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Siteman Cancer Center launches affiliate network

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Tanna Niemeier was pregnant when she underwent two rounds of chemotherapy for Burkitt lymphoma, one of the fastest growing types... Tanna Niemeier was pregnant when she underwent two rounds of chemotherapy for Burkitt lymphoma, one of the fastest growing types of the disease. Under the care of physicians at Boone Hospital Center and Siteman Cancer Center and her husband, Zach, Niemeier went on to deliver Charlotte. Today, Tanna and Charlotte both are doing well

Tanna Niemeier was pregnant when she underwent two rounds of chemotherapy for Burkitt lymphoma, one of the fastest growing types of the disease. Under the care of physicians at Boone Hospital Center and Siteman Cancer Center and her husband, Zach, Niemeier went on to deliver Charlotte. Today, Tanna and Charlotte both are doing well

Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has launched the Siteman Cancer Network, an affiliation with regional medical centers that is aimed at improving the health of individuals and communities through cancer research, treatment and prevention.

Boone Hospital Center, one of Missouri’s top hospitals and part of BJC HealthCare, is the first affiliate in the network and will work with Siteman Cancer Center to provide access to cancer prevention and control strategies and genomic and genetic testing for mid-Missouri residents. Patients also will have access to highly specialized treatments and technologies, including clinical trials at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis.

“Siteman Cancer Center and Boone Hospital Center – 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. “Together, we’re working to build a healthier Missouri.”

As Missouri’s 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 healthcare providers to help improve the health and well-being of the region, Eberlein said.

The network affiliation period runs through December 2019 and annually renews for one year unless either party opts out.

Key components of network affiliation include:

• A patient navigator to coordinate access to highly specialized care, including clinical trials, at Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis for especially complex cases.
• Assessment of cancer’s impact on mid-Missouri, 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.
• 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 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.
• 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.

Missouri Cancer Associates, a private practice, is and will continue to be the only provider of medical oncology care at the Stewart Cancer Center at Boone Hospital.

“With the physicians of Missouri Cancer Associates, the Stewart Cancer Center at Boone Hospital provides top-level cancer care,” said Jim Sinek, president of Boone Hospital Center. “In becoming a member of the Siteman Cancer Network, we are only adding to the care delivery and treatment options for the residents of mid-Missouri.”

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.