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Charleston, S.C. (Oct. 17, 2012) – Debbie Bryant, DNP, RN, assistant director of Cancer Prevention and Control and Outreach at the Hollings Cancer Center, has been named a recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2012 Community Health Leaders Award. 

The award honors exceptional men and women who have overcome significant obstacles to tackle some of the most challenging health and health care problems facing their communities. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has honored more than 200 community health leaders since 1993. Bryant was one of only ten recipents chosen from hundreds of nominees.

Janice Ford Griffin, national program director for Community Health Leaders, said the selection committee honored Bryant for her perseverance in creating and executing strategies that treat patients as active participants in realistic and practical steps to improve their health.

Dr. Bryant provides a crucial link in assuring residents’ access to information about clinical trials and other sophisticated medical concepts, while at the same time actively mentoring nursing and medical students with advice and support as they pursue their careers," Griffith added.

Hollings Cancer Center Director Andrew S. Kraft, MD, said Bryant's leadership is crucial to the center's mission of providing care to all South Carolinians regardless of where they live.  Read More....



Anthony Alberg and colleagues published the first studies to investigate possible reasons why a personal history of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is associated with increased risk of other malignancies. In a study of 5,900 participants, a thorough evaluation of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DNA repair pathway genes identified several noteworthy associations with the NMSC cancer-prone phenotype, with the strongest associations in two SNPs in the thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) gene, a base excision repair gene recently discovered to play a central role in DNA de-methylation. These results are published in the September 2012 issue of Carcinogenesis. In a separate report in press in Cancer Epidemiology, SNPs in hedgehog pathway genes were not observed to be associated with basal cell carcinoma of the skin or the cancer-prone phenotype.

Ruczinski I, Jorgensen TJ, Shugart YY, Berthier Schaad Y, Kessing B, Hoffman-Bolton J, Helzlsouer KJ, Kao WHL, Wheless L, Francis L, Alani RM, Strickland PT, Smith MW, Alberg AJ. A population-based study of DNA repair gene variants in relation to nonmelanoma skin cancer as a marker of a cancer-prone phenotype. Carcinogenesis 2012; 33(9): 1692-1698.

Jorgensen TJ, Ruczinski I, Shugart YY, Wheless L, Berthier Schaad Y, Kessing B, Hoffman-Bolton J, Helzlsouer KJ, Kao WHL, Wheless L, Francis L, Alani RM, Strickland PT, Smith MW, Alberg AJ. A population-based study of hedgehog pathway gene variants in relation to the dual risk of basal cell carcinoma plus another cancer. Cancer Epidemiology 2012; (In press)

Kristin Wallace was awarded an R03 entitled "Race, prognostic markers and survival in early and late-onset colorectal cancer". The primary goal of the research is to investigate the combination of age and pathologic and pathomorphologic markers as contributing factors to the racial disparity in CRC survival. Dr. Wallace hypothesizes that the racial disparity is at least partially driven by younger African Americans having a greater predisposition to develop more aggressive CRC, which in turn result in poorer response to treatment and hence lower overall survival. This study will generate needed evidence to begin to address several important questions regarding the role of pathologic indicators in influencing the differences in survival between African Americans and European Americans. The results from the present proposal will serve as preliminary data for a larger-scale study that will enroll patients throughout South Carolina. The larger study to follow will address a suite of questions that will include how biologic and non-biologic indicators impact racial differences in treatment adherence, response to therapy, and overall survival.

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