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That one word stirs so many emotions and memories. It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t been touched by it in some way, either themselves or through someone they love. 

At Mizzou, we know that the prevention and care can – and must – be improved. How? By better prevention strategies to reduce the cancer burden in the state. Earlier and less invasive detection and tracking. More effective and targeted pharmaceuticals. Utilizing the human body’s own strengths to fight cancer. Compassionate care. 

The University of Missouri is home to some of the best oncologists, medical researchers, and scientists in the world. Soon, they’ll call the NextGen Precision Health building home, coming together under one roof to change the face of health care in Missouri and around the globe. 

Mizzou-Made Excellence

Cancer is a broad term. There’s no one-size-fits-all cure or treatment. To reshape the way we prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, we need world-class clinicians and researchers, with wide swaths of expertise, working side-by-side to reimagine cancer care. 

MU and the UM System have exactly that, and we’re bringing our team under one roof in the NextGen Precision Health building. Grand challenges call for even grander solutions, and we get there by bringing the best and brightest minds together, breaking down barriers and encouraging the kind of holistic collaboration that can change the world. 

patient with IV
MURR is the sole producer of the radioisotopes used in Quadramet (for treating pain associated with bone cancer) and TheraSphere (liver cancer therapy). And MU is the only university nationwide to have provided radioisotopes for four FDA-approved drugs.

The Cancer Challenge

There are few challenges greater than cancer, and few states are as hard hit by it as Missouri. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Missouri ranked 41st among all 50 U.S. states in cancer death rate per 100,000 citizens in 2018. That’s a reality we can no longer accept. 

But cancer manifests differently in different people. Broad diagnosis and treatment methods miss important targets. Precision health is the future. The goal of NextGen is to develop solutions tailored to individual patients, taking their biology, their environment, their genetics and more into account to return them to health as quickly and painlessly as possible. Once discovered, we will work with NextGen’s Precision Health Care Delivery experts to bring these treatments to the bedside to expedite our impact in our home state. 

Unique Strengths Under One Roof

MU and the UM System are uniquely positioned to make a massive impact. MU is home to the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, Missouri’s only state-designated cancer center, and the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR), the most powerful university research reactor in the country. MURR is responsible for producing three radioisotopes currently used in cancer treatment and pain relief, including Lutathera, which increased survival rate of a type of pancreatic cancer from 6-8 months to more than five years. We’re also home to leading researchers in immunotherapy, genomics, imaging, engineering, life sciences, veterinary medicine, animal sciences, and so much more. All of these play a critical role in the future of cancer diagnostics and care. 

patient with IV
MURR is the nation’s largest producer of Iodine-131, which is critical to the diagnosis and treatment of both thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism. I-131 cannot be stockpiled, so having an easily accessible and reliable production source is critical to treat thyroid disease in Missouri and beyond.