MUSC research program to increase lung cancer screenings, analyze genetic risk markers in Black population

The Medical University of South Carolina said they not only want to increase screening availability.
Published: Nov. 1, 2022 at 4:24 AM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2022 at 7:43 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With Lung Cancer Awareness Month beginning Tuesday, a local hospital is sharing an update on their project that’s expanding screenings in ethnically diverse communities.

The Medical University of South Carolina said they not only want to increase screening availability but make sure their sample populations truly reflect the community.

According to the Census Bureau, 27% of South Carolina is black, but MUSC said we really don’t have the genetic data or risk factors among that population.

A newly awarded $3 million grant will help MUSC gather more information on the biological makeup of the Black population.

Dr. Silvestri, a Professor of Thoracic Oncology at MUSC, said the Black population develops lung cancer at a younger age, with less of a smoking history, and they don’t know why.

He said the grant will target lung cancer disparities among the Black population in two main ways: They will test a navigation approach to lung cancer screening to address potential barriers preventing people from getting screened, and they will then look at the samples taken from those who were screened and analyze them for genetic risk markers.

Dr. Silvestri said it’s important to get and test this data in order to better understand and treat the Black community.

“We know that everyone’s biology and their genetic makeup is different. We can’t just enroll patients from one demographic and believe that what we’re finding in those patients applies to another population,” Dr. Silvestri said.

In addition to this research project, to recognize Lung Cancer Screening day on November 12 MUSC is opening its lung screening clinics to increase accessibility.

The hospital says patients must have a shared decision-making appointment beforehand.

To schedule a shared decision-making appointment contact:

  • 843-792-9300 (Charleston and surrounding areas)
  • 803-416-5470 (Chester & Lancaster)
  • 803-409-7030 (Columbia, Kershaw and surrounding areas)
  • 843-674-4525 (Florence)