Cancer research will be boosted in Missouri through a new collaboration between the Siteman Cancer Center and the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center at the University of Missouri Health Care at Columbia. The goal is to improve cancer care throughout Missouri. Siteman is based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
A major goal of the collaboration involves scientists from both institutions partnering on research projects and jointly seeking competitively funded research grants, including those supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health ( NIH). The collaboration will also strengthen cancer prevention efforts.
Siteman Cancer Center is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Missouri. Such complete Cancer centers meet rigorous standards of cutting-edge research across multiple disciplines with the goal of developing new and improved ways to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer. Since 2015, Siteman has also held NCI’s highest rating – Outstanding – based on a rigorous review of its research programs.
“The Siteman and Ellis Fischel Cancer Centers are dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the people of Missouri by advancing the science that informs the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer,” said Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, director of Siteman, Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Cancer Programs at Washington University School of Medicine. “We can accelerate these efforts by integrating our respective expertise in conducting clinical, translational, basic and population-based cancer research and training. The ultimate goal of this relationship is to maximize cancer research capabilities at both centers and improve the health of Missouri citizens.
Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Missouri’s only state-designated cancer center, is accredited as a comprehensive academic cancer program by the Commission on Cancer, an American College of Surgeons quality program that recognizes systems to ensure that their patients receive coordinated, high-quality care.
“By linking these institutions, the combined research teams will maximize their distinct strengths and collaborate in new ways to create greater impact than either could achieve independently,” said Richard Barohn, MD, Vice Chancellor. Executive for Health Affairs and Dean of the University of Missouri. (MU) School of Medicine. “We are thrilled to engage our world-class clinicians and scientists from across the University of Missouri research enterprise, including the MU Research Reactor and the Roy S. Blunt NextGen Precision Health Building, to to make this collaboration with the Siteman Cancer Center a successful venture that benefits all Missourians.
The new relationship will also foster more collaborations between researchers who study cancer in humans and veterinarians who treat cancer in animals. The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the nation’s top veterinary medicine programs, with considerable experience treating cancer in animals and conducting comparative oncology research to help translate research animal in human studies.
“Ellis Fischel Cancer Center is associated with trust and excellence in clinical care and research,” said Gerhard Hildebrandt, MD, director of the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, chief of hematology/oncology and chairholder of oncology Nellie B. Smith at the MU school. of Medicine. “Collaborating with the Siteman Cancer Center will strengthen our ability to conduct more vital research and strengthen our clinical programs. With our NextGen Precision Health initiative, we will be able to save and improve more lives through theranostics, comparative oncology, cancer prevention and control, and immunotherapy. There is no limit to how we can improve the lives of individuals in our state in our fight to prevent and treat all forms of cancer.
According to Bettina Drake, PhD, of the University of Washington, professor of surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences, the University of Missouri extension — which has an office in every county in the state — provides a vital resource linking cancer researchers and cancer prevention specialists to people in rural communities who may not have access to care because they live far from major health centres.
“Access to cancer care is an issue in many rural areas of the state,” said Drake, who also has a master’s degree in public health and is associate director of community outreach and engagement at Siteman. . “Working with an institution like the University of Missouri, which has connections across Missouri, will help us identify barriers to care and develop strategies, resources, and policies we can implement to mitigate those barriers. . University of Missouri extension offices are already established in every county, and we look forward to opportunities to collaborate on community activities related to cancer prevention and screening, whether a cancer prevention education program or mammography screening event.
The collaboration will expand access to Siteman’s 8 Ways to Prevent Cancer campaign and expand the dissemination of information about Your Disease Risk, a tool that helps estimate an individual’s risk of developing cancer. The goals of the awareness program include expanding knowledge and access to important screening tests, including those that can provide early detection of cancers of the cervix, breast, prostate, colon and of the lung.
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