Hollings Headlines // November 2022

Couple faces dual cancer diagnoses with humor, thanksgiving

A husband and wife laugh together after dealing with dual cancer diagnoses

"Laughter is what gets you through it."

That's hard-won wisdom from Beth Hardy. Seven years ago, she and her husband, Kerry Hardy, were told that he had, at best, two years because of the stage 4 lung cancer that had just been found.

"We never thought we'd see seven years. Ever," she says.

Then, in 2020, she learned that she had breast cancer.

Through these ups and downs, they've traded caregiver roles, followed the science as Kerry has enrolled in different clinical trials, and learned to live in the moment.

"We have firmly embraced that if we decide it's something we want to do, we do it. So we take off and go see the Temptations and the Four Tops at the drop of a hat," she says.

"We decide to do those things because why not? We've realized the importance of the moment now, even more than we ever did before."

Read the Hardys' story
collage of a man standing with his arms in positions over his head

Strike a pose

No, Dr. Bradley DePaoli isn't vogueing on the job!

Instead, he gamely agreed to demonstrate some of the positions used in total skin electron beam therapy. This rarely-offered therapy is now available at Hollings for patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, an extraordinarily rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Providing this therapy here means that patients don't need to travel out of state for treatment. The therapy builds upon other services offered to people with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, including a specialty clinic where dermatologists and oncologists team up to see patients together.

Read about this therapy

Screening saves lives

photo of man in his living room

Why are we so focused on increasing the number of people who get lung cancer scans?

Because of people like Gary Davis.

Gary smoked for years. He tried to quit many times, but he couldn't make it stick. He did follow his doctor's advice to get lung scans, though, and because of those scans his cancer was caught early – early enough that minimally invasive robotic surgery was able to remove the cancer.

Just a couple of weeks after surgery, Gary was fishing with his grandkids.


Read Gary Davis' story

E-visits to quit smoking

a no smoking symbol holographically rises from a cell phone

“A lot of times people have misconceptions like, ‘Well, my lungs are already damaged. So what's the benefit of quitting now?’” says Dr. Rami Zebian.

There's a lot of benefit. People with lung damage can avoid needing to use oxygen if they quit, and even people who need oxygen can add months or years to their lives by quitting. People with cancer – either lung cancer or some other type of cancer – will find their bodies respond better to treatment if they quit smoking.

But doctors also know how hard it is for people to quit. That's why Dr. Zebian is so excited about a new research effort led by Dr. Jennifer Dahne to offer e-visits for smoking cessation to smokers in the rural areas served by MUSC Health's Regional Health Network.

Read about this trial

Cervical cancer increasing among early-30s women

human ectocervical cells

After decades of cervical cancer rates going down, the rates leveled off in 2012. Now, researchers are seeing increases among one group in particular - women in their early 30s. The question, says Dr. Ashish Deshmukh, is why?

Read about this research

Hollings Cross Talk

graphic promoting Cross Talk video

Check out this month's Hollings Cross Talk. Dr. John Wrangle talks about the novel combination immunotherapy developed at Hollings that is now in nationwide trials and the need for more research to find treatments for this devastating disease.


play sign over a photo of a bridge at sunrise with cyclists on it

It was a day filled with sunshine, laughter, live music and, of course, lots of biking for a great cause. We had so much fun with you this year at LOWVELO!

Here’s a little something to help you remember it all. As we close in on the holidays, please know how thankful we are for your participation and for all you do to help raise funds for lifesaving cancer research. We can’t wait to see you next year!

Hometown Hero

magazine cover with a woman standing under a blue sky in front of a green marsh

Multiple Myeloma Hero

Congratulations to our Hollings Horizons cover model, Tiffany Williams, who has been named a 2022 Multiple Myeloma Health Equity Hero!

Frankly, we are not surprised – Tiffany has always impressed us with her drive and compassion.

Read about the award

In the news

Post and Courier: SC patients more likely to get lung cancer, less likely to get surgery or survive

WCIV: Lowcountry community trekked for cancer research

WCSC: MUSC research program to increase lung cancer screenings, analyze genetic risk markers in Black population

WCSC: MUSC hosts Lowvelo Bike Ride in fight against cancer

Technology Networks: Rapid rise in cervical cancer cases among millennial women

Coming up ...

Nov. 29 - Giving Tuesday

Join alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of Hollings next Tuesday, Nov. 29, to change what’s possible for the people, places and programs that mean the most to you. On this day of giving, your generosity has the power to create unlimited possibilities!

Giving Tuesday is a global movement unleashing the power of radical generosity. It was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.

Dec. 1 - Cancer Connections lecture series

The lecture series is your chance to learn about the exciting research and initiatives happening at Hollings! During the inaugural lecture, hear from Dr. Kevin Hughes about the MUSC Hollings Hereditary Cancer Clinic. An informal cocktail reception will follow his presentation. Parking will be available in the Jonathan Lucas Garage at 97 Jonathan Lucas St.

5 p.m. in Hollings Room 120. Please RSVP to brownlau@musc.edu. 

Dec. 9 - Virtual Cancer Health Equity Research Symposium

SC CADRE presents a virtual cancer health equity research symposium, featuring:

Lynne Nguyen, director of community & populations core in the Center for Community-Engaged Translational Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center;

Dr. Janae Sweeney, director of SCSU Biorepository Shared Resource;

Dr. David Turner, VCU Massey Cancer Center; and

Cherry Seabrook, Hollings community advisory board.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Register at https://form.jotform.com/222824313184148

Dec. 15 - Head and Neck Cancer Support Group

Meet with other head and neck cancer patients and caregivers in a supportive environment. This group meets in a hybrid format; you may join online or in person. The Head and Neck Cancer Support Group meets 5:30–6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month. To attend online, register on Zoom. To attend in person in room 121 of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, RSVP to whitfis@musc.edu

Dec. 20 - Online Breast Cancer Support Group

Join us online for a monthly support group moderated by MUSC Hollings Cancer Center providers with expertise in the psychological experience of people with cancer. You can participate however you feel most comfortable: video on, video off, or call in. All options are available.

The group meets on Zoom the third Tuesday of every month from noon to 1 p.m. Register to receive a link

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