welcoming Elizabeth Hill, Ph.D., as the new director of Hollings' Biostatistics Shared Resource! Hill joined the team last week and will support our cancer researchers by making sure they have access to the latest specialized technology and research services to help enhance their productivity toward new cancer discoveries and treatments.
Team Science Award winners announced
Congratulations to the latest winners of Hollings' Team Science Award, which aims to stimulate the development of high-quality, multi-investigator program project grants that will move forward to extramurally-funded grant awards.

This year, awards were given to two projects:
  • Sphingolipid Metabolism in T-Cell Immunity and Cancer Immunotherapy: Led by principal investigators Besim Ogretman, Ph.D., and Xue-Zhong Yu, M.D., and co-investigator Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D., this project is designed to advance understanding of the link between sphingolipid metabolism, T-cell immunobiology and immunotherapy.

  • Head and Neck Cancer Pre-SPORE: Led by Ogretman and Terry Day, M.D., the goal of this project is to provide basic and clinical knowledge of head and neck cancer diagnosis, treatment and control related to cancer metabolism, cell cycle regulation and immunotherapy.
Reminder: Mask etiquette
Help ensure you, our patients and our staff feel safe. Please make sure your face mask:

  • Covers both your nose and mouth
  • Fits snugly to your face
  • Is worn at all times, even while making phone calls
Construction to impact garden access
Several repair and renovation projects to Hollings are planned through the end of March and will impact access to Hollings' Pearlstine Healing Garden. Please be aware that the garden and its adjacent building entrances will be closed and that the alley to and from the garden will be blocked.
We want your news!

Got news? We have outlets, from our news site to our video boards! We’d love to help promote your latest journal publications, grants, clinical advances and patient stories. Please contact the Hollings communications team to share your news or if you have questions.
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