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MU Health Care works to prevent cancer with Siteman Cancer Center collaboration

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

MU Health Care's Ellis Fischel Cancer Center in Columbia is now collaborating with Siteman Cancer Center St. Louis with the goal of preventing cancer and strengthening cancer research.

Both centers have access to cancer research and resources that will benefit each other in the fight to cure cancer. 

Many rural areas in the state do not have the best access to cancer care. Experts are hopeful the cancer centers' collaboration will help to identify barriers and develop resources and policies to alleviate the barriers.

"Both Siteman Cancer Center and Ellis Fischel Cancer Center have strengths we wish to leverage on both sides," said Gerhard Hildebrant, Director of MU Health Care's Ellis Fischel Cancer Center.

Siteman is the only National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the state.

"Siteman is one of the largest and highest ranked cancer centers in the country," Hildebrandt said. "It has a broad spectrum of clinical trials available to patients in urban areas and suburban areas."

MU's Ellis Fischel has many strengths of its own.

"Ellis Fischel has strengths on both the research side and clinically and we have a very strong veterinarian school like a vet school that allows research on large animal models," Hildebrandt said.

The veterinarian school allows researchers to test on larger animals instead of rodents. Larger animals give researchers a more accurate picture of how treatment would affect a human. MU Health Care said it is beneficial for Siteman to combine its clinical data with mu's large animal testing.

The collaboration is also working to expand access to clinical trials.

"Some patients for them it's easier to go Columbia instead of St. Louis and vice versa," Hildebrandt said. "If we open trials on both sides we offer novel treats to hopefully more patients so access gets better."

The collaboration will expand access to Siteman’s 8 Ways to Prevent Cancer campaign and information about Your Disease Risk a tool created by Siteman that helps people estimate their risk of developing cancer.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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