The Foundation
for Barnes-Jewish Hospital

FUNDamentals: Focus on Cancer

June 15, 2009

Did you know that Siteman…


            …is the only cancer center in Missouri and within a 240-mile radius to hold the prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute?


            …treats nearly 8,000 newly-diagnosed patients and more than 30,000 follow-up patients each year, making it the third largest cancer program in our country?


            …offers the expertise of more than 350 Washington University research scientists and physicians who hold more than $130 million in cancer research funding?


            …provides access to more than 250 clinical studies that give our patients access to new treatments not yet available at other institutions?


            ...offers community programs to increase cancer awareness, prevention, and screening that have grown to reach 30,000 people annually?


            …Makes it easier for patients to receive world-class cancer care close to home with facilities at Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in Creve Coeur, and at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital in St. Charles County?


Siteman offers the widest assortment of the most advanced cancer treatment options, in a compassionate and supportive environment.  But what really sets Siteman apart is its work to tailor cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment to you as an individual based on your genetic makeup or the biology of your cancer.


This is personalized cancer therapy, the frontier of cancer care and cure.  With access to unparalleled levels of knowledge and technology for exploring cancer genetics, Siteman researchers are developing new tests, imaging capabilities, drugs, vaccines, or other therapies that will ultimately enable every cancer patient to get exactly what he or she needs to survive their cancer…or to stop their cancer before it starts.


It isn’t a far-off dream.  Many discoveries will happen in our lifetimes.  Others will happen within a decade.  And some are happening right now at the Siteman Cancer Center.  Discoveries like these:


For the first time, researchers at the  Siteman Cancer Center and Washington University Genome Center decoded the complete genome of a cancer patient and traced her disease—acute myelogenous leukemia—to its genetic roots. 


By looking at the patients genetic mutations, they can begin explaining why she was resistant to chemotherapy.  This is a groundbreaking step toward developing more effective ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer.


Ming You, MD, PhD, is collaborating with researchers in Vancouver on clinical studies of a Chinese herbal compound that may prevent half of all lung cancer, which has an 80-to-90 percent mortality rate.


Matthew Ellis, MB, BChir, PhD,  and collaborators at other institutions defined a set of 50 genes that can be used to reliably identify the four known types of breast cancer, for all women diagnosed with breast cancer.  Oncologists can use this gene set to potentially predict the most effective therapy for each breast tumor type so that treatment choices can be personalized—for example, choosing hormone-based therapy if a patient’s tumor is the type that will not respond to chemotherapy.options.  We have funds for:


…Investing in the most promising areas of research for personalized cancer therapy.


…Advancing research, screening, diagnosis, or treatment for specific types of cancer.


…Helping cancer patients in need focus on treatment and recovery instead of worrying about financial burdens during an extended hospital stay and treatment.


…Providing services that address the psychological and social problems sometimes associated with cancer.


…Expanding our screening and educational outreach to eliminate disparities in who gets cancer, and how it is treated.


…Researching, developing, and promoting cancer prevention strategies.


Every gift to fight cancer is a gift of hope. 


For more information on how to support a cancer fund at the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation, please call the Foundation at (314) 286-0600 or email givingbarnesjewish@bjc.org.

From the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation's Giving Magazine 2009, Issue 1

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