Hollings Headlines // April 2020
Leadership Message
We find ourselves in unusual times. As we struggle with the financial and social challenges that this pandemic brings, I want to reassure our faculty and staff that we remain committed to our cause of advancing cancer care in this state. To that effect, we are pleased to announce two new leaders of our Cancer Immunology research program. See their story below.

We also remain committed to pursuing new hires in our oncology program that we feel are mission-critical to our goals. It is a pleasure serving as interim director and plans are moving forward to vet candidates for our new cancer center director. In the meantime, my door is open to anyone who has questions or concerns.

Please refer to the links at the bottom of this e-newsletter for links to MUHA and MUSC resources that may be of help during this time.

With gratitude,

Denis Guttridge, Ph.D.
Hollings Cancer Center Interim Director
In the News
Blood plasma transfusions for COVID-19 patients
This story in The Post and Courier features the work of our researchers and clinicians who have launched this important clinical trial .

Says Hollings Cancer Center researcher Dr. John Wrangle: "One of my hopes for this study is to provide a therapy to patients who are in desperate need as well as to drive potential convalescent plasma patients to donate so that there is a broad bank of therapy available for this state. Hopefully, we can learn from this experience not only how to better battle COVID-19 infections but also lea rn more about how the immune system recognizes cancer."
Unsung Hero

We are celebrating this unsung hero in our inpatient oncology unit. Arthurine Cobb was awarded a “HCAHPS Champion Award” from her leadership team for having the highest HCAHPS scores on ART7W and a second award for having 100% compliance with infection prevention. 

"Her efforts not only are improving the patients’ experience but also are keeping our immune-compromised patients safe," says Jason Wall, director of oncology inpatient nursing. "We are very fortunate to have her as part of the ART-7 West family."
Oncology Telehealth
Dr. David Mahvi, chief of the Integrated Center of Clinical Excellence for Oncology, said he’s excited Hollings Cancer Center has been able to expand oncology telehealth services during this pandemic.

"The goals of Hollings remain the same. We are here to advance cancer care," he said. "During the pandemic, we are focused on providing the best possible care in a way that is safe for our patients and our staff. We hope to learn from our embrace of telehealth new ways to deliver more patient-centric care."
Oncologist Dr. Antonio Giordano (right) shares tips on how patients and families can stay safe, and this story explores life as a cancer patient and caregiver during the pandemic.
Q & A with Dr. David Marshall
Check out this interview in Progressnotes with Dr. David Marshall.

He has been with MUSC for 15 years, recently stepping into a new role as the chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology. We thank him for his leadership!
New leaders to head Cancer Immunology program
Hollings Cancer Center is proud to announce the appointment of Shikhar Mehrotra, Ph.D. and Sophie Paczesny, M.D., Ph.D., to head up its Cancer Immunology program.

“These two leaders bring a wealth of talent and expertise to lead Hollings into a new decade that promises to have exciting discoveries in how immune cells are compromised in tumor environments and how such findings can be translated to new therapies,” said Hollings Cancer Center interim director Denis Guttridge, Ph.D.
Advances in Head & Neck Cancer
The timing worked out just right to publish the results of two cancer studies by Dr. Evan Graboyes during Head & Neck Cancer Awareness Month in April. We appreciate all he does to continue to move this field forward and increase access to quality care.

Read about the research:

Using sponges to wipe out cancer
Hollings Cancer Center researcher Dr. Mark Hamann and colleagues are researching how a sponge found in Manado Bay, Indonesia, makes a molecule that stops the growth of cervical cancer cells, according to a  recent publication  in the Journal of Natural Products.

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