The Delbert Day Cancer Institute:

Serving Patients’ Needs and Planning for the Future


The citizens of south central Missouri deserve access to world-class, coordinated cancer care, close to home and PCRMC is responding to this critical community health issue.


PCRMC’s vision for the Delbert Day Cancer Institute can be summarized in two words: patient centered. Throughout the process – from screening to diagnosis to treatment and into survivorship – the goal of the “cancer care team” is to be with the patient every step of the way with the latest possible techniques. The institute provides a seamless transition between services, whether it is radiation, surgery or chemotherapy.

“Our job is to provide emotional and spiritual support along with medical treatment. We like to think of our patients accessing our cancer services with our arms wrapped around them the entire way, and we will carry them through the process.”

The Delbert Day Cancer Institute is located on the north end of the PCRMC campus, attaching a new 4-story, 100,000 square foot facility to the existing Medical Office Building.  It is anchored by a team of physicians including Dr. Christopher Spencer, MD (Radiation Oncology), Dr. Tezo Karedan, MD (Medical Oncology & Hematology), Dr. Stephen Richard Toothaker, MD (Medical Oncology & Hematology), Becky Witham, FNP (Medical Oncology) and Jinna Lisenbe, AGPCNP-BC (Radiation Oncology).

DelbertThe Delbert Day Cancer Institute is named for Dr. Delbert Day, Curators’ Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The Day name is already closely tied to cancer care because of Dr. Day’s groundbreaking role in the development of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT). SIRT increases tumor targeting, reduces side effects from radiation treatment and treats tumors inaccessible by surgery. In addition, Dr. Day co-invented special purpose glass microspheres, TheraSphereTM, which is now being used at over 100 sites to treat patients with inoperable liver cancer.

The new Delbert Day Cancer Institute will dramatically improve our ability to recruit and retain the quality cancer specialists that our mid-Missouri service area deserves. Dr. Day strongly believes that, “Creating the Delbert Day Cancer Institute is not just a name. It represents innovation, know-how, curiosity, strength, courage, faith, endurance and hard work that pays off – in short, everything we need to beat cancer.”


Highlights Include:

Patient-Centered Care

All-inclusive, patient-centered services in a single, accessible location. All laboratory facilities, imaging services, radiation oncology and infusion therapies, medical oncology, nutritional, psychological and spiritual support, and educational resources is largely under one roof, simplifying logistics for patients, medical professionals, family members, and caregivers. Community members have access to the latest available therapies, right here close to home and without the added strain of travel.

State-of-the-Art Treatment

The use of state-of-the-art radiation oncology technologies is available, providing the ability to offer time-tested traditional, as well as leading-edge, cancer treatments. The latest generation devices produce sharper diagnostic images, which are more accurate for tumor treatment, inflict less damage to healthy tissue, and offer greater safety and comfort for the patient.

Access to Clinical Trials

Phelps County Regional Medical Center will continue participation in the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Community Clinical Oncology Program. This national program connects local patients and physicians with National Cancer Institute sponsored new treatments and clinical trials for drugs.

The Delbert Day Cancer Institute is outfitted to offer introductory treatments and clinical experimental trials, with an emphasis in medical oncology, for consideration when traditional methods have been exhausted. Physicians have the opportunity to learn and contribute to path-breaking clinical research.

Navigation, Education and Support

A Nurse Navigator will be assigned to each patient. This advocate will serve as the patients’ personal concierge to insure a nurturing environment, seamless and coordinated care, and education as they progress through their treatment program at the Delbert Day Cancer Institute.

Specially prepared educational materials and support facilities will be offered for the patient and their loved ones. These expanded resources allow patients and their support teams to become empowered with the information needed to navigate the maladies of cancer.

Customized one-on-one and group counseling services will be offered to patients, family members, and caregivers. The emotions related to cancer can vary from person to person and from one day to the next. The Delbert Day Cancer Institute provides counseling services to help cope with the range of feelings experienced while undergoing cancer treatment and after.