imageThe Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes- Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis is helping lead the fight against cancer through advances in genomic discovery and application, oncologic imaging and prevention.

Siteman has more than 350 Washington University physicians and investigators who treat over 8,500 newly diagnosed cancer patients each year. These faculty members hold approximately $170 million in annual research and training grants and serve as principal investigators for about 250 therapeutic clinical trials, putting nearly 20% of new cancer patients on therapeutic clinical trials. Patient care is delivered at a main campus and two satellite facilities in adjacent counties, with a third under construction. In all, Siteman treats nearly 45,000 patients per year, making it one of the largest cancer centers in the United States.

In conjunction with Washington University’s Genome Institute—one of three large-scale federally funded genome centers in the United States—Siteman has pioneered a whole-genome sequencing approach to uncovering genetic mutations in cancer. In 2008, researchers at Siteman and the Genome Institute were the first to decode the complete DNA of a cancer patient, a woman with acute myeloid leukemia. They have since identified key mutations in leukemia and breast, lung and other cancers, as well as potential diagnostic applications.

Significant grants to Siteman in 2011 resulted in the establishment of centers to study cancer proteomics and the connection between obesity and cancer. Additionally, Washington University was chosen to create and host The Cancer Imaging Archive, which makes millions of tumor images—and associated genetic data—available to researchers and the public.

Recent clinical milestones include the completion of 5,000 bone marrow or stem cell transplants. Washington University physicians performed more than 400 of these transplants in 2011, making Siteman one of the largest transplant centers in the country. In addition, construction of the new Kling Center for Proton Therapy is nearing completion. The single-vault center is the first to employ a compact superconducting synchrocyclotron to deliver treatment. The first patient treatment using this new technology is scheduled for this fall.

In addition to advanced treatment and research programs, Siteman pursues an active outreach program of cancer screening and education that involves tens of thousands of individuals. The center’s Program for the Elimination of Cancer Disparities aims to create a national model for reducing inequalities in cancer care. This includes programs to evaluate accrual of minority patients in the institution’s clinical trials.

An NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Siteman also is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. In July, U.S. News & World Report named Siteman a top 10 U.S. cancer center. Parent institutions Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine also are nationally recognized, with U.S. News & World Report consistently ranking both among the best in the country.