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Treatment and Therapies

Bringing the most advanced cancer treatments and therapies to our community

Once your cancer diagnosis is made, Northwest Community Hospital's multidisciplinary team of specialists will work with you to determine the best cancer treatment and therapy options.

A wide range of treatments and therapies for cancer - combining better results and fewer risks

  • da Vinci® Robotic Surgical System—The gold standard for minimally invasive surgery. This breakthrough technology allows a surgeon to view 3-D images of the surgical field while sitting at a state-of-the-art computer console. Hand, wrist and finger movements are translated into precise robotic arm movements. da Vinci surgery is the preferred approach for treatment of prostate cancer as well as cancers of the kidney and bladder; it is also a superior surgical tool for hysterectomies due to gynecological cancer. We are one of the few hospitals in the area to offer the latest generation of this groundbreaking technology, the da Vinci Si™.

    Download a brochure on da Vinci Surgery for the following conditions:

  • CyberKnife® Stereotactic Radiosurgery System (SRS)—A non-invasive alternative to surgery. It uses an extremely accurate, computer-controlled robotic arm to target tumors with high-dose radiation. CyberKnife can treat cancerous and non-cancerous tumors and lesions in the brain, lung, neck, liver, kidney, pancreas, prostate, pelvic organs and spine, as well as other medical conditions. We were the first hospital in the Chicago area to offer this groundbreaking technology.

  • BARRX HALO360 Ablation System—Innovative, non-surgical treatment for Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition affecting the lining of the esophagus. HALO Ablation Therapy uses radiofrequency electrodes to remove or destroy pre-cancerous cells, thus reducing the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

  • Calypso® Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IG-IMRT)—Northwest Community Hospital is one of only three healthcare institutions in Illinois with this radiation therapy technology. NCH's prostate cancer services offers the Calypso® Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) system, also known as GPS for the Body®, which tracks tumors for more accurate radiation therapy. Tiny beacons that emit radio signals are implanted in the cancerous prostate, helping radiologists pinpoint its location in real time for intensive treatment. Thus, the targeted "GPS" helps reduce damage to surrounding tissue.

  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)—Radiation therapy that delivers a finely tuned dose of radiation, precisely tailored to match the tumor in three dimensions, while leaving the surrounding tissue relatively untouched.

  • Low Dose Rate (LDR) Brachytherapy—An extremely effective method for treating early stage prostate cancers. Unlike external beam radiation, which delivers a high dose of radiation from outside the body, this technique is a low energy type of radiation therapy. Tiny radioactive devices called seeds are implanted permanently inside the tumor to kill cancer cells. This minimizes radiation exposure to healthy surrounding tissue. On average, 60 to 120 seeds, each smaller than a grain of rice, are placed in the prostate gland. The low energy isotopes used in the seeds lose their radioactivity quickly.

  • High dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy—Placing very tiny plastic catheters into the prostate gland to deliver the radioactive seeds and then giving a series of radiation treatments through these catheters. The catheters are then easily pulled out, and no radioactive material is left in the prostate gland.

  • Accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI)—Allows more patients to conserve their breasts, avoid mastectomy and complete their local therapy in less than two weeks.

  • Cryosurgery—Using ultrasound technology to guide needles into the prostate, this procedure delivers extremely cold gases that kill the cancer cells.

  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)—Used to diagnose and sometimes treat gallstones and conditions of the bile ducts and pancreas.

  • Advanced breast biopsy options—Includes ultrasound-guided, MRI-guided and stereotactic breast biopsy, as well as intact breast excisional biopsies.

  • External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)—One of the primary treatments for patients with localized or locally advanced prostate cancer.

  • Conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT)—Use of computerized tomography to generate 3-D images of internal anatomy during cancer treatment. Sophisticated computer software then uses these images to target the tumors.

  • Chemoembolization—is used in certain cases when cancer affects the liver. By supplying a high concentration of chemotherapy and embolic agents directly into the tumor, this technique targets cancerous cells and does not expose the rest of the body to the chemotherapy.

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RF Ablation)—A minimally invasive technique that involves placement of an electrode into the tumor. Electrical current passes around and through the tumor, destroying tumor tissue. The most common use for RF ablation is in the treatment of liver cancer, as well as tumors of the lung, bone and kidney.

  • Radioembolization—A new therapy that delivers a huge dose of radiation directly to the tumor. Radioactive particles, about the size of talcum powder particles, are delivered to the tumor via a small tube inserted in the groin and then threaded up to the tumor.

  • Whipple procedure—A complicated surgery performed for pancreatic cancer that increases survival rates and offers a real chance at a cure. It is also used in the treatment of other types of cancer including small bowel cancer.

Ambulatory Infusion Clinic (AIC)—a full range of outpatient services

AIC offers treatment for patients with hematologic, oncologic and immunologic disorders. It provides a full range of outpatient infusion and injection services including chemotherapy, blood transfusions and treatment with biological response modifiers. Comprehensive services are provided by RNs, an oncology pharmacist, a dietitian and a licensed social worker.

Clinical Trials

NCH participates in a variety of clinical trials to give you access to the very latest cancer treatments from across the country. Currently, we have more than 33 active clinical trials including studies on cancer prevention, cancer treatment and wellness coaching for patients who have finished cancer treatments.

As a cancer patient, you may be eligible to participate in clinical research. You'll have the opportunity to receive the most advanced drug therapies or procedures that are only available when you participate in a clinical study for cancer. These new cancer therapies and procedures may improve your care. Your physician will discuss which clinical trials are appropriate for your condition.

Get the cancer care you deserve. Use our online directory to find a physician or call 847.618.4YOU (4968) for a cancer specialist who is right for you.

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Last Updated 08/07/09