Clinical Programs

The Section of Hematology/Oncology provides exemplary treatment for a wide range of adult hematologic and oncologic diseases in a multidisciplinary environment. Our physicians, scientists, and medical staff work together in the most modern facilities to provide patients with up-to-date treatments. Because the University is one of the nation's major cancer centers, we can offer therapies before they are generally available at other institutions. The faculty are specialists in the areas of lung cancer, head and neck cancer, genitourinary cancers, gastrointestinal cancer, mesothelioma, breast cancer, cancer genetics, sarcomas, melanomas, stem cell transplantation, lymphoma, leukemia, myeloma, and phase I drug development.

The Section has oncology expertise in the areas of lung cancer, head and neck cancer, genitourinary cancers, gastrointestinal cancer, breast cancer, sarcomas and melanomas, mesothelioma. The lung cancer program is large; it includes eight medical oncology lung cancer specialists, and is overseen by Dr. Ravi Salgia. This program is tightly integrated with Radiation Therapy and provides therapeutic options for patients at all stages of the disease. The section has a thriving head and neck cancer program under the direction of Dr. Everett Vokes. The program’s therapeutic emphasis focuses on the interaction of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The genitourinary oncology program under the direction of Dr. Walter Stadler remains one of the top centers for treatment of kidney, bladder and prostate cancer. This program has a number of targeted and immunotherapies for both locally advanced and metastatic disease in malignancies of these organs. This includes the development of adjuvant therapies for bladder cancer and chemotherapies and targeted therapies in prostate cancer. Dr. Hedy Kindler oversees the gastrointestinal cancer and mesothelioma (a type of lung cancer that is primarily caused by overexposure to asbestos) programs. For decades the section has been a leader in the treatment of GI cancer and has a renowned program that offers the newest and most innovative treatments. In addition the section has been a pioneer in the study of mesothelioma and understanding the unique characteristics of this disease. The breast cancer program, directed by Dr. Gini Fleming, is committed to working with patients, breast cancer surgeons, and breast cancer radiation oncologists to provide the best possible treatment options currently available. The program also focuses on familial cancer genetics as some families carry a gene which puts them at very high risk for breast cancer. Dr Funmi Olopade directs the Cancer Risk Clinic where genetic counselors, gynecologists, and oncologists work together with patients with a strong family history of breast cancer. A goal of the program is to expand to other areas of cancer in the near future. The sarcoma program is directed by Dr. Samir Undevia and focuses on the development new drug and radiation therapies as well as new surgical approaches for the treatment of bone and soft tissue sarcomas. The melanoma program, headed by Dr. Thomas Gajewski, continually strives to increase the understanding of the biology of melanoma and to develop new and more effective strategies for treating patients with this disease.

The section has hematology expertise in the areas of stem cell transplantation, chronic myelogenous lymphomas and malignant lymphomas, acute leukemia, and myelloproliferative diseases. The section operates a very active transplant and lymphoma program under the direction of Dr. Michael Bishop. This program recently received designation as a National Marrow Donor Program transplant center which allows us to offer a full breath of transplantation options to patients, including matched-unrelated donor transplant. The transplant program also recently received FACT Accreditation, a voluntary Inspection and Accreditation Program based on the quality standards. The section's leukemia program is one of Chicago’s largest programs and is comprised of nationally known physicians. Dr. Wendy Stock, program director, and the interdisciplinary team focus on revolutionary targeted therapies for some leukemia’s and supportive therapies to help reduce fatigue, infections, and other problems that may develop due to leukemia or leukemia treatments. The leukemia program is supported by a team of scientists who are experts in the field of chromosomal research and who have identified the chromosomal abnormalities that lead to specific types of leukemia. The myeloma program, headed by Dr. Todd Zimmerman, has become a comprehensive program for multiple myeloma in which many treatment options are made available to each patient on an individual basis. In addition, the program works closely with basic scientists in order to develop novel therapeutics for myeloma.

The Section is the recipient of a Phase I grant that provides novel cancer therapies to our patients who do not respond to established therapies. As a result, we are able to offer the most innovative and cutting edge treatment options for cancer patients long before the therapies are available to other health care providers.

Additional information about the clinical services offered at The University of Chicago can be found at The University of Chicago Hospitals website.