Forming the Nation’s First Statewide Cancer Research Initiative

May 5, 2006

In 2006,HSSC partners announced an agreement to establish the first statewide cancer research initiative in the United States. The South Carolina Coordinated Cancer Initiative leverages the intellectual capital and resources of the state’s largest medical centers and leading research universities to improve the the state’s chances of securing a National Cancer Institute (NCI) Comprehensive Cancer Center Designation for MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center. NCI designation greatly improves the ability of Hollings and the other partners to attract funding from the National Institutes of Health and other private sources, ultimately fueling research, educational and economic development opportunities.

HSSC Chairman and Palmetto Health Chief Executive Officer Kester Freeman said, “With this historic agreement, South Carolina places itself on the front lines of the national battle against cancer. Using the combined strengths of our six organizations to advance cancer research and expand cancer prevention outreach programs will have a tremendous impact on all South Carolinians. Not only will this improve access to cutting-edge cancer therapies, access to these therapies will be more uniform across the state.”

In addition, the South Carolina Coordinated Cancer Initiative will enable the establishment of a statewide clinical trials network, a statewide tissue bank system and standardized care protocols. These steps provide the opportunity for potentially lifesaving research to move from the lab and into patient care more quickly and efficiently.


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