University of Chicago Cancer Center

The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC) is one of the world’s leading medical institutions. The center is committed to developing innovative ways to reduce and prevent the devastating effects of cancer. The UCCCC is a top choice for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma patients nationwide, with a dedicated mesothelioma program, renowned specialists, and cutting-edge technologies.

About the University of Chicago Cancer Center

The University of Chicago Medical Center is a general medical and surgical facility and teaching hospital located on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois.

In 1973, the medical center founded its University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC). It was designated as a cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that same year.

In 2008, the UCCCC received the NCI’s elite designation of a comprehensive cancer center.

As an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center has the highest federal rating a cancer center can achieve.

The mission of the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center is to conduct breakthrough cancer research to better understand what causes it. To accomplish this, the UCCCC’s cancer program is centered around developing leading-edge therapeutics to treat and prevent cancer.

With the help of a collaborative research program comprised of more than 200 distinguished researchers and physicians, the UCCCC has emerged as a leading cancer treatment center.

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The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center provides world-class care for most forms of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma. Through its dedicated Mesothelioma Program, the UCCCC is one of the few facilities that treat pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.

A deep commitment to research and clinical trials paired with a long list of specialized physicians and researchers has enabled the UCCCC to bring cancer patients new hope.

Individuals diagnosed with mesothelioma can expect the highest quality of care if they choose to seek treatment at the UCCCC.

Fast Facts – The University of Chicago Medical Center

  • Holds the elite status of NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Nationally ranked in cancer according to U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 rankings
  • Serves 8.5 million residents in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana
  • Diagnoses or treats over 7,500 cancer patients each year
  • Has more than 200 cancer specialists
  • Provides primary care, inpatient, and outpatient care in multiple locations throughout Chicago
  • Is a lead site for the Clinical Trials Network, with over 300 open clinical research trials and 1,000 patients yearly
  • Currently designing a 500,000 square-foot new cancer center

For more information on the University of Chicago Cancer Center and other top cancer treatment centers, request a copy of our FREE Mesothelioma Guide now.

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Patient Experience at the University of Chicago Cancer Center

With the UCCCC being designated as a comprehensive cancer center, patients and their families can expect the highest quality patient care.

“At the University of Chicago Medicine, everyone on our cancer team is dedicated to providing comprehensive, compassionate care.”
—University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center

The UCCCC is a multidisciplinary clinic, meaning patients can receive all elements of their care in one day.

Additionally, the Coleman Foundation Supportive Oncology Outpatient Care Suite offers a private and comforting space for patients and their loved ones to receive supportive services in one convenient location.

The UCCCC’s supportive oncology services include:

  • Cancer nutrition
  • Mental health counseling
  • Social work services

Another unique benefit of the patient experience at UCCCC is a dedicated nurse navigator whose role is to coordinate care for each mesothelioma patient.

A dedicated nurse alleviates stress and improves the overall treatment experience. Nurse navigators help coordinate appointments and support ongoing challenges that patients and their loved ones face while receiving mesothelioma treatment.

University of Chicago Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma Program

The primary goal of the UCCCC Mesothelioma Program is to identify and develop treatment options to extend patient survival and improve quality of life.

Mesothelioma patients from the Illinois area can feel a sense of comfort knowing they’re receiving the highest quality treatment close to home. Additionally, mesothelioma patients from across the country are welcomed and supported at the UCCCC.

Due to its expertise with the rare disease, the University of Chicago Medicine’s Mesothelioma Program is one of the largest in the country. The health system provides mesothelioma cancer care for patients from all over the United States.

The UCCCC has a multidisciplinary team of experts devoted to diagnosing, treating, and researching malignant mesothelioma.

The University of Chicago Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma Program has experts in areas that include:

  • Medical oncology
  • Thoracic surgery
  • Radiation oncology
  • Pulmonary medicine
  • Palliative care
  • Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Nursing

Treating Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Another key feature of the Mesothelioma Program is that it offers targeted chemotherapy technology, HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion). This direct chemotherapy solution is used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma patients. It is applied to affected organs and optimized to destroy mesothelioma cells after surgery.

