Technology and Treatments
Advanced and comprehensive. Close to home.
At Ingalls Cancer Care, the best technology and treatments are always within reach. Through locations in Harvey and Tinley Park, Ingalls offers the most advanced and comprehensive technology in Chicago's south suburbs, making it easy to receive treatment locally. In fact, Ingalls was the first hospital in the south suburbs to offer Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), which selectively radiates tumors while protecting surrounding healthy tissue. Our patients enjoy the best technology available including IMRT, IGRT, PET/CT scanning, digital mammography, and a host of minimally invasive cancer treatment therapies like chemoembolization, radiofrequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation and Selective Internal Radiation Therapy (SIRT).
Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) directs higher doses of radiation at tumors while reducing exposure to surrounding tissue. IMRT can treat multiple tumors at the same time, reducing the number of treatment sessions; treat previously inoperable tumors or tumors located near critical structures such as the spinal cord; and treat repeat cancers that may already have received maximum dose limits.
By offering IMRT, Ingalls joins the company of other leading cancer institutions such as Stanford University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Tumors are not stationary, unchanging targets; they move between and during treatments. Image Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT) uses daily computerized tomography (CT) scanning to create three-dimensional images that pinpoint the exact size, location and coordinates of the tumor just before the radiation beam is turned on. This increased precision allows for higher doses of radiation, ultimately leading to more precise treatment and higher cure rates.
Positron emission tomography (PET/CT)
Ingalls Family Care Center in Tinley Park is home to the south suburbs' most advanced PET/CT scanner, which can detect cancer at the molecular level. PET/CT can often determine if the body has cancer and other conditions well before other tests. Doctors use it to determine the specific stage of the disease and how treatment plans can be modified to improve effectiveness. Other technologies include a high-field MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and nuclear scanners.
Ingalls utilizes the most advanced digital mammography equipment available on the market today – Hologic’s Selenia® Dimensions™ two-dimensional full-field digital mammography system – which offers superior imaging quality.
Unlike film mammography, digital mammography uses special high-resolution computer monitors that allow the radiologist to review electronic images of the breast, adjust the brightness, change contrast, and zoom in for close-ups of specific areas of interest. Digital mammography is especially helpful for women with very dense breasts, making it easier to penetrate through the tissue. The technology also uses integrated computer-aided detection (CAD) software, which highlights areas of interest within the breast for the radiologist’s additional review.
Chemoembolization uses small catheters and highly detailed imaging guidance to deliver chemotherapy directly into tumors that originate in the liver or tumors that spread to the liver from other primary sites such as the colon or breast. During the procedure, anti-cancer drugs are injected directly into the blood vessel that feeds a cancerous tumor. A synthetic material called an embolic agent is also placed inside the blood vessel, in effect trapping the chemotherapy within the tumor. This allows for a higher dose of chemotherapy since less of the drug is able to circulate to the healthy cells in the body. Chemoembolization is often performed in patients who cannot undergo surgery to remove the tumor. Even in cases where the cancer cannot be cured, this approach may relieve a patient’s symptoms and extend survival.
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive, image-guided technique that heats and destroys cancer cells and is most frequently used to treat relatively small tumors of the kidney, liver and lung. During radiofrequency ablation, imaging techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are used to help guide a needle electrode into a cancerous tumor. High-frequency electrical currents are then passed through the electrode, creating heat that destroys the abnormal cells.
Cryoablation, also called cryotherapy, cryosurgery or targeted cryoablation therapy, is a minimally invasive treatment that uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy diseased tissue, including cancer cells. Although cryotherapy and cryoablation can be used interchangeably, the term "cryosurgery" is reserved best for cryotherapy performed using an open, surgical approach. During cryoablation, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is applied to cancerous cells. Physicians use image-guidance techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to help guide these freezing substances to treatment sites located inside the body. Cryoablation is commonly used to treat cancers of the prostate, liver and cervix.
Selective Internal Radiation Therapy
(SIRT) or Radioembolization
Ingalls is one of the few cancer programs in Illinois to offer SIRT, a non-surgical outpatient therapy that uses radioactive (Yttrium-90) microspheres to deliver radiation directly to the site of liver tumors. This unique, targeted therapy spares healthy tissue while delivering up to 40 times more radiation to liver tumors than would be possible using conventional radiotherapy. The technique uses the patient’s blood supply to send the tiny spheres, smaller in diameter than a human hair, into the microscopic vessels that feed a cancerous tumor. The spheres eventually become lodged at the tumor sites where they deliver a high dose of radiation. This radiation treatment has been shown to extend life expectancy in patients with malignant liver tumors for several months on average.
Learn more about SIRT and our Interventional Radiology program.
