Loyola Offering Intraoperative Radiation Therapy to Broad Range of Cancer Patients | Cancer | Loyola Medicine
Thursday, August 2, 2018

Loyola Offering Intraoperative Radiation Therapy to Broad Range of Cancer Patients

MAYWOOD, IL – Loyola Medicine is among the select centers that offer a broad range of cancer patients a leading-edge form of radiation therapy that is delivered during surgery.

The treatment is called intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT). After the tumor is removed, a concentrated dose of radiation is delivered to the tumor bed to kill any microscopic cancer cells left behind, thereby reducing the chance the cancer will recur.

Higher doses can be safely given because radiation is applied directly to the tumor site and doctors can move or shield healthy organs to protect them from the radiation, said Loyola Medicine radiation oncologist William Small, Jr., MD, FACRO, FACR, FASTRO, chair of the department of radiation oncology, director of Loyola’s Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Centerand one of the nation’s leading IORT experts.

Loyola is among the few centers that have the multidisciplinary expertise to use IORT on multiple cancers, including breast, gynecologic, head and neck, pancreatic, colorectal, brain and bone cancers.

In some patients, IORT is provided as a boost to standard radiation therapy given before or after surgery. In other cases, patients can receive all the radiation they need during surgery.

Breast cancer patient Marie Bartolo has a busy life, so she elected to have IORT during her lumpectomy rather than undergo traditional radiation treatments five days a week for four to six weeks. The IORT was delivered by Dr. Small, working closely with breast surgeon Constantine Godellas, MD, FACS.

“I got back my life really quickly,” Ms. Bartolo said. “I think intraoperative radiation therapy helps you heal mentally and physically much more quickly.”

Loyola physicians are helping to advance cancer care by conducting clinical trials on IORT and other treatments at the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center. The nationally renowned cancer center is recognized as high-performing by U.S. News & World Report and accredited by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 129,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.