Most cancer centers have teams within their lung treatment departments dedicated to treating pleural (lung) mesothelioma but lack the specialization to treat cases of mesothelioma arising in the peritoneal (abdomen) cavity.

Having a dedicated mesothelioma program and advanced treatment technologies enables the UCCCC to be a leader in treating both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Specialists at the University of Chicago Cancer Center

The UCCCC’s Mesothelioma Program is supported by a wide range of medical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and surgeons who specialize in treating this rare cancer. The program also offers palliative care and symptom management specialists dedicated to treating mesothelioma patients.

Did You Know?

The UCCCC has been a leader in the treatment and research of mesothelioma for over 25 years.

Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler is the director of the Mesothelioma Program at the UCCCC and is an internationally recognized expert in treating mesothelioma.

Dr. Kindler is repeatedly named to America’s Top Doctors for Cancer, Best Doctors in America, and Top Doctors in Chicago. She is an active board member of the Science Advisory Board of the Mesothelioma Foundation.

She was also recently awarded the Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

Dr. Kindler’s research is focused on investigating new agents to treat mesothelioma. She is dedicated to creating and leading innovative clinical trials for patients affected by the disease.

The UCCCC’s mesothelioma team includes the following specialists:

  • Dr. Darren Bryan
  • Dr. Jessica Donington
  • Dr. Mark K. Ferguson
  • Dr. Alexandra Funaki
  • Dr. Lucy Godley
  • Dr. D. Kyle Hogarth
  • Dr. Aliya Husain
  • Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler
  • Dr. Thomas Krausz
  • Dr. Monica Malec
  • Dr. Steven M. Montner
  • Dr. Christopher Straus
  • Dr. Sandy Tun
  • Dr. Steven Zangan

To avoid the life-threatening risks of misdiagnosis, you should always get a second opinion from a mesothelioma specialist.

Try our FREE Doctor Match if you would like help getting matched with a mesothelioma specialist at the University of Chicago Cancer Center or other top mesothelioma cancer treatment centers.

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Mesothelioma Treatment Options at the University of Chicago Cancer Center

Depending on mesothelioma location, stage, and cell type, treatment at the UCCCC often involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Because it is equipped to provide many different treatment options, the UCCCC can customize tailored mesothelioma treatment for each patient.

“We have a team that thinks about the treatment of every single patient. We sit down every week and consult with our genetic specialists and researchers to develop a tailored treatment plan for each patient.”
—Dr. Hedy Lee Kindler, director of the Mesothelioma Program

One of the UCCCC’s top priorities is testing and using new mesothelioma treatment approaches. These could involve immunotherapies, novel targeted agents, and more traditional mesothelioma interventions.

Mesothelioma treatment options offered at the UCCCC include:

  • Surgery: Surgeons at the UCCCC may recommend pleurectomy with decortication (P/D) or extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) procedures for treating pleural mesothelioma. The facility also has the equipment and specialists to perform these surgeries using minimally invasive techniques that involve robotics and video-guided processes.
  • HIPEC: A key feature of the facility’s Mesothelioma Program is the availability of HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion). HIPEC is a targeted therapy that delivers heated chemotherapy directly to the abdomen to treat any remaining cancer cells following surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma.
  • Chemotherapy: Specialized oncologists at the UCCCC may use chemotherapy to shrink a patient’s mesothelioma tumor. The cancer center is dedicated to finding new and effective chemotherapy agents through ongoing clinical trials.
  • Radiation: The radiation oncologists at the UCCCC may recommend radiation treatment to shrink mesothelioma masses and cells. This treatment involves a machine that delivers charged particles to the diseased location to scramble cancer cells’ DNA.

Mesothelioma treatment at the UCCCC often includes participating in ongoing clinical trials.

Clinical Trials and Research at the University of Chicago Cancer Center

The UCCCC is leading the way in biomedical research and discoveries to help medical professionals better fight, screen, and prevent cancer.

