Skip to Content

College of Pharmacy

Continuing the Fight Against Colon Cancer

Posted on: January 17, 2020; Updated on: July 31, 2020

Lorne Hofseth and his team at the UofSC are studying the effects of a ginseng molecule that may positively impact the future treatment of colon cancer. 

Hofseth, a professor in Drug Discovery and Biomedical Sciences and director of the Center for Colon Cancer Research, is working to discover the advantages and efficacies ginseng may offer compared to FDA-approved drugs or other complementary or alternative medicines. 

Colon cancer is one of the most preventable of all cancers, yet it is also one of the most commonly diagnosed among both men and women, according to the American Cancer Society.

The College of Pharmacy professor has received a $1.7 million R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study these ginseng effects. The grant will be awarded over five years. 

The study, “Harnessing the Power of P53 with Panaxynol from American Ginseng to Suppress Colitis and Prevent Colon Cancer,” will allow Hofseth’s team team to further research how the mechanism by which American Ginseng may eliminate colon cancer.

The results of this study could essentially add another layer of protection against ever developing colon cancer ...

Lorne Hofseth, Ph.D.  Director, Center for Colon Cancer Research

“The results of this study could essentially add another layer of protection against ever-developing colon cancer, along with diet, exercise and regular preventive screenings,” Hofseth says.

Dependent on the results of Hofseth's study, the next phase would move into clinical trials in humans, according to Hofseth.

"There is already anecdotal evidence that people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome have reduced  flareups using ginseng," he says.

According to College of Pharmacy Dean Stephen J. Cutler, receiving an R01 grant from the NIH is a testament to the quality of work performed by the scientist.

“This award is the gold standard we use to measure a scientist’s ability to conduct independent research,” Cutler says.  “Dr. Hofseth is an exceedingly accomplished scientist and we are fortunate that he serves as a faculty member in the College of Pharmacy.”


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.