Mizzou Animal Cancer Care is a new radiation oncology facility in Wentzville, Mo., The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is establishing the facility in order to bring its educational, research and outreach services directly to the most urbanized region of Missouri. Dr. Julie Wentz, a longtime St. Louis, Mo., veterinarian will operate the referral cancer treatment facility.
The CVM is the only college of veterinary medicine in Missouri and one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States. Mizzou Animal Cancer Care will provide a next logical step in the development of a nationally and internationally recognized program in radiation oncology that has been emerging at the college during the last 14 years.
A physical presence of the college in Wentzville offers several advantages:
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Mizzou Animal Cancer Care is located at 1092 Wentzville Parkway. The facility is well-suited for the proposed function based on its size, layout, zoning, location and accessibility. Mizzou Animal Cancer Care and its board-certified oncologists and radiologists are prepared to offer cutting-edge treatment options for animal cancer patients that will benefit from radiation therapy and potentially new anticancer therapies from the college’s participation in clinical trials. The ability to offer clinical trials at the Wentzville location will elevate the CVM’s status as an important contributor to national cancer research efforts and will provide animal cancer patients access to cutting-edge therapies at a reasonable price.
The physical presence of the CVM in Wentzville will allow the college to provide continuing education and outreach on the benefits and limitations of radiation and other cancer therapy in veterinary patients in the St. Louis region. Increased visibility and integration of the CVM’s programming into the veterinary community of the St. Louis region should increase referrals and help attract financial support for the programming of the college. This physical presence of the CVM in the St. Louis region should result in local practitioners being more likely to refer to the CVM and avail themselves of the CVM’s services.
The CVM is proposing to provide diagnostic services, radiation therapy and clinical trials that are not currently available in the St. Louis area. The distance from St. Louis to Columbia is a deterrent for some potential clients because they do not want to be separated from their animals for a month or cannot make the drive for recommended therapy several times per week, or, as is needed in some cases, daily. In the current difficult economic climate, companion animal owners are less able to take time off from work to commute for radiation therapy in Columbia, and the cost of transportation is a further deterrent. At Mizzou Animal Cancer Care, radiation therapy is just a short drive from home for animals and their owners.
This new radiation therapy referral service makes the resources of a major research university a convenient option for the St. Louis-area veterinarians to offer when their clients look to them for guidance at this critical time in their pets’ lives.
The facility will also provide an additional teaching laboratory for students. This site will be able to support the educational component of the curriculum directly, and to some extent increase the number of cases in which individual students can be directly involved. The Wentzville location will also augment the clinical residency programs in radiation oncology, medical oncology and radiology.
Dr. Julie Wentz is a native of Granite City, Ill. and has practiced veterinary medicine in the St. Louis area since earning her DVM from the University of Illinois in 1991. Dr. Wentz has worked in emergency veterinary medicine for 22 years, she has performed relief work for several St. Louis small animal practices, and was an independent contractor for emergency and medical coverage at the Nestle- Purina Research Facility in Gray Summit, Mo. She and her husband, who is also a veterinarian specializing in the care of exotic mammals, own the Ferguson Animal Hospital.
Wentz said her years of experience in the St. Louis area have allowed her to develop connections with referring veterinarians in the region, which should foster the confidence needed for them to refer their clients to MACC for cancer treatment services and diagnostic CT scans.
Wentz and her husband have four daughters, as well as five cats, four bearded dragons and fish. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and preserving memories through scrapbooking.
Dr. Jim Lattimer received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Washington State University in 1975. Following two years in private practice he was accepted into a veterinary radiology residency program at Colorado State University, which he completed in 1980 in combination with a master of science degree in radiological sciences. He also achieved Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Radiology in diagnostic radiology that year. In 1996 he was awarded Diplomate status by the ACVR affiliate in radiation oncology. He remains an active member in both of these organizations.
He joined the faculty of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery at the University of Missouri in August 1980 as a diagnostic and therapeutic radiologist and has continued in that position to this day. He currently holds the rank of associate professor in that department with adjunct status in the Nuclear Sciences and Engineering and Radiopharmaceutical Sciences Institutes. He is an author or co-author on more than 40 refereed publications in the fields of veterinary imaging and radiation therapy. His current research interests lie in the area characterizing beam modifications methods, inhomogeniety effects, and radiopharmaceutical treatment of osteosarcoma and prostate carcinoma. He is a clinical radiologist and radiation oncologist currently serving as director of veterinary radiation oncology and nuclear oncology for MU’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital and the Mizzou Animal Cancer Center as well as consulting radiation oncologist for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Kansas State University. Away from work he is an avid proponent of swimming for fitness, an amateur woodworker and a lover of animals in general.
