The Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is made up of leading experts in the management of cancers of the prostate, breast, gastrointestinal tract, brain and head & neck, as well as lymphomas and sarcomas. Patient care is achieved through the combined efforts of highly trained professionals with extensive knowledge in the field of Radiation Therapy.
We specialize in radiation therapy treatments, including megavoltage photons and electrons from linear accelerators, brachytherapy, and superficial X-rays. Special programs available are Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and Stereotactic Radiotherapy (SRT) for brain lesions, Total Body Irradiation (TBI), Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT), Superficial Therapy, Endocavitary Therapy and Ophthalmic Plaques.
Listed below are brief descriptions of some of these services, as described by the American Cancer Society:
Instead of using radiation beams aimed from a large machine, the radiation source is usually sealed in a small holder (called an implant). The implant is placed very close to or inside the tumor. It is placed so that it harms as few of the normal cells as possible. The radioactive material itself may be left in the body for only a short time, or it may be left there permanently. This allows the doctor to give a higher dose of radiation to a smaller area than is possible with external radiation treatment.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) - (steer-e-o-TACK- tick- ray- dee -o-SUR-jer-ee)
A treatment method that focuses high doses of radiation at a tumor while limiting the exposure that normal tissue receives. Though it is called surgery, no knife or scalpel is used. The treatment may be useful for tumors that are in places where regular surgery would harm essential tissue, for example, in the brain or spinal cord, or when the patient's condition does not permit regular surgery.
Total Body Irradiation (TBI) - (TOE- tal-BOD-dee-EAR-raid-ee-A-shun)
TBI refers to when a person's entire body is treated with radiation.
Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)
This therapy delivers radiation to the cancer during surgery. The radiation may be given externally or internally, and it is often used along with a course of external radiation given before or after the operation. IORT is useful for abdominal (belly area) or pelvic cancers that cannot be completely removed (such as those that have grown close to vital body parts) and for cancers that tend to grow back after treatment.
Endocavitary Radiation Therapy - (end-o-CAV-it-tary-RAID-ee-A-shun-THERE-a-pee)
This type of treatment is used for some rectal cancers. A small device is placed through the anus and into the rectum to deliver high-intensity radiation over a few minutes. This is repeated about 3 more times at about 2-week intervals for the full dose. The advantage of this approach is that the radiation reaches the rectum without passing through the skin and other tissues of the abdomen, which means it is less likely to cause side effects. This can allow some patients, particularly elderly persons, to avoid major surgery and a colostomy. It is used only for small tumors. Sometimes external-beam radiation therapy is also given.
Ophthalmic Plaques - (op-THAL-mic-plaks)
During this procedure, a small amount of radioactive material is temporarily placed on the outside of the part of the eyeball where the tumor is. The radioactive material is put in a small carrier (known as a plaque), which is shaped like a very small bottle cap. The plaque is made of gold to shield nearby tissues from the radiation. A lead shield is usually placed over the eye to reduce exposure to the public. The radiation travels a very short distance, so most of it will be focused only on the tumor.
The Radiation Oncology Team at UI Health includes a seasoned staff of experienced physicians, medical physicists, radiation therapists, nurses and other dedicated team members who together provide the best care in treating patients with various forms of cancer. We understand that a cancer diagnosis can be a very stressful time in your life and your family's life, and you can take comfort in knowing that we pay close attention to caring for all of the needs that you might have. Within the Radiation Oncology Department at UI Health, you will find social workers and others that are devoted to working with you on your special needs.
The Radiation Oncology Department at UIH can also assist you with resources available from our partners, the American Cancer Society and Gilda's Club-Chicago. These two organizations are available to address the unique and special needs that you may encounter during the period that you are being cared for.
Your satisfaction is important to us and we pride ourselves in providing excellent care, state of the art equipment, and exceptional services to you and your family.
University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System
1740 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
Radiation Oncology Center
Outpatient Care Center-North Tower
Room C400 (Lower Level)
1801 West Taylor Street (MC 933)
Chicago, IL 60612
Please call (312) 996-3631 for answers to any questions that you might have, or to arrange for an appointment.