Hollings Headlines // January 2023

graphic promoting Cross Talk

"We care about you, and we want the best for your well-being," says Dr. Nichole Tanner.

Unfortunately, she says, lung cancer often comes with a stigma – some people who smoke might even feel they deserve it.

In 2023, let go of those feelings of guilt or shame and take control of your health!

In this month's Hollings Cross Talk, Tanner and Dr. Jennifer Dahne talk about the importance of lung cancer screenings, even for people who've stopped smoking; new trials at MUSC to get smoking cessation aid to people in rural areas; and some of the nuances around vaping.

Watch now


graphic with head shot of man and a congratulations on election

Hollings researcher Benjamin Toll, Ph.D., co-director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program, has been elected to the president-elect position in the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco, the professional group for researchers, academics, treatment professionals and more.

We'll be following up with him for more on his plans – follow us on Facebook or Instagram to learn more!

Cancer survivorship

illustration of dark blue face looking down and light blue face looking up

We often say that multi-disciplinary care is best. Here's an example! A Hollings team, starting with a surgeon and a psychologist in 2017, have been working to develop a cognitive behavioral therapy targeted to the unique concerns of head and neck cancer survivors.

Because of the visible changes caused by the cancer and/or the treatment, some head and neck cancer survivors suffer such great body-image distress that they can't go to the store, attend church, or even socialize with friends.

“The BRIGHT intervention won’t make them look better. It won’t make them speak more clearly or help them chew or swallow food more easily. But it will give them psychological tools to help address these concerns," says Dr. Evan Graboyes.

After randomized trials at Hollings proved promising, a new $3.2 million grant will enable this intervention to be tested at three cancer centers across the U.S.

Read about this research

Behind the scenes

portrait of Shanta Salzer

Behind every triumphant announcement of progress in the fight against cancer, there are scores of unseen teams working every day to solidify our knowledge about what works and what doesn’t.

The Clinical Trials Office at Hollings is one such team. Shanta Salzer, a manager in the office, was recently honored with the MUSC President's Values in Action Award for personifying the MUSC value of "collaboration."

Check out this story about Salzer's experience in the CTO!

Read Shanta Salzer's story

What drives cancer spread through the body?

two men pose in lab coats

Understanding the back-and-forth communication between biological systems, not just single molecules, is the future of understanding cancer and improving therapies because biological systems within the body are intertwined.

Dr. Besim Ogretmen and graduate student Alhaji Janneh have been collaborating with Hollings scientists across multiple labs to look at how "cross talk" between two different signaling systems can drive tumor metastasis.

Read about the research

In the news

Charleston Regional Business Journal: Georgetown health care group joins MUSC cancer network

Becker's Hospital Review: 60 hospitals and health systems with great oncology programs headed into 2023

SC Public Radio: Mindfulness to help cancer survivors manage stress

Coming up ...

Jan. 17 - 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

Jan. 19 - Head and Neck Cancer Survivors 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]

Feb. 23 - Cancer Connections lecture series

Kevin Hughes, M.D., director of cancer genetics at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and theMcKoy Rose, Jr. M.D. Endowed Chair in Surgical Oncology, will present on the Hollings Hereditary Cancer Clinic. 

Lecture is at 5 p.m. at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center with a cocktail reception to follow. Parking is available in the Jonathan Lucas Garage, 97 Jonathan Lucas St. RSVP to [email protected].

Feb. 25 - 7th Annual Charleston Head for the Cure 5K Run & Walk

Funds raised from the Charleston event will benefit vital brain cancer research and programs at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, in addition to other national brain cancer research, programs, education and initiatives.


The Charleston 5K event will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at James Island County Park. Those interested in participating can register at www.headforthecure.org/charleston or by emailing Anna Adelman at [email protected].

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Explore some of our featured trials being offered at Hollings.

Check out the latest publications from doctors and researchers at Hollings.
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