Ingalls Lungs for Life
Ingalls Lungs for Life:
Low-Dose CT Scans Lower Lung Cancer Deaths
Giving heavy smokers special low-dose CT scans vs. traditional chest X-rays can detect lung cancer early enough to lower their risk of death by as much as 20%, according to a recent National Cancer Institute (NCI) study. This is the first clear evidence that a screening test can help in the fight against the nation’s No. 1 cancer killer.
If you're a heavy smoker and concerned about the possibility of lung cancer, the Ingalls Lungs for Life screening and early detection program is for you.
Introduced in 2007 and the first of its kind in the south suburbs, Lungs for Life uses low-dose spiral CT scanning to find cancerous lung tumors in their early stages – when the tumor is still highly responsive to treatment.
Participation is based on the same criteria as the national NCI trial.
- Must be between 55 and 74 years of age, with a smoking history of at least 30 pack years, and are current smokers or former smokers who have quit within the past 15 years.
- Cannot already have lung cancer (unless it has been treated for cure and there is no known recurrence).
- Must be willing to undergo annual screening.
Scans are available at the main hospital campus in Harvey, as well as at the Ingalls Family Care Centers in Tinley Park, Flossmoor and Calumet City.
How Lung Cancer Screening at Ingalls Works
The Ingalls screening is a painless procedure that uses low-dose radiation to scan the entire chest in about 15 seconds, during a single, large breath-hold. The CT scanner rotates around the participant, who is lying still on a table as the table passes through the center of the scanner. A computer processes the digital information coming from the scanner and then assembles these images into highly detailed cross-sectional images of the lungs. Spiral CT can pick up tumors that are just a few millimeters in size, while chest X-rays can only detect tumors between one to two centimeters (0.4 to 0.8 inches) in size.
All CT scans are reviewed by state-of-the-art computer-aided detection software that is designed to detect small nodules. Completed scans are interpreted by an Ingalls board-certified radiologist.
If a screening participant’s scan is normal, results are sent both to the participant and to his/her primary care doctor within a week, and annual CT screening will be recommended. For individuals with “positive” screening results – meaning that the scan reveals an abnormality – Ingalls notifies the participant and the primary care doctor, and encourages a consultation with a specialist regarding further evaluation.
Affordably priced at $199 for the initial scan and $149 for the subsequent annual screening scans, the CT scans for lung cancer early detection are not currently reimbursed by most insurance plans. A physician referral is not required to schedule a lung CT scan. Also included is a free screening spirometry to help detect other lung function disorders.
About Lung Cancer
As the nation's leading cause of cancer death, lung cancer is a devastating disease with a very high mortality rate – less than five-percent survival for individuals with advanced lung cancer, or Stage 4.
The good news is that the five-year survival rate for individuals diagnosed with early lung cancer (Stage 1) is 70 percent. Even more encouraging, recent studies have shown that the 10-year survival rate for early-stage lung cancer is 92 percent.
The key to surviving lung cancer is early detection and treatment. Spiral CT scanning at Ingalls is helping to make that possible. The scans can also help detect other non-cancerous lung conditions including emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis. Lungs for Life also focuses on the prevention of lung cancer and other diseases through a comprehensive smoking cessation program.
For more information about participating in Ingalls Lungs for Life lung cancer screening, call (708) 915-LUNG (5864).
What's more, our doctors are constantly improving the standard of care for cancer treatment. Ingalls cancer specialists work together with experts from across the nation, with the entire Ingalls cancer team, and with you to deliver the most comprehensive diagnostics, treatment, and rehabilitative care in the south suburbs.
When surgery is the first line of attack
Our board-certified surgeons offer surgical treatments for nearly every type of cancer. Advanced surgical techniques include minimally invasive procedures that remove tumors while preserving as much normal function as possible. When necessary, reconstructive surgery is also available by board-certified reconstructive surgeons. After surgery, every Ingalls cancer patient enjoys the comfort and security of a private hospital room. And Ingalls provides a suite of cancer comfort services through a unique partnership with Faye's Light, a local cancer comfort care provider. Weekly massages, facials and manicures are completely free to Ingalls cancer inpatients.
Cancer treatment with fewer side effects
One myth surrounding cancer therapy is that the side effects of treatment can be worse than the disease. Today, we are reducing the side effects of treatment by precisely targeting tumors while protecting healthy tissue. Chemotherapy is better tolerated. Therapies are completed faster and more effectively than ever before. And because Ingalls is focused on individualized care, we provide the resources patients need to fight, win, and move on with their lives. For your added convenience, we offer comprehensive infusion services at the Ingalls Ambulatory Infusion Center located at the main hospital campus in Harvey.
