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Siteman Cancer Center announces first network affiliate in Illinois


The Siteman Cancer Network, a partnership with regional medical centers, has added a third member, the network’s first in Illinois. Alton Memorial Hospital in Alton, Ill., has joined the network, which is aimed at improving the health of people and communities through cancer research, treatment and prevention.

Membership in the Siteman network strengthens and further expands Alton Memorial’s connection as a member of BJC HealthCare to the nationally renowned Siteman Cancer Center, based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Network membership provides more direct access to cancer prevention and control strategies, and genomic and genetic testing. Patients also will have streamlined access to highly specialized treatments and technologies, including clinical trials, at Siteman. Siteman and Alton Memorial also will work together to find ways to prevent and control the disease. Possibilities include a greater emphasis on reducing smoking rates and promoting cancer screening and other healthy activities.

“Siteman Cancer Center and Alton Memorial Hospital – through the Siteman Cancer Network – are committed to preventing cancer and transforming patient care in the communities we serve,” said Timothy J. Eberlein, MD, director of Siteman Cancer Center, and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor and head of the Department of Surgery at the School of Medicine. “Together, we’re working to build a healthier region.”

Alton Memorial Hospital
Alton Memorial Hospital joins Siteman Cancer Network to reduce cancer’s effect in west central Illinois

As Missouri’s and southern Illinois’ only comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute and only member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Siteman Cancer Center is committed to collaborating with other health-care providers to help improve the health and well-being of the region, Eberlein said.

Key components of network affiliation include:

  • A patient navigator to coordinate access to highly specialized care, including clinical trials for especially complex cases, at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.
  • Assessment of cancer’s impact on west central Illinois and development of a plan to lessen the overall burden and measure results. Possibilities include a greater emphasis on reducing smoking rates and promoting cancer screening and other healthy activities.
  • Implementation of cancer prevention strategies, such as the use of interactive tools, e-books, videos, individual coaching and online cancer risk-assessment tools.
  • Development of targeted interventions to reduce cancer risk and evaluation tools to measure success.
  • Use of genomic and genetic testing to help identify more personalized, targeted treatments based on the characteristics of a patient’s disease.
  • Development of a database that includes information about tumor characteristics and treatment options, aimed at using that information (with each patient’s permission) to improve clinical care and patient outcomes.
  • Sharing of best practices to improve patient care. Examples include how nurses and radiation therapists are trained to care for oncology patients, and implementing industry-approved guidelines for survivorship, screening and genetic counseling programs.

“Alton Memorial Hospital is proud to partner with Siteman, a nationally recognized comprehensive cancer center,” said Dave Braasch, president of Alton Memorial Hospital, a member of BJC HealthCare. “This partnership will bring additional resources, including prevention efforts and access to leading-edge, personalized clinical trials, to River Bend residents and the greater Alton community.”

The network’s efforts to reduce the cancer burden also are expected to increase the number of people screened for cancer, which should result in earlier detection and improved health outcomes.

“The Siteman Cancer Network is a natural extension of Siteman Cancer Center’s commitment to prevent cancer and transform patient care in the communities we serve,” Eberlein said.

Siteman Cancer Center has an additional presence in southern Illinois, in Swansea. The center will move in 2020 to a new facility currently under construction at Memorial Hospital East in Shiloh.

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