Department News

Siteman Cancer Center – South County celebrates fifth anniversary

Siteman Cancer Center - South County

Siteman Cancer Center-South County marks its fifth anniversary of providing cancer care to patients in the South County region this year. The facility houses radiation oncology and medical oncology services and provides surgical consulting.

Since opening near Interstate 55 and Butler Hill Road, Siteman-South County has offered thousands of patients across the region and beyond access to expert multidisciplinary care from Washington University physicians and highly specialized oncology nurses and other care providers. The satellite facility is highly integrated with Siteman Cancer Center’s main location on the Washington University Medical Campus and with Siteman’s three other satellite locations, allowing patients to participate in clinical trials and receive advanced care closer to home.

Siteman-South County has grown significantly since 2013. The medical oncology division has expanded to accommodate more patients and has increased its number of immunotherapies and chemotherapies. The staff, which has more than doubled in number, now includes a dietitian and an oncology psychologist. Patients also may participate in weekly yoga classes and occasional art and music therapy courses, as well as therapeutic horticulture sessions.

“The model of bringing the expertise of a tertiary care center into the community and closer to the patients it serves has been shown to work, as evidenced by patient and treatment volumes that are years ahead of projections, and prompting expansion much earlier than anticipated,” said Bruce Roth, MD, a Washington University professor of medicine and Siteman-South County’s medical director. “As long as patients have access to the same physicians and their expertise, the same technology and the same access to novel therapies and clinical trials, they are more than happy to also have the convenience of having all that brought closer to their home.”

Last year, the radiation oncology department added a second linear accelerator radiation treatment machine and additional clinical space, and now offers patients access to procedures such as stereotactic radiation body therapy (SBRT), which can often be completed in fewer than five treatments.

“Our two advanced linear accelerators allow us to deliver state-of-the-art treatments at our South County facility. Through a closely aligned network of Siteman Cancer Center physician specialists, patients can receive the same treatment expertise including the quality standards and accreditation of our main campus, even closer to their homes.” said Hiram Gay, MD, a Washington University associate professor and Siteman-South County’s director of radiation oncology.

Other radiation oncology services now available at Siteman-South County include:

  • Annual monitoring of people at high risk of developing lung cancer
  • Prone breast treatments to better spare the heart from receiving excess radiation.

Also last year, the radiation oncology program at all five Siteman locations received accreditation from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Accreditation Program for Excellence (APEx. This honor is given to facilities that demonstrate a commitment to high standards of safety and quality in the practice of radiation oncology. The program previously held accreditation from the American College of Radiology and is credentialed to participate in NRG Oncology clinical trials.

In 2016, the Center for Advanced Medicine-South County opened adjacent to Siteman-South County, providing cancer patients there a more convenient option for other health-care needs. The facility, which is affiliated with Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, offers outpatient surgery, physical therapy and cardiology, orthopedics and other services.