Moving beyond cancer's grip
People would like to beat their cancer and pick up right where they left off. But life after cancer isn't always that simple, so Ingalls provides support services to help cancer patients and their loved ones cope with the emotional, psychological and social effects of cancer. Through our collaboration with the Cancer Support Center in Homewood, Ingalls provides a dedicated resource library, screenings and education, individual and family counseling, exercise and wellness programs, stress management, expressive arts, nutrition classes, social events, support groups, and grief support. For patients recovering from breast cancer treatment, Ingalls has the area's only Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program, which hastens recovery, and improves comfort and quality of life for each patient. And, Ingalls offers a variety of complementary medicine treatments such as acupuncture, yoga, massage and more through the Ingalls Wellness Center in Homewood.
And to ensure the maximum number of quality years for our cancer survivors, Ingalls offers a comprehensive survivorship program. The program is coordinated by an advanced practice nurse/nurse navigator and offers a survivorship care plan, personal and customized education, medical surveillance guidelines, directed navigation to health professional services, survivorship seminars and workshops and resources.
Here are some of the additional support services available to cancer patients and survivors:
Faye's Light is a not-for-profit organization that provides quality-of-life services to those currently undergoing treatment for cancer. These services complement medical care and include holistic treatments and spa services, with a focus on mind, body, and spirit...all at no cost to the recipient. Click here to visit Faye’s light website.
Cancer Support Center
The Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center in Homewood was formed in 1994, when six Southland women worked together to open a home-like center (with location in Homewood) for people in more than 70 Chicago southland and Northwest Indiana communities.
The Center provides services free of charge to a diverse participant base including cancer patients, caregivers, children, teens and friends of the cancer patient. In addition to support groups, individual and family counseling sessions and the Center’s comprehensive Resource Center, wellness programs are offered on a weekly basis. Participants enjoy yoga, qi gong, meditation, relaxation and massage therapy. On average, the Center staff responds to more than 300 calls or visits to the Homewood location. Click here to visit the Cancer Support Center's website.
Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program
Today’s life-saving cancer treatments may cause side effects that require physical rehabilitation to help patients manage their pain, regain certain abilities and restore their quality of life. That’s why Ingalls has created the area’s only Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program.
The Ingalls program is based on well-documented research that shows exercise and other therapy interventions can help:
- Reduce fatigue and depression
- Maintain weight, muscle mass and range of motion
- Promote strength and flexibility
- Restore balance
- Eliminate pain
- Improve quality of life.
The cancer rehabilitation team at Ingalls includes highly skilled physical therapists trained and certified in lymphedema treatment, occupational therapists, physicians, nurses and other clinical specialists who understand the unique needs of people undergoing treatment for and recovering from cancer. Breast cancer rehabilitation is available at two convenient locations, including the main hospital campus in Harvey, and the Ingalls Family Care Center in Tinley Park.
Ingalls Wellness Center
Located in Homewood, the Ingalls Wellness Center provides a full range of complementary medicine treatment to offer patients relief from pain, increased flexibility, an alternative to surgery or a supplement before or after surgery. Services include chiropractic care, yoga, smoking cessation, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, reflexology and aromatherapy.
Comprehensive Infusion Services
Through the Ingalls Ambulatory Infusion Center located at our main hospital campus in Harvey, Ingalls offers comprehensive infusion therapies for a wide variety of patients, including patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer treatment. All infusion treatments are given by our specially trained infusion nurses in a comfortable setting, complete with recliner chairs, televisions, headphones and more. The Ingalls Ambulatory Infusion Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and on weekends and holidays by appointment. The center can accommodate up to 10 patients at once.
Cancer Care at Ingalls Video
Clinical Trial #: NSABP B-43
Clinical Trial #: SWOG S0500
Clinical Trial #: CALGB 80702
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 0920
Clinical Trial #: U of C 09-266-B
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E1305
Clinical Trial #: U of C 16051B
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E1208
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 0937
Clinical Trial #: U of C 09-443-A
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 0848
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 0534
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E6508
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 0622
Clinical Trial #: Eli Lilly and Company H9H-MC-JBAJ
Clinical Trial #: ECOG 2108
Clinical Trial #: Novartis CBKM120X2107
Clinical Trial #: SWOG S1007
Clinical Trial #: NSABP B-47
Clinical Trial #: U of C 10-014-B
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E2208
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E1609
Clinical Trial #: U of C 10-182-B
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 1005
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 1010
Clinical Trial #: Abbott M12-630
Clinical Trial #: U of C 11-0709
Clinical Trial #: CALGB 50904
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 1012
Clinical Trial #: Abbott M13-982
Clinical Trial #: Boehringer Ingelheim 1200.131
Clinical Trial #: Alliance A221102
Clinical Trial #: U of C 12-1726
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E3611
Clinical Trial #: Genentech/Roche ML28442
Clinical Trial #: ACOSOG Z11102
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E1512
Clinical Trial #: Alliance N1048
Clinical Trial