Hollings Headlines // September 2022

'It's such a gift': Keeping the pain at bay to enjoy special occasions and the everyday

selfie of a man and women dressed up for a wedding

Pain is scary – especially for cancer patients who don’t know whether the pain will ever go away, says MUSC Hollings Cancer Center patient Julie Jablin.

Jablin has stage 4 lung cancer, and for a time, the pain was so intense that she was on morphine.

That changed when she was referred to Thor Johnson, M.D., Ph.D., a diagnostic and interventional radiologist who specializes in pain management.

Through a variety of interventional techniques, including radiofrequency ablation, kyphoplasty and nerve blocks, he was able to get her pain under control – which in turn recently enabled her to enjoy a two-week trip to Scotland and England to attend the wedding of a former exchange student.

Read Julie Jablin's story

Hollings Cross Talk

graphic promoting Hollings Cross Talk on Sept. 22 with photos of doctor and patient

Patient Julie Jablin and Dr. Thor Johnson talk frankly about pain and options for dealing with pain in this month's Hollings Cross Talk. 

Catch the episode at 6 p.m. Sept. 22 on Facebook, or watch for it on our website or YouTube

Watch Hollings Cross Talk on Facebook

Bringing screenings to underserved communities

“Some people don’t have the gas money to come and see me, let alone get screening tests. Marvella has really made me a believer – you’ve got to meet people where they are, says pulmonologist Dr. Gerard Silvestri. 

He's talking about disparities researcher Dr. Marvella Ford. The pair has been teaming up to expand access to screening in rural and underserved communities. 

Now, thanks to a $1.2 million grant from The Duke Endowment, they're establishing the Center for Cancer Equity and Engagement at Hollings to house disparities initiatives. 

They're also embarking on an ambitious plan to increase screening rates for five cancers and expand biomarker research trials by working with the MUSC Health regional hospitals in Florence, Lancaster, Chester, Marion, Columbia and Kershaw and a new facility scheduled to open in 2023 to serve Lake City and Williamsburg County.

Read about the Center

Breast cancer research

a man in labcoat and gloves works in a lab

“To me, the most exciting thing about being an independent investigator is that I can develop these ideas, propose experiments and get the exciting results that show that my hypothesis was correct or guide us in the proper direction," says Wenjian Gan, Ph.D.

He recently received two prestigious grants to allow him to continue his breast cancer research. He's looking at a family of enzymes called PRMTs. He says these enzymes were identified 30 years ago, but inhibitors are only now starting to go into clinical trials. 

"There is so much that we do not know. The better we can understand a molecule, the better we can target it to achieve effective therapeutic response,” he says. 

Read about Dr. Gan's research

Glow blue

Hollings Cancer Center lit up with a blue light

It's Glow Blue Week on the MUSC campus. MUSC Hollings Cancer Center will be lit up blue as the countdown to LOWVELO22 is on.

What's new with LOWVELO this year? A Hollings rally line – three of the four routes will go past Hollings to be cheered on by spectators. A rolling lane closure this year will allow riders more room and will minimize the impact on neighborhoods. 

Get the Glow Blue Details

President's Values in Action award

Is there someone on your team who exemplifies one of MUSC's core values of compassion, respect, innovation, collaboration and integrity?

Recognize their contribution by nominating them for the President's Values in Action award.

The deadline for nominations is Sept. 30.



LOWVELO is coming Nov. 5! The annual bicycle ride to raise funds for cancer research right here at Hollings Cancer Center is still accepting riders.

Not sure about getting on a bike? 

Consider participating as a volunteer or sponsor. 

Check Out the LOWVELO Site

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center on SC Public Radio

On Health Focus, Bobbi Conner talks to MUSC Hollings Cancer Center's Dr. Andrea Abbott about screening for skin cancer and to Dr. Nichole Tanner about lung cancer screening. 

Listen for the segments on air or go to southcarolinapublicradio.org/show/health-focus.


OurDay goes live Oct. 3

As we approach go-live, more than 50 legacy systems are entering read-only mode. This means that you can continue to view or download information, but you will not be able to make any changes to the system. 

For more information, check out the OurDay page on the Horseshoe. 

Coming up ...

Sept. 23 - LOWVELO Lunch and Learn

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center’s Sundar Balasubramanian, Ph.D. teaches yogic breathing to improve overall fitness and well-being. Also, learn mobility exercises from a Wellness Center trainer. Register to join in person at the MUSC Wellness Center, 45 Courtenay Dr., Room SW204, Charleston, or virtually on Microsoft Teams. All participants will get free registration for LOWVELO 2022. 

Sept. 26 - 26th annual Hollings Cancer Center Golf Tournament

Join us Monday, Sept. 26, 2022, for the 26th annual Hollings Cancer Center Golf Tournament. Tournament play includes breakfast, lunch and beverages on the course, an awards party, tournament prizes and fun contests. Register today to be a part of the un-“fore”-gettable fun!

Oct. 8 - Breast Cancer Survivors' Wellness Expo

Hollings researchers and providers Jennifer Harper, M.D., Katie Schmitt, DPT, Sundar Balasubramanian, Ph.D., and Stacey Maurer, Ph.D., will be at the first Breast Cancer Survivors' Wellness Expo, hosted by the MUSC Wellness Center, 45 Courtenay Drive. 

Oct. 18 - Virtual Breast Cancer Support Group

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 Hollings Breast Cancer Support Group meets on Zoom the third Tuesday of every month from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

Oct. 20 - 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 [email protected]

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