A native of Colorado, Dr. Kim Selting completed her undergraduate and veterinary studies at Colorado State University. Following a one-year rotating small animal internship in medicine and surgery at the Animal Medical Center, she then moved to St. Louis. There, Dr. Selting spent one year in emergency work and three years in small animal private practice. She then returned to the Colorado State University Animal Cancer Center to pursue a residency in medical oncology. At the completion of this training, she had earned a master’s degree and was board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine in the specialty of oncology. Dr. Selting then joined the faculty at the University of Missouri and has remained there since 2002. In 2013, Dr. Selting completed a second residency and earned board certification in the American College of Veterinary Radiology in the specialty of Radiation Oncology.
Professional clinical and research interests include biomarkers of cancer and chemotherapy toxicity, novel chemotherapy drugs and treatments, and early detection of primary and metastatic lung cancer by evaluation of exhaled breath condensate, as well as novel treatments for lung cancer. In addition, she investigates novel radioisotopes for targeted treatment of cancer. Past professional roles include president of the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group, member-at-large for the Veterinary Cancer Society, and chair of the Oncology Certifying Examination Committee.
Personal interests include horseback riding, triathlons, and spending time with her three children. She is a self-described food and movie buff.
|Dr. Marcy Hammerle is a relief veterinarian for Mizzou Animal Cancer Care. Dr. Hammerle is a committed veterinarian who works at The Pet Doctor in O'Fallon, MO- an American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredited hospital. In 2011, Dr. Hammerle became a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (ABVP) as a specialist in canine and feline medicine. Dr. Hammerle is a 2003 graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and is an active member of the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) and the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians. Dr. Hammerle lives in St. Charles with her husband Tom, 3 children and a large family of animals, both large and small.|
Diane Ragan is a native of St. Louis and works as a veterinary technician. She attended St. Louis Community College and Jefferson College in Hillsboro, Mo., graduating with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology. After completing her degree, she worked in a companion animal and equine practice in Weldon Springs, Mo. After several years of working in private practice, she took a research position within industry. Diane remained in research for 20+ years completing her LATG certification and a degree in business management. After leaving research, she started working part time within a mixed animal practice and joined the Mizzou Animal Cancer Care facility in Wentzville, Mo in 2011.
In her free time Diane enjoys showing horses and dogs. She also likes being outdoors and spending time in the woods and on the lake.
Gaye Sponamore performs a dual role as the radiation therapist and radiologic technologist. She completed her radiologic sciences program with Cox Health Center in Springfield, MO and her radiation therapy studies at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO. Her career in cancer treatment, beginning in 1976, was in the realm of human medicine having worked with several large hospitals in the bi-state region. Additionally, a temporary assignment took her to Saudi Arabia.
She joined the team at MACC in 2012, working under the direction of the doctors of veterinary medicine, operating the equipment utilized in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer in felines and canines.
Free time finds her enjoying several pursuits. They include horseback trail riding, hiking, bicycling as well as working with a unique ministry in Troy, Missouri involving equines.
Carla Zerbolio is the receptionist for Mizzou Animal Cancer Care. A native of St. Louis County, she received undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Justice Systems from Northeast Missouri State University (Truman), and she received a Masters in Counseling from Saint Louis University. Carla really enjoys interaction with clients as well as the patients. She will be the voice you hear on the phone as well as the first face you see when visiting.
Outside of work, Carla enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, as well as her dog, three cats, and two sugargliders.
For Julie Wentz, DVM, taking over as the director of Mizzou Animal Cancer Care is more than an opportunity to help pets with cancer, it is a chance to build relationships. Wentz, who has spent 22 years working in emergency veterinary medicine, said she was ready to take her career in a different direction.
Kim Selting, assistant teaching professor of oncology at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, is the principal investigator in a study that examines the efficacy of Attaxol™ in dogs with naturally occurring cancer. Attaxol™ was developed, and is produced, by CritiTech, a Lawrence, Kan. drug development company.