The University of Chicago Medical Center was established in 1916 and was dedicated in 1927 after numerous delays, including World War I. The University of Chicago, its Medical Center, and modern-day cancer center have been the sites of impressive firsts in the field of cancer knowledge and treatment.
The contribution of hormones to cancer development won University of Chicago researcher Dr. Charles Huggins a Nobel Prize; steroid receptors were first studied for cancer treatment target sites; chemotherapy was first developed by Manhattan Project physician Dr. Leon Jacobson; and the discovery of chromosomes and the genetic origination of cancer all have made the University of Chicago a prestigious contender in the fight against cancer.
The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) was established in 1973. In 2010, due to its focus on patient care, basic and clinical research, prevention, education, outreach and training, the UCCCC achieved the comprehensive cancer center designation by the National Cancer Institute.
UCCCC is home to the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Risk Clinic, which seeks to enhance early detection specifically related to lung cancer. The Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Risk Clinic is also designed to monitor and design prevention plans for people at high risk of developing cancers such as mesothelioma.
Each year, UCCCC receives over $40 million dollars in funding from the NCI and employs over 200 clinicians in cancer research in its state-of-the-art research facilities that are dedicated to understanding the molecular mechanisms of cancer, hematopoiesis and hematological malignancies, immunology of cancer, pharmacogenomics and experimental therapeutics, advanced imaging, and cancer risk and prevention.
The U.S. News and World Report ranks UCCCC in the top 15 of nationally ranked cancer programs and its affiliate hospital at the University of Chicago is nationally ranked.
UCCCC is situated to offer the latest research developments to provide improved cancer treatment options. The integrated research environment provides collaboration of laboratory scientists and physicians within clinical, translational, and prevention research studies. With regard to lung cancer, UCCCC organizes teams of highly skilled staff to facilitate treatment. After referral or diagnosis by a primary care physician, a team of pathologists, surgical and medical oncologists, thoracic surgeons, nurses and social workers will handle a case together.
UCCCC has extensive expertise in the multi-modal treatment of mesothelioma. Several specific, innovative treatments are being researched in addition to the comprehensive cancer treatments listed below. These include extrapleural pneumonectomy, pleurectomy and decortication, palliative radiation therapy, clinical trial of multimodal surgical removal combined with surgically administered chemotherapy, various clinical trials, and combinational treatment approaches to treat cancer.
Radiation oncology, surgical oncology, clinical trials, chemotherapy, palliative care, state-of-the-art diagnostics and imaging services, pathology, genetic counseling, hormone therapy, biological therapy, bone marrow transplantation, complementary and alternative medicine, nutrition and physical therapy, support groups, and comprehensive and preventive care are all options in UCCCC’s cancer treatment program.
Surgical and diagnostic innovations include pathology that is examined for gene expression patterns that lead to more effective and specialized treatment options, pleurodesis, pleurectomy, extrapleural pneumonectomy, and decortication are available.
Hedy Lee Kindler, MD, associate professor of medicine at The University of Chicago Medicine and a specialist in mesothelioma, leads the center’s mesothelioma program. Dr. Kindler is internationally known for her research on therapies that target the unique biology of mesothelioma. Kindler has written nearly 50 scientific articles, she is a member of the editorial board of BioOncology Watch, and serves as a reviewer for many cancer journals.
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