Dr. Nancy DeMore and the Hollings Cancer Center Tumor Board (copy)

Dr. Nancy DeMore (center) leads the tumor board for the breast cancer program at MUSC's Hollings Cancer Center. 

The Medical University of South Carolina's Hollings Cancer Center recently announced that its status as a National Cancer Institute-Designated Cancer Center was renewed.

The NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are chosen based on the depth of resources, research and scientific leadership. Hollings originally received its NCI status in 2009.

The designation lasts for five years before an extensive application for renewal is required. Hollings is one of 70 cancer centers in the U.S. with the status and the only one in South Carolina.  

Currently, 36 states and Washington D.C. hold NCI-Designated Cancer Centers. 

"This renewal validates the significant, ongoing and dedicated effort by Hollings Cancer Center scientists toward advances in cancer prevention, diagnoses and treatment, with the ultimate goal of finding cancer cures," said Dr. David J. Cole, president of MUSC in a press release. 

The renewal comes with more than $10 million in additional funding. Since it's last renewal, Hollings has conducted nearly 400 cancer-related research studies. They have also enrolled more than 3,500 children and adults in clinical trials. 

In a press release, the center explained that its goal is to reduce the burden of cancer in South Carolina and that the NCI status will help with that.  

"While there is much work still to be done, this has been a major accomplishment over the past several years that has led to the appreciation of the NCI of what we are doing in our communities, and the value we bring," said Gustavo Leone, director of the Hollings Cancer Center in a press release.

Local nonprofit to host community harvest dinner

The Charleston community is invited to a Harvest Dinner on Thursday, hosted by the students and faculty of Mitchell Elementary School. 

For the past 10 years, local nonprofit Green Heart Project has worked with Mitchell in maintaining a school garden. The purpose of the program was to educate students on hard work while connecting them with locally grown produce. 

After starting with Mitchell in 2009, the program now includes five more schools, including Memminger and Sullivan's Island Elementary school. 

At the end of each school year, the program has hosted a Harvest Dinner that features the produce grown by students. This Thursday's dinner will be the program's ninth time doing the event. 

“The Harvest Dinner is an opportunity for our students and their families to celebrate the hard work they put into their school gardens during the school year, in the company of community members who support them,” said Jesse Blom, executive director of the Green Heart Project in a press release. 

The event will take place at Mitchell's school garden. It will be a potluck-style barbecue that will include food from local chefs and the produce from the school gardens. 

Tickets are only free for children 12 and under. Everyone else can purchase a ticket to the event online

Reach Jerrel Floyd at 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @jfloyd134.

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