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Dr. K. Thomas Robbins portrait

December 10, 2009

SIU Cancer Institute to Provide Cancer Care in SW Illinois

A new partnership that will provide care for head and neck cancer patients closer to home will begin next January in the southwest Illinois region.  The SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute (SCCI) at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield is partnering with SIU School of Dental Medicine in Alton to provide onsite evaluations of patients with head and neck tumors.

The biweekly service will be provided by fellowship-trained head and neck surgeons from the medical school in Springfield, according to Dr. K. Thomas Robbins, SCCI director.

“The goal is to perform a complete patient evaluation at the School of Dental Medicine in Alton,” explained Robbins.  “This will be followed by a review of the clinical findings, radiological studies and pathology at the weekly comprehensive treatment planning conference conducted by SIU’s Head and Neck Oncology Team or HANOT.”

The process will allow evaluations to be completed without the need for patients to travel to Springfield unless cancer surgery is required.  HANOT is a multidisciplinary treatment team that includes head and neck surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists who determine the most current and appropriate treatment options for each patient.  Other specialists include pathologists, oral surgeons, dentists, social workers, dietitians and nurses.

“While patient care and service is our primary goal, we also expect this clinic to help meet the educational goals of the medical and dental schools at SIU,” Robbins added.
Letters about the new service are being sent to physicians and dentists in Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph counties.  Appointments can be made weekdays by contacting the one of the nurses in SIU’s HANOT office at 217-545-7607 or 217-545-6150 or the surgery appointment desk at 217-545-6099.

The mission of the SimmonsCooper Cancer Institute at SIU is to serve the people of central and southern Illinois by addressing their present and future cancer care needs through medical education, biomedical research and patient service.  HANOT is one of its eleven cancer care teams.  The Web site is