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Translational Cancer Therapeutics

Center of Economic Excellence



Award Amount

$5 million

External Funding Above Match

$31.8 million

Research Focus

Development of new approaches in cancer treatment, including the discovery and development of new drugs. Research also focuses on utilizing mouse models predisposed to cancer to study the impact of gene misregulation and therapeutic agents on tumor development and the identification and inhibition of new cancer drug targets.

University Partner

Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
University of South Carolina

Private Sector Partner

Multiple Industry Partners

The Translational Cancer Therapeutics Center builds on existing strengths in pharmacology at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and the University of South Carolina (USC) and expands opportunities for increased interdisciplinary research in biology common to cancer. As research builds in the discovery and development of cancer drugs, South Carolina’s economy will be strengthened by biotechnology companies with pharmaceutical interests.

Collaborative work with Novelos Pharmaceuticals has led to unrestricted research funding totaling more than $750,000 since 2005 to study lung and ovarian cancer. A portion of this support funded a breast cancer clinical trial at MUSC, which in turn was instrumental in the pursuit and acquisition of the National Cancer Institute Cancer Center designation for the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. This Center was also instrumental in MUSC obtaining the National Institutes of Health $20 million Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA), which was presented in July 2009.

In 2011, the Center succeeded in recruiting Dr. Igor Roninson, an internationally recognized cancer researcher and holder of 39 patents. As a result of Dr. Roninson’s SmartState appointment, his startup company, Senex Biotechnology, relocated to Columbia, SC. Dr. Roninson is working on a drug that inhibits the negative effects of chemotherapy, which shows promise is allowing more cancer patients to undergo chemotherapy with fewer negative side effects.

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