The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine an “exceptional” rating, based on a rigorous review of Siteman’s research programs. The rating is the highest possible by the NCI, the principal federal institute that funds cancer research.
Siteman, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, undergoes peer review every five years. Such centers are recognized by the NCI, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), for their leadership, scientific merit, integration and the depth and breadth of clinical and research programs, including cancer prevention.
“While this rating speaks to the extraordinary quality of our research, many of our researchers also are physicians who treat patients,” said Timothy Eberlein, MD, director of Siteman Cancer Center and head of the School of Medicine’s Department of Surgery. “Their exceptional work doesn’t stop at the laboratory door. It’s also central to the clinical care we provide to nearly 9,000 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year.”
Siteman earned its exceptional rating based on a January site visit by 26 researchers and administrators from academic cancer centers across the United States. During the visit, Washington University researchers and physicians presented their innovative research programs in genomics, cancer imaging, cancer prevention and disparities, immunology and immunotherapy and early-phase clinical trials. Such research highlights and innovations at Siteman include:
- Vaccines against breast cancer and melanoma, which are in clinical trials.
- High-tech goggles that help surgeons visualize cancer cells in the operating room.
- Community-based research to understand and eliminate cancer disparities and reduce the burden of cancer in our region.
- Promotion of patient participation in innovative clinical studies.
Established in 1999, Siteman has risen quickly to become an exceptionally recognized cancer center by its peers and the NCI. Siteman was named Missouri’s only NCI-designated Cancer Center in 2001 and the state’s only Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2005. The latter designation places Siteman among the top institutions in cancer prevention, research and treatment.