University of Chicago Cancer Center

University of Chicago Medicine

5841 S Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637

Year Opened: 1927
Patients: 532 beds in the Medical Center
Fast Fact: Has a dedicated Mesothelioma Program

Doctors in this Hospital

Ravi Salgia
Thoracic Oncology view more
Hedy Lee Kindler
Gastrointestinal Oncology view more

About The University of Chicago Cancer Center

The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) is one of the world’s leading medical institutions. The breakthroughs achieved by this institution include 1972’s identification of the first chromosomal abnormality in leukemia and the development of a new MRI procedure to detect early breast cancer and 2002’s findings that the drugs cisplatin and pemetrexed combined to help pleural mesothelioma patients live longer and experience fewer painful symptoms. This finding by Nicholas Vogelzang, M.D., (now at the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Nevada) led to the FDA’s approval of pemetrexed. As you’d expect, this facility is a leading destination for the diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma, lung cancer and related conditions.

This collaborative research program is designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, meaning that it maintains the highest standards of excellence in patient care, education, basic science, clinical research and cancer prevention.

Mesothelioma Program

The study of malignant mesothelioma has been a vital part of this institution for more than 20 years. As such, the UCCCC Mesothelioma Program is comprised of dedicated cancer experts, including medical oncologists, surgeons, nurses, pathologists, imaging specialists and scientists. These professionals employ a multidisciplinary team approach and engage in weekly mesothelioma program meetings.

The Mesothelioma Program is headed by such world-renowned figures as Hedy Lee Kindler, M.D., director of the program and medical director of Gastrointestinal Oncology and an expert in the research and treatment of malignant mesothelioma and pancreatic and gastrointestinal tumors; Wickii Thambiah Vigneswaran, M.D., associate chief of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery, with specializations in surgical care of mesothelioma and hyperhidrosis; and Ravi Salgia M.D., director of Chest Oncology and Thoracic Oncology Research Program, with specializations in thoracic cancer and mesothelioma research and biology.

As part of the University of Chicago educational system, UCCCC has direct access to the latest advances and techniques, as well as cutting-edge tools and equipment. This relationship has also meant few difficulties in attracting the best doctors, surgeons, nurses and other medical experts, including more than 230 renowned scientists and physician scientists who have worked on collaborative research programs with the university.

Research & Clinical Trials

Indeed, research is a hallmark of UCCCC, especially in regard to the genetic background of cancer and potential treatment options. These clinical researchers practice “translational research,” in which the knowledge and findings gained in the laboratory are directly utilized to test for promising new treatments and procedures, including those for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In particular, UCCC offers intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), an advanced technique involving high-dose, accurate radiation that spares healthy organs.

The hospital’s researchers are continually involved in cancer clinical trials. As of 2011 the cancer center has 370 active trials covering 36 types of cancer. Of those, eight are mesothelioma-specific and open to patients. One open clinical trial is titled “CALGB 30901: Randomized Phase II Study of Maintenance Pemetrexed Versus Observation for Patients with Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma without Progression after First-Line Chemotherapy.”

In addition, the University of Chicago (UC) Institute for Translational Medicine (ITM), created in 2007, is aimed at improving community health through laboratory research. Through partner institutions, ITM trains health care providers and scientists to advance medicine by:

  • Implementing new screening and prevention approaches
  • Educating local physicians
  • Helping residents to adopt healthier lifestyles
  • Helping residents to recognize the value of cancer screenings and early detection

The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to rank highly on U.S. News & World Report’s”Best Hospitals” poll. And beyond cancer treatment, UCCC services all manners of medical specialties.

Find mesothelioma specialists in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois by using the Doctor Match Program. This tool, sponsored by The Mesothelioma Center, helps pair patients with top doctors in all areas of the nation.

Additional Resources

View our resources for patients and families

Get Help Today
Get Your Free Mesothelioma Guide