Wes Hickman (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was joined today by former U.S. Senator Ernest F. ‘Fritz’ Hollings and representatives from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) to discuss the importance of making the Hollings Cancer Center a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated cancer center.
“Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the nation,” said Graham. “Practically every South Carolina family has been impacted by this horrible disease. Like Senator Hollings, I want to do all humanly possible to conquer cancer. South Carolina is aggressively confronting its many health care problems and MUSC is on the front line of this battle.”
“It’s my goal to take the Hollings Cancer Center to the next level by achieving a National Cancer Institute designation,” said Graham. “This designation would put the Center in an elite group of institutions. With an NCI designation, the Hollings Cancer Center would rightfully hold a place in the major leagues of cancer research.”
An NCI designation is the highest recognition a cancer center can receive. It acknowledges the center has met the highest standards for patient care, prevention and control, research, and education in the field of cancer. This designation would increase the resources available to Hollings Cancer Center to conduct research and prevention programs. It will also increase the state’s access for clinical trials for newly developed drugs to fight cancer.
“To reach this goal we must work together as a Congressional delegation and in concert with state and local officials, along with the private sector,” said Graham. “With Senator Hollings and the steady leadership of Dr. Greenberg and Dr. Kraft, I believe we can achieve this prestigious designation.”
Graham has secured $8 million for the Hollings Cancer Center in the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Bill. The funding will go towards the construction of a new research facility dedicated to the role genetics plays in the development of cancer. It will also help in the long-term efforts to turn the Center into an NCI designated cancer center.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in South Carolina, claiming the lives of nearly 8,000 citizens each year. More than 17,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed in South Carolina annually. One in two males and one in three females will develop cancer at some time in their lives.
“The Hollings Cancer Center is a national leader in treatment and research,” said Graham. “With focused commitment and persistence an NCI designation is achievable over time. There would be no better way to honor Senator Hollings than to achieve this goal.”