Breast Cancer

  • Welcome to the forefront of Medicine

    The University of Chicago Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology is internationally recognized as a leader in cancer treatment.

Our Radiation Oncologists can select the best treatment method for each individual patient in order to treat their cancer as effectively as possible without harming their nearby organs. Treatment approaches are customized to each patient's needs, taking into account the type of breast cancer, location of the tumor, body shape and the patient's preferences.

Cutting-edge Radiation Regimens

• Hypofractionation for condensed treatment course (3 weeks vs. traditional 6 weeks): Our radiation oncologists can prescribe hypofractionated doses in both the prone and supine (i.e., laying on back) positions. This can condense a traditional course of 6 weeks of radiation into 3 weeks, when clinically appropriate.

• Inverse-planned Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy: We can also deliver inverse-planned intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in order to target breast cancer aggressively. IMRT shapes the radiation dose to the target while reducing the high radiation received by the heart and lungs.

FIRST TO THE FOREFRONT

• Prone positioning: We were the first hospital in Chicagoland to offer prone positioning (i.e., laying on belly) to treat breast cancer. Prone positioning allows the radiation beam to target the cancer without delivering unnecessary dose to the heart and lungs.

• 3D surface imaging for Deep-Inspiration Breath-Hold (DIBH): In addition to optimizing treatment positioning, we are the first hospital in Chicagoland to use 3D surface imaging to position the breast accurately for deep-inspiration breathhold (DIBH) treatments. DIBH moves the heart and lungs as far out of the radiation field as possible for supine treatments. This highly sensitive technology delivers radiation only during optimal positioning, and shuts off automatically when the patient coughs or exhales. Unlike older DIBH technology, this system is non-invasive and does not require the patient to breathe into a device during treatment.

CLINICAL TRIALS

Over 3000 women are enrolled in our breast cancer clinical trials. See our Breast Cancer Clinical Trials database for more information.

First Phase I Trial for Metastases from Breast Cancer

Our Radiation Oncologists have designed and authored the first international group Phase 1 trial of targeted therapy to treat multiple metastases simultaneously.

No Waiting List

Patients can be seen by one of our Attending Radiation Oncologists within 1 week of diagnosis.