The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) wishes to plan for the development of a comprehensive cancer center, Hollings Oncology Center (HOC) to reduce the morbidity and mortality of cancer in its area. MUSC is making a major investment towards this goal by constructing a new building devoted to cancer research as well as renovating additional hospital areas for cancer. The entire administrative structure of MUSC is committed to this build-up both in academic terms and in infrastructure development. Statistically, South Carolina leads or almost leads the states in the mortality of six significant cancers. This region presents an extraordinary opportunity to make an impact on underserved and minority populations. Outreach and prevention are major components by which specific objectives can be realized. These include: 1) an extension of the incipient regional SEER-compatible tumor registry to the entire geographic area; 2) coalition and programs in primary prevention with the regional Trident Health District and State Dept. of Health and Environmental Control; 3) outreach activities with proven minority organization; 4) entering of substantial numbers of minority patients and cooperative group trials; 5) expanding early screening for breast and cervical cancer to underserved populations with integration into full- service follow through via HOC; 6) initiating appropriate consultation and prevention-oriented professional education. The institution has the goal of increasing its cancer research base in basic science and clinical areas, with particular stress in the areas of translational multidisciplinary approaches. Recruitment for a center director concomitant with a major research group is into final stages. Five vacant department chair positions are targeted preferentially for various cancer specific or related disciplines. Research programs are to be initiated and planned in basic molecular and biochemical areas. Recent advances at MUSC in stem cell biology are uniquely provocative to develop novel opportunities in bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy. Cutting edge monoclonal antibody technology including single chains and immunotoxins are to be integrated into clinical trials. Both of these activities involve ongoing or incipient collaborations with four major NCI laboratory chiefs. Optimal governance models have to be explored for the final administrative identity of HOC. Plans for specific authorities and prerogatives for the director are being discussed including the interface between the center and all other cancer-related programs at MUSC. In all new program development, the goal is to organize three working groups comprised of internal and regional planners with key external advisory experts and additional consultants. An assembly of a significant financial base is being planned for successful start-up and development of the HOC which is the number one agreed-upon priority of the entire administrative structure at MUSC. Several unique program opportunities dedicated to MUSC are being targeted to cancer activities.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
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Special Emphasis Panel (SRC (46))
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Medical University of South Carolina
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United States
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