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MUSC Health Blog

Keyword: changing what's possible

There are thousands of cancer treatment centers across the United States, but only a select few receive a designation from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is among this elite group - setting us apart as one of the nation's leading cancer centers. We’re the only cancer center in South Carolina to receive this distinction and one of fewer than 70 in the United States. View full list of NCI centers.

Our NCI designation means that:

  • MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is among the best in the nation in research
  • The latest discoveries for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer are happening here
  • Additional financial support for research in our fight against cancer
  • Enhanced ability to recruit distinguished researchers and clinical leaders

The Latest in Cancer Treatments

According to the NCI, designated cancer centers like Hollings are a major source of discovery of the nature of cancer and of the development of more effective approaches to cancer prevention, diagnosis and therapy.  Patients have access to the latest cancer clinical trials, many of which are only available at NCI-designated centers. Hollings currently has over 200 open clinical trials and has seen a 40 percent increase in participation since 2009.

Learn more about cutting-edge research and cancer treatment at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center.

Tony Skatell, MUSC heart patient
Tony Skatell, MUSC heart patient

In 2012 MUSC patient Tony Skatell experienced sudden cardiac death at age 59. A family history of heart disease had led to three blocked vessels in Tony’s heart, which caused his heart to go into a deadly rhythm. Thankfully, he received CPR at the scene and was flown to MUSC for treatment. The experts at MUSC’s Heart & Vascular team quickly diagnosed his heart disease and cardiac surgeon John Kratz, M.D. performed lifesaving surgery on him.

Now Tony is back to living a very active life, with a new sense of gratitude for each day.

Nick CollinsIn one instant in August 2012, 26-year-old Nick Collins’ life changed forever. Nick was thrown from the car he was riding in and run over by an 18-wheeler, crushing his pelvis and legs. He was rushed to the Trauma Center at MUSC, where he underwent massive resuscitation from shock and was eventually stabilized. He was admitted to the Surgical Trauma ICU (STICU) and put into a medically induced coma.

Physicians initially told Nick’s family that his injuries were so severe that he had less than a 1% chance to survive. The Trauma and surgical teams didn’t give up, however, and neither did Nick.

Together, with the support of Nick’s friends and family, Nick survived. He spent 62 days in a coma, endured dozens of surgeries and received more than 150 units of blood. Surgeons eventually amputated Nick’s left leg at the hip. Three months after the crash, Nick was moved to a rehabilitation hospital; on January 21, Nick finally went home.

Nick plays guitar in a local Charleston band, and has recently begun performing again. “It’s a miracle I’m alive,” Nick said. “If it wasn’t for MUSC, I wouldn’t be here today.”

MUSC has the only ACS verified Level I Trauma Center in South Carolina.

Watch Nick's story here:

 

max inmanMax Inman from Surfside Beach, SC suffered from heartburn since he was a teenager. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disease that affects the esophagus and the stomach. It can cause food and stomach acid to flow into the esophagus, leading to burning, pressure and pain. Long-term, GERD can lead to esophageal bleeding or ulcers, coughing, hoarseness and may be a precursor to esophageal cancer. Although it can often be treated with lifestyle modifications or medication, some patients with chronic or severe GERD may require surgery. 

In late 2012, Max became one of the first patients in SC to undergo a new procedure to treat GERD. Dr. David Adams from MUSC implanted the LINX Reflux Management System via a minimally invasive procedure, which involved placing a small, flexible ring of magnetic titanium beads around Max's lower esophagus. The device helps keep stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus, but is flexible enough to allow food to pass into the stomach. LINX helps avoid some of the side effects of traditional GERD surgery, and enables patients to return home the same day or day after surgery and return to a normal diet immediately. MUSC was the first in South Carolina and among the first 20 institutions in the country to perform the LINX procedure.

Watch Max's story about having the LINX procedure at MUSC.

 

 

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