About Pratt Cancer Center

Our Approach to Cancer Care

At the David C. Pratt Cancer Center, we're committed to supporting our patients through every stage of their cancer journey. That means being with them from their initial diagnosis through recovery and beyond.

Our cancer care experts don't just believe in treating cancer but treating the whole individual. That's why we offer access to any number of specialists, including registered dietitians, physical therapists and even spiritual care advisors. 

Clinical trials offer cancer patients new hope for successful treatment. Mercy is committed to offering a variety of opportunities for patients to participate in research studies. The oncology research department at the Pratt Cancer Center in St. Louis provides access to high-quality, leading-edge cancer clinical trials for Mercy physicians and their patients.

  • We participate in trials offered by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) through the National Community Oncology Research Program (N-CORP). This program provides more than 50 NCI Phase II, III and IV trials in cancer prevention, treatment and supportive care to our adult and pediatric patients.
  • We offer a selection of industry-sponsored trials to complement our N-CORP studies.
  • We support local studies initiated by our own investigators. 

With advances in technology, Mercy continues to stay at the forefront of innovation and now offers leading-edge MEVION proton beam therapy. Proton therapy is an option for both adult and childhood cancers. It uses a powerful cyclotron to produce proton particles that precisely target cancer tumors. The charged particles damage the DNA of cancer cells, stopping the reproduction and ultimately destroying them. One of the primary benefits of proton therapy is the reduction or elimination of unwanted radiation exposure to surrounding, healthy tissue.

The CyberKnife robotic radiation treatment system provides state-of-the-art radiation therapy. Fewer treatments are required, and they're delivered in dynamic fashion with extreme accuracy. We've seen a remarkable increase in the field of targeted therapies as well. Multiple IV immunotherapy options, as well as oral targeted medications, have translated into not only improved patient response rates and survival but less toxicity as well. We also have a robust research program that continues to offer our patients access to the latest emerging treatment options in the context of many ongoing clinical trials.

A tumor board is a group of medical professionals who meet periodically to talk about cancer cases, pool knowledge and develop treatment plans. Typically, they can be found on university campuses or within teaching hospitals. The David C. Pratt Cancer Center is unique because it has its own tumor board on site.

Mercy’s fully accredited cancer program at the David C. Pratt Center in St. Louis holds a number of accreditations and quality awards:

  • 2024 ACCC Innovation Award for implementing smart texting for high-risk patients, addressing treatment-related symptoms and reducing emergency room visits.
  • A three-year accreditation from the Comprehensive Community Cancer Program with commendations from the Commission on Cancer (a distinction given to fewer than 20% of all cancer programs in the country).
  • Accreditation by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer since 1984, as well as by The Joint Commission.
  • A three-year term of accreditation in breast ultrasound from the American College of Radiology (ACR). The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety and is awarded only after peer evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists.
  • Breast Imaging Center of Excellence (BICOE) designation. The BICOE designation is awarded to breast imaging centers that achieve excellence by seeking and earning accreditation in all the ACR’s voluntary breast-imaging accreditation programs and modules in addition to the mandatory Mammography Accreditation Program.
  • 2020 Innovator Award from the Association of Community Cancer Centers for our QI initiative effort Reducing Readmissions After Chemotherapy.
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