UM to open cancer care satellite

UM to open cancer care satellite

St. Louis-area clinic will offer more access to veterinary hospital oncology services
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Dec 01, 2010

Wentzville, Mo. — A new cancer care center, operated by the University of Missouri (UM) College of Veterinary Medicine, will open this spring and offer pet owners more options for specialty care.

Mizzou Animal Cancer Care will open in Wentzville, Mo., in spring 2011 about 85 miles east of the veterinary college's Columbia location. The new center, just outside of St. Louis, will offer pet owners seeking advanced care for veterinary cancer patients better access to the university's educational, research and outreach opportunities.

The center's services will include diagnostic and treatment options, like computed tomography and radiation therapy, for dogs and cats that are referred by their regular veterinarians.

Dr. Neil Olson, dean of the UM College of Veterinary Medicine, says the new center will make cancer treatment more convenient for pet owners in eastern Missouri, southeast Iowa, southern Illinois and even Kentucky who have, in the past, had to travel to the university's Columbia facilities.

"Pet owners increasingly choose a level of intervention for their animals' care that is comparable to that available to people," Olson says. "Aggressive cancer therapy for dogs and cats sometimes requires radiation treatment over several days and sometimes even weeks and months. Spending a long time in a vehicle is hard on any animal, harder still on sick pets, but owners may not want to leave their animals behind at the teaching hospital in Columbia to drive home. This new care center will facilitate our ability to deliver state-of-the-art cancer intervention therapy while making it easier for both the patients and their owners."

The university purchased a 9,579-square-foot building, a former medical office that provided radiation oncology services, for the new facility. The radiation-containing vault at the building made it an ideal location to house a cancer care center, according to the university. Renovations will cost the university about $100,000 and will mostly consist of some wall reconfigurations and adding doors, according to a college spokesperson. Some new draining and ventilation also will be needed to accommodate the animal patients in the formerly human-medicine space. No boarding spaces are planned, as more complicated cases still will be referred to the main veterinary hospital in Columbia.

There will be opportunities for MU veterinary students, residents and interns to get hands-on experience at the clinic, as well.