Radiation oncology, Chicago

The Department of Radiation Oncology at City of Hope® Cancer Center Chicago provides comprehensive radiation therapy treatment options, including external beam (EBRT), internal radiation therapy, and systemic radiation therapy (free isotope, or unsealed).

The radiation oncology team at City of Hope Chicago is staffed by radiation oncologists, radiation oncology nurses, board-certified radiation therapists, and medical physicists. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating cancer, the team works with you to provide treatment options designed to meet your specific needs.

Our radiation oncologists use a variety of technologies to deliver high radiation doses to tumors as part of an approach designed to do less damage to healthy tissues and organs. Focusing the radiation directly on the tumor typically causes a lower risk of radiation therapy side effects than standard treatments. We also help relieve certain cancer-related symptoms.

If radiation therapy is part of your treatment plan, you'll meet with your radiation oncologist to discuss the specific therapies available. Your radiation oncologist will thoroughly review your medical history, imaging and diagnostic tests (e.g., CT scans, PET/CT scans, MRIs). Our radiation oncologists work closely with other departments, including radiology and imaging, to deliver comprehensive, personalized cancer treatment.

Factors that go into designing an individualized treatment plan include the type of cancer you have; the size of the tumor and its location; whether you’ve undergone previous treatments, and if so, what dosage of radiation was used; as well as if you have additional medical conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease).

"What impresses me most about City of Hope is that patient care is a top priority. We truly have a comprehensive cancer center, with specialists from many medical fields coordinating personalized care for each patient," says Karan Shah, MD, MBA, Radiation Oncologist at City of Hope Chicago.

Advanced radiation therapies in Chicago

We are committed to bringing advanced treatment options to patients sooner, including safer, more targeted radiation therapies. Our advanced radiation program often provides treatment options to patients who have reached their maximum tolerance dosage of traditional radiation.

Because each cancer type requires a different approach, your treatment plan will be based on your unique needs and treatment goals. Radiation treatments may be included in your individualized treatment plan:

  • As a primary treatment
  • In combination with other treatments, like chemotherapy, to fight against the growth of new cancer cells
  • Before cancer surgery to shrink a tumor
  • After surgery to eliminate any remaining cancer cells
  • As a treatment for cancer that has spread to other areas of the body
  • As a palliative treatment to relieve pain

Throughout your care, the radiation oncology team will take time to answer your questions to help you feel comfortable with your treatment.

In addition to our radiation technologies, you’ll be treated by a team of clinicians offering a variety of therapies, including nutrition therapy and oncology rehabilitation, all working together to meet your needs throughout treatment. This approach helps us plan for side effects from the start, and quickly address symptoms you may experience.

Radiation therapy innovations in Chicago

Many patients come to City of Hope with complex and advanced-stage cancers. In addition, many others have been previously treated with traditional radiation and cannot tolerate more radiation exposure.

Our radiation oncologists use image guidance before and during radiation treatment to deliver high radiation doses to tumors in an effort to cause less impact on healthy tissues and organs. Our highly targeted radiation technologies focus radiation directly on tumors to help reduce the risk of side effects.

IORT: A less invasive treatment for specific cancers

City of Hope Chicago offers intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) for specific cancers, including:

Combining surgery and radiation, IORT works by introducing a single dose of radiation therapy immediately after surgery. The goal of this procedure is to target high-risk areas for microscopic disease and to avoid unnecessarily exposing healthy tissue and organs to radiation for extended periods of time, an approach that’s designed to result in fewer side effects and shorter treatment times.

Improving quality of life during radiation therapy

As you undergo radiation treatment, other members of your care team will work with you to reduce any unpleasant side effects and help improve your well-being before, during and after treatment.

In addition to your oncologists and depending on your needs and preferences, your care team may include dietitians, naturopathic providers, pain management practitioners, mind-body providers, rehabilitation therapists and pastoral care staff.

For example, as you undergo radiation treatments, your mind-body providers may offer relaxation techniques to help reduce your anxiety. If you find it difficult to lie on the radiation table while receiving treatment, your pain management practitioner can work with you to help manage your pain and to make you more comfortable.

COH-Chicago - Hospital

Where we are located

City of Hope Chicago

Department of Radiation Oncology
2520 Elisha Ave.
Zion, IL 60099
New patients: 855-667-9005 | Existing Patients: (847) 510-2822

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