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Siteman Receives $23 Million Grant and Renewal of Comprehensive Status

Beth Miller

Oct. 28, 2010 – The Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine has received renewal of its designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the National Institutes of Health.

The designation recognizes Siteman’s clinical research, basic science research, community outreach and education activities. The renewal includes $23 million in research funding for the next five years.

“NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center confers the highest recognition of our exceptional cancer-focused scientists, clinicians and staff throughout Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital,” says Timothy Eberlein, MD, Siteman director. “Most importantly, we are translating our cutting-edge science into better treatments for the more than 40,000 cancer patients we see each year.”

To achieve comprehensive status, a cancer center must succeed in a rigorous, multistage review process, which included a 1,700-page grant proposal followed by a site visit by a panel of national experts in January 2010.

“We received an outstanding evaluation that recognized Siteman as a leading cancer center nationwide,” Eberlein says. “The reviewers were very impressed by our genomics, our prevention and control, and our disparities work in addition to our other research programs.”

Eberlein, the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor and Bixby Professor and head of the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, became Siteman director in 1999 when St. Louisans Alvin J. and Ruth Siteman committed $35 million to Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital to advance cancer research and treatment.

Since its naming in 1999, Siteman has provided cancer care to people of the surrounding community and nationwide. An international leader in cancer treatment, it is the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center within a 240-mile radius of St. Louis. It offers the expertise of more than 350 Washington University research scientists and physicians plus the staff and advanced technology of Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Siteman provides care for about 8,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year, making it one of the largest cancer centers in the nation.

University scientists and physicians affiliated with Siteman hold more than $165 million in cancer research and related training grants. The results of basic laboratory research are rapidly incorporated into treatment advances. This process is enhanced by patient access to more than 250 clinical studies, including many collaborative efforts with other leading cancer centers throughout the country.

Siteman first received NCI designation as a Cancer Center in August 2001, an acknowledgement that the center has significant scope and quality in its cancer research programs. The center integrates world-class basic science, genomics, imaging, clinical research and population sciences, building on Washington University’s renowned Genome Center and Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology as well as the Institute for Public Health and BRIGHT Institute.

Since its inception, Siteman has expanded to provide cancer services in locations that are more convenient to its patients. Locations include the Washington University Medical Center campus in St. Louis; Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur, Mo.; and Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Peters, Mo. A new site is planned in south St. Louis County, serving the Interstate 55 corridor and southern Illinois.