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university of chicago comprehensive cancer center

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.

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About the University of Chicago Cancer Center

The University of Chicago Medical Center is a top mesothelioma hospital located on the south side of Chicago, Illinois.

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.

In 1973, the medical center founded its University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC). The National Cancer Institute (NCI) designated it as a cancer center that same year. In 2008, the UCCCC received the NCI’s elite designation of a comprehensive cancer center.

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

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

Quick Facts About the University of Chicago Medical Center

  • Treats both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Diagnoses or treats over 7,500 cancer patients each year
  • Has more than 200 cancer specialists
  • Holds the elite status of NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Lead site for the Clinical Trials Network, with over 300 open clinical research trials and 1,000 patients yearly
  • Nationally ranked in cancer according to U.S. News & World Report 2023-24 rankings
  • Provides primary care, inpatient, and outpatient care in multiple locations throughout Chicago
  • Serves 8.5 million residents in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana

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University of Chicago Cancer Center’s Mesothelioma Program

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

Mesothelioma patients from the Illinois area can feel comfortable 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.

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

Due to its expertise in this 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.

Treating Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

A dedicated mesothelioma program and advanced treatment technologies allow the UCCCC to lead in treating both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Its Mesothelioma Program offers targeted HIPEC (hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion). This direct chemotherapy solution is used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma (which develops in the abdominal lining). It is applied to affected organs and optimized to destroy mesothelioma cells after cytoreductive surgery, which removes all visible cancer tumors.

Doctors on staff can also treat pleural mesothelioma (which develops in the lung lining) using surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments.

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 specializing 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. She is an active board member of the Science Advisory Board of the Mesothelioma Foundation and was also recently awarded the Selikoff Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization.

Dr. Mecker Moller is also part of the UCCCC staff. She oversees the HIPEC program, which treats peritoneal mesothelioma.

The UCCCC’s mesothelioma team also 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

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Patient Experience at the University of Chicago Cancer Center

With the UCCCC 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.

The Coleman Foundation Supportive Oncology Outpatient Care Suite also 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 who coordinates 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.

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 can 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.
  • Cytoreduction with HIPEC: HIPEC is a targeted therapy that delivers heated chemotherapy directly to the abdomen to treat any remaining cancer cells following cytoreductive surgery, which removes all cancer tumors that can be seen with the naked eye.
  • 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 mission of the UCCCC is to conduct breakthrough cancer research to better understand what causes it. To accomplish this, its cancer program centers on 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.

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 mesothelioma clinical trials conducted at the UCCCC are performed by 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

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.

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
  • Cofinity
  • Community Health Alliance (Indiana)
  • Community Healthcare System
  • First Health
  • Health Alliance
  • Healthlink
  • Humana
  • Imagine Health Smart E Network/SmartCare
  • Indiana Health Network
  • Mohr Health Systems
  • Multiplan
  • PHCS (Multiplan)
  • Preferred Plan (Health Smart)
  • Sagamore Health Network
  • 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. 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.

Connect with our skilled and caring Patient Advocates for help getting an appointment from top cancer facilities like the UCCC right now.

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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.

Jenna TozziWritten by:

Director of Patient Advocacy

Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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References
  1. Cancer clinical trials. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/research/clinical-trials
  2. Comprehensive cancer center. University of Chicago. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.uchicago.edu/education-and-research/center/comprehensive_cancer_center/
  3. Hedy Lee Kindler, MD. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/find-a-physician/physician/hedy-lee-kindler
  4. Mesothelioma. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/types-treatments/mesothelioma
  5. Our mesothelioma physician team. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/types-treatments/mesothelioma/physicians
  6. Second opinions for cancer care. UChicago Medicine. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.uchicagomedicine.org/cancer/patient-care/second-opinion
  7. The University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center. National Cancer Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2024, from https://www.cancer.gov/research/infrastructure/cancer-centers/find/uchicagoccc
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