MUSC background

Professional Profile: Kevin F. Staveley-O'Carroll, M.D., PhD

Kevin F. Staveley-O'Carroll, M.D., PhD, who joined MUSC Hollings Cancer Center in May 2013, is the Alice Ruth Reeves Folk Endowed Chair in Clinical Oncology and Medical Director of the Oncology Service Line. A noted tumor immunologist, he also serves as the Program Leader for Tumor Immunology at Hollings Cancer Center and as Director of Cell Evaluation and Therapy. Dr. Staveley-O'Carroll came to MUSC from Pennsylvania State University, where he built a large and successful clinical program in tumors of the liver, pancreas, and foregut and established one of 17 hepatobiliary surgical fellowships in North America. He was elected as President of the Association for Academic Surgery, the largest organization of academic surgeons in the world.

At MUSC, Dr. Staveley-O’Carroll plans to establish a hepatobiliary surgical fellowship and to build a strong clinical program in liver, pancreas, and foregut tumors. He also plans to establish a multidisciplinary clinic for metastatic colon cancer that will provide new treatment options for patients with primary or secondary tumors in the liver or secondary tumors in the lung.

Dr. Staveley-O’Carroll’s research focuses on dendritic cell vaccines and adoptive T cell transfer, already areas of strength at MUSC (see Training the Immune System to Better Detect and Target Tumor Cells.). He has created a mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) that very closely mimics the progression of HCC in humans. From that model, he learned that HCC turns off the T cells that should be recognizing and attacking the cancer and discovered that the US Food and Drug Administration–approved agent sunitinib can prevent it from doing so. The hope is that sunitinib could be used to disrupt the ability of the cancer to “hide” from T cells prior to the administration of a dendritic cell vaccine combined with an adoptive T cell approach.

Dr. Staveley-O’Carroll earned his medical degree at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and his doctorate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Biology. He completed his residency, a surgical oncology fellowship, and a postdoctoral research fellowship (Departments of Oncology/Immunology/Pharmacology) at Johns Hopkins Hospital.