MUSC Hollings Cancer Center Welcomes Self Regional Healthcare Cancer Center to Statewide Clinical Trials Network

March 22, 2012, Charleston, SC – The Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Self Regional Healthcare Cancer Center today jointly announced a partnership in which Self Regional will become the newest member of the Hollings Clinical Trials Network (CTN).

The partnership between Self Regional and Hollings provides cancer patients in the seven-county Lakelands region access to new and innovative cancer treatments, many of which are not yet available to the general public. In many cases, patients will be able to access treatment in their own community and see their own doctors while on a clinical trial.

The CTN represents a statewide partnership of quality cancer centers dedicated to the promotion of cancer research. By establishing a collaborative infrastructure of physicians, clinical trials offices, and patients, the CTN has the capability to reach out to a large and diverse patient population by sharing resources with members.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), many discoveries in cancer therapy never reach patients who could benefit from them. While 20 percent of cancer patients in the United States are medically eligible for clinical trials, only three percent actually enroll in these potentially beneficial studies. This is because most clinical trials are conducted through academic cancer centers like Hollings, while 80 percent of all cancer patients are treated by community oncologists.

Opened in the spring of 2011, the new Self Regional Healthcare Cancer Center offers advanced cancer care, including medical, radiation and surgical oncology. The $25 million center consolidates clinical and support areas in a calming, nature-inspired 40,000 square foot area. The center has been surveyed by the American College of Surgeons and received the Outstanding Achievement Award for meeting or exceeding standards of care.

“This is important as our state has a significant cancer problem,” noted Jim Pfeiffer, President and CEO of Self Regional.  “The Self Regional Cancer Center will be able to open clinical research studies that will meet the needs of our patients. This affiliation represents a partnership with some of the highest quality cancer care professionals in the state. It also compliments Self Regional Healthcare’s mission of providing advanced care close to home.”

Charles Schulze of Greenwood, a member of the MUSC Board of Trustees on hand for Thursday’s announcement, said MUSC and Self Regional operate in the shared spirit of treating cancer patients today, while researching for better therapies and, hopefully, one day a cure.

“Both institutions have proven track records of delivering outstanding care and high quality clinical trials, and MUSC looks forward in partnering with you,” Schulze said. “Your physicians and leadership, many of whom have educational and professional ties to MUSC, are setting the stage for bringing new and promising therapies via cancer clinical trials to those in Greenwood, and those efforts should be applauded.”

In South Carolina, the CTN can help change this by fostering partnerships between community medical centers like Self Regional and the academic centers like Hollings.

“Having the cancer experts at Self Regional as members of the clinical trials network means great things for everyone involved, especially the patients,” said Hollings Cancer Center Director Andrew S. Kraft, MD. “The Hollings clinical teams are looking forward to working with our counterparts at Self Regional to offer the best cancer care available in South Carolina to as many patients as possible.”

About Hollings Cancer Center
Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University of South Carolina is a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center and the largest academic-based cancer program in South Carolina. The cancer center has more than $35 million in cancer research funding and more than 1,000 people are participating on a cancer clinical trial at Hollings Cancer Center.

Hollings offers state-of-the-art diagnostic capabilities, therapies and surgical techniques and has multidisciplinary clinics that include surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation therapists, radiologists, pathologists, psychologists and many other specialists seeing patients under one roof. Multidisciplinary care is provided for most adult and pediatric cancers. For more information please visit the Hollings Cancer Center website.