The University of Chicago Cancer Center’s current research programs include:

  • Molecular Mechanisms of Cancer
  • Immunology and Cancer
  • Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics
  • Cancer Prevention and Control

The UCCCC has prioritized ongoing testing of promising new treatments for mesothelioma, including chemotherapy, targeted agents, and immunotherapies combined with surgery.

Many of the mesothelioma clinical trials conducted at the UCCCC are performed with the NCI and drug manufacturers.

“Seminal discoveries made at UChicago have stimulated the development and introduction of many of the cancer treatments used today.”
—UChicago Medicine

Clinical trials offer access to promising new treatment options that are not yet available to the general public. However, they are not a good fit for everyone. Patients often must meet specific criteria and strict deadlines.

Talk with your doctor if you are interested in finding a mesothelioma clinical trial. To help get you started, you can download our list of questions to ask your doctor.

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University of Chicago Cancer Center Insurance Information

The UCCCC accepts most major commercial insurance plans. It also accepts certain Medicare, Medicaid, and HealthChoice Illinois plans.

Some plans from the following insurance carriers are accepted at the UCCCC:

  • Advantage Health Solutions
  • Aetna
  • ArcelorMittal Steel
  • Baptist Health Network (Kentucky)
  • Beech Street
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • City of Hammond Employees
  • Cofinity
  • Community Health Alliance (Indiana)
  • Community Healthcare System
  • First Health
  • Health Alliance
  • Healthcare’s Finest Network (HFN)
  • Healthlink
  • Humana
  • Imagine Health Smart E Network/SmartCare
  • Indiana Health Network
  • Interplan Health Group (Health Smart)
  • Lutheran Preferred
  • Mohr Health Systems
  • Multiplan
  • PHCS (Multiplan)
  • Preferred Network Access (PNA) for NECAIBEW Local Union 697 Only
  • Preferred Plan (Health Smart)
  • Sagamore Health Network
  • Select Health Network
  • Southeastern Indiana Health Organization (SIHO)
  • Three Rivers Provider Network
  • Unicare
  • United Healthcare

If you do not see your health insurance provider, your treatment at the UCCCC may still be covered. Additionally, all plans from the carriers above may not be accepted.

Therefore, it is very important to contact your insurance provider to understand your coverage before you request an appointment.

Seeking Treatment at the University of Chicago Cancer Center

The University of Chicago Cancer Center is renowned for its comprehensive mesothelioma treatment program.

A specialized team, participation in hundreds of clinical trials, and access to state-of-the-art equipment and technologies have allowed the UCCCC to emerge as a leader in mesothelioma treatment.

Therefore, patients undergoing treatment at the UCCCC can rest assured they are in the hands of the nation’s top specialists.

To request an appointment at the UCCCC, you can call the facility or schedule online.

If you would like dedicated help, call or chat with Mesothelioma Hope’s Patient Advocates now.

With over 45 years of combined experience, our Patient Advocates offer personalized assistance to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones.

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Mesothelioma Hope has no affiliation with and is not endorsed or sponsored by University of Chicago Cancer Center. Any contact information listed is for informational purposes only. You have the right to contact University of Chicago Cancer Center directly.

Written by:

Lead Editor

Laura Wright is a journalist and content strategist with more than 14 years of professional experience. She attended college at the University of Florida, graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 2008. Her writing has been featured in The Gainesville Sun and other regional publications throughout Florida.

8 References
  1. Cancer clinical trials. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/research/clinical-trials

  2. Comprehensive cancer center. University of Chicago. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.uchicago.edu/education-and-research/center/comprehensive_cancer_center/

  3. Hedy Lee Kindler, MD. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/find-a-physician/physician/hedy-lee-kindler

  4. Mesothelioma. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/types-treatments/mesothelioma

  5. Our mesothelioma physician team. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/types-treatments/mesothelioma/physicians

  6. Second opinions for cancer care. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/patient-care/second-opinion

  7. The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers/find/uchicagoccc

  8. UChicago Medicine. “Second Opinions for Cancer Care.” Retrieved from http://www.uchospitals.edu/specialties/cancer/second-opinion.html

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