Hollings Headlines // June 2023

Celebrating Cancer Survivors

collage of portraits of smiling people

June is National Cancer Survivor Month. Thank you to all our survivors who have shared their stories over the past year! You've made us laugh...and cry...and maybe helped someone else who's now standing where you were at the beginning of your journey.

Improved screening and treatment mean more people are living a life after cancer. There are about 18 million cancer survivors today, and that number is expected to increase to 26 million by 2040.

But we also know that survivorship can come with its own challenges. That's why our research doesn't stop at treating cancer. Last year, we established the Survivorship and Cancer Outcomes Research Initiative to improve survivorship care and train the next generation of survivorship researchers. Check out the website, and let us know what you think.

It wasn't the biscotti

a woman goofs off for the camera as another laughs along with her

A few extra pounds around the middle – it happens, especially once you hit middle age. And that's what Carol Sullivan thought was happening to her. She blamed it on the biscotti she was making.

But at the same time...that extra around the middle was unusual for Carol.

And that's the thing about ovarian cancer. So many of the symptoms could be nothing. Bloating. Pelvic pain or back pain. Feeling full quickly. The key with ovarian cancer is that the symptoms are unusual for the individual and they don't go away.

Carol followed her intuition and went to the doctor, where she was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.

Read Carol Sullivan's story

National trial – preventing relapse

a doctor listens to a patient in clinic

Dr. Brian Hess is the lead investigator on a national trial to see whether a drug combination can prevent relapse in patients who've undergone CAR-T-cell therapy with partial success.

People who enroll in the trial will receive polatuzumab vedotin and/or mosunetuzumab.

"The two have been used in combination in a clinical trial in patients with already-relapsed disease, including patients relapsing after CAR-T, and the efficacy has been really, really promising,” Hess explained. “We're trying to prevent relapse in these patients by giving these drugs as ‘consolidation’ prior to relapse.”

Read about Dr. Hess' research


collage of people enjoying an event

Is talking about colonoscopies fun?

It is when Dr. Colleen Donahue is the one doing the talking.

She covered colonoscopies, fiber and more as one of our expert speakers at the One-in-Three Afternoon Tea Linda Floyd Forum on Women's Cancers. This is an afternoon of shopping, delicious appetizers, survivor stories and the latest on cancer research.

The topics change every year, but the focus is always on providing you with accurate, up-to-date, useful information. Mark your calendar for next year - May 8, 2024!

Parker's warrior

“Being her uncle was an honor – is an honor,” says Michael Mansson.

In 2021, after his niece, Parker, was diagnosed with pediatric sarcoma, he rode in LOWVELO to raise money for research at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. After the ride, Parker challenged Michael and his team to ride in 2022 and raise $40,000.

They did. But Parker wasn't there to see it.

Read why Michael rides

Fit Club Mermaids

women in a pool holding pool noodles overhead with a video play symbol

See how a water component in the Survivors' Fit Club is helping breast cancer survivors with treatment side effects.


30th anniversary

black and white photo of a building from 1914

Does this building look vaguely familiar? It was built as MUSC's College of Medicine, the first building on the modern MUSC campus in Charleston.

The building was demolished to make way for MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, but the facade was preserved – take a look the next time you're outside our building!

More Hollings history photos

Hollings in the news

Post and Courier: MUSC studies whether vape flavors to help adult smokers quit outweigh risk to enticing kids

Post and Courier: Cancer in your 20s: How a Charleston med student found purpose in the midst of a storm

Charleston City Paper: Father-son pair teams up for local Swim Across America event

Moultrie News: Father-son 'dynamic duo' swim to raise money for cancer research

Coming up...

June 10 - Swim Across America

The Charleston-Kiawah Open Water Swim to raise money for MUSC Hollings Cancer Center begins at 8:30 a.m. June 10. Find more information at swimacrossamerica.org/charleston.

June 10 - Mobile Mammography & Cervical Cancer Screening

The Mobile Health Unit will be performing mammography and cervical cancer screenings at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 7396 Rivers Ave., North Charleston, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Community Health Van will also be on site, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., providing vaccinations to children ages 9 to 18.

The Mobile Health Unit features 3D tomosynthesis mammography equipment that provides the latest in imaging technology. Appointments are required for patients of the Mobile Health Unit. To schedule appointments, please call 843-792-0878 or email hccoutreachservices@musc.edu.

Additional upcoming dates for the Mobile Health Unit:

June 13, Walmart SuperCenter, Goose Creek, 605 St. James Ave.

June 29, Walmart Moncks Corner, 511 North Highway 52

Aug. 29, McClellanville, 711 Pinckney Street

Sept. 14, Vance Senior Center, 10304 Old Hwy 6

June 15 - 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 whitfis@musc.edu. 

June 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 breast 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

June 29 - LOWVELO Lunch and Learn

MUSC Health's Sarah Tucker Price, M.D., Ph.D., will present information on current guidelines and recommendations for cancer screening, including recent updates on cancer screening guidelines. Additional topics covered will include some opportunities to reduce cancer risk. Event takes place in Room 120 on the first floor of MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. Attendees will also enjoy a free lunch. RSVP to reserve your spot!

Send us 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, awards, events and patient stories. Please contact the Hollings communications team to share your news or if you have questions.

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Hollings publications and featured trials

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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