Hollings Headlines // August 2021
Immunotherapy developed at Hollings offered in national LUNG-MAP trial
A bench-to-bedside-pioneered lung cancer immunotherapy developed at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is to be included in one of the largest lung cancer clinical trials being offered by the National Cancer Institute.

Hollings researcher and MUSC Health oncologist John Wrangle, M.D., is bringing a novel combination immunotherapy treatment – pembrolizumab + N-803 – to NCI’s Lung-MAP clinical trial. Lung-MAP, or the Lung Cancer Master Protocol, is open at more than 700 sites across the United States. The combination immunotherapy developed by Wrangle and colleague Mark Rubenstein, Ph.D., will be offered as a treatment in the unmatched arm of the trial.

“There is a great need for treatment options in the unmatched arm, since most tumors do not have mutations that are targetable with a drug,” said Wrangle. The Lung-MAP trial is an umbrella precision medicine clinical trial. This means that the efficacy of many drugs will be tested in this one trial, in the patients that they are most likely to benefit.

COVID-19 advice for cancer patients, caregivers
Cancer patients and their caregivers should use extra caution when planning trips over the coming months. Read the guidelines Sweat recommends you follow when selecting travel destinations.
Hollings researcher finds surprising COVID-19 marker

"We wanted to try to identify a cancer patient's risk of having COVID-19 very quickly because these patients have a higher risk of complications and mortality," Warren said. "By using scans to discover potential positive COVID-19 cases early on, we can help to decrease the risk of exposure to other patients as well as facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment for patients who have COVID-19."

Home team advantage
Demetress Adams-Ludd, a former professional basketball player, now dedicates her time helping people to quit smoking. Adams-Ludd serves as a tobacco treatment specialist and experienced licensed master social worker, providing potentially lifesaving resources and education in some of the most medically underserved communities in South Carolina — the same communities she grew up in.

Adams-Ludd and fellow tobacco treatment specialist Bridget Harris are part of the newly expanded Tobacco Treatment Program at MUSC regional hospitals in Florence, Marion, Lancaster and Chester. The goal is to provide critical tobacco treatment efforts in communities where the smoking rates for hospitalized patients are more than double that of MUSC Health in Charleston.

A new smoking cessation study, led by Michael Cummings, Ph.D., and Benjamin Toll, Ph.D., began enrolling patients at MUSC regional hospitals in March. They will be using a randomized model in which 75% of patients will receive enhanced care consisting of in-person or telehealth consults while hospitalized, followed by post-discharge interactive voice calls made seven days after discharge to connect patients to the South Carolina Quitline. The basic care group, comprising 25% of the patients, will only receive the post-discharge call.

Hollings researcher receives national award
Dr. Cummings hopes a proposed menthol ban can save lives
Congratulations to Hollings researcher and tobacco control specialist Michael Cummings, Ph.D., for being one of two scientists in the country to receive the prestigious Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Disease.

The honor celebrates individuals who have made major contributions in tobacco and disease research. The award also recognizes individuals for their development of innovative treatment plans and smoking cessation. Cummings co-leads the MUSC Tobacco Research Program.

“It is a great honor to receive this award named in honor of Dr. Alton Ochsner, one of the pioneers involved in establishing the link between smoking and disease in the 1940s and 1950s," Cummings said. "I’m humbled to join a distinguished group of prior awardees, all of whom have shared a common goal of reducing the adverse health impacts of cigarette smoking.”
Glow blue with Hollings
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center turned blue to kick off LOWVELO’s Glow Blue Week to celebrate the upcoming LOWVELO 2021 ride, to be held on Nov. 6.

LOWVELO is an annual fun-filled event that raises money for lifesaving cancer research at Hollings. This year's event will feature four outdoor routes – 10, 22, 57 and 100 miles – offering something for the entire family. There also will be stationary cycling classes and a virtual Home Team option for those who can’t join on the day of the event but want to support a great cause.

Join in on the fun Thursday, Sept. 2, by wearing blue and attending the Glow Blue festival at the MUSC Greenway from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will be food trucks, giveaways, free registration for LOWVELO and a mechanical shark you can ride!

Hear more about the impact LOWVELO is making in participants' and cancer patients' lives in this month's MUSC Hollings Cancer Center Cancer Chat podcast. Be sure to check out past podcasts too!

Stay tuned for Hollings Cross Talk, a monthly Facebook discussion about new cancer treatment, research and happenings at Hollings moderated by Raymond N. DuBois, M.D., Ph.D., director of Hollings Cancer Center.
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