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New Siteman Clinic Brings Clinical Trials To Metro East Cancer Patients

Siteman Cancer Center
The 40,000-square-foot Shiloh facility is Siteman's first location in Illinois.

Siteman Cancer Center’s newest location will bring access to new treatments and clinical trials to the Metro East.

The cancer center's Shiloh, Illinois, location began accepting patients this week. As a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, Siteman’s facility will go beyond traditional treatment and allow patients to receive experimental procedures such as immunotherapy and genomics, Siteman Cancer Center Director Tim Eberlein said.

“We are not simply trying to take care of patients, we’re trying to develop new treatment strategies and new paradigms of care,” Eberlein said. “The patient can be treated with state-of-the-art technologies, state-of-the-art protocols; the latest advances being applied, but have that closer to their home.”

The National Cancer Institute recognizes facilities that focus on cancer research, treatment and prevention. Such centers offer patients a chance to take part in clinical trials — research projects that test the effectiveness of new treatments and potential cures.

The $38 million building is on the campus of Memorial Hospital East near Interstate 64 and Highway 50 in St. Clair County. It will offer radiation and infusion oncology.

Siteman is based at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University’s School of Medicine in St. Louis. It has three locations in St. Louis County and one in St. Charles County. The Shiloh clinic has been working from a temporary location in Swansea for the last year and a half. 

Many hospitals and clinics treat people locally and then send them into a larger, central facility, Eberlein said.

“With us, we’ve done exactly the opposite,” he said. “Wouldn’t it be better where the patient can be treated with state-of-the-art technology and protocols, the latest advances being applied, but have that closer to their home, close to their families and employment?”

Siteman doctors hope to work with local providers to provide regionally specific care to cancer patients in the Metro East, Eberlein said.

For example, Southern Illinois has one of the highest rates of colorectal cancer in the nation. Working with local providers could help increase education and screening for those most at risk, Eberlein said.

Patients in the Metro East have long wanted access to Siteman’s experimental procedures but weren’t able to participate in trials because they weren’t able to go to one of the Missouri clinics, said Mark Turner, president of Memorial Hospital East.

“The clinical trials that are part of Siteman’s Cancer Center are now available here, we’re reducing the need to travel for this care,” he said.

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Sarah Fentem is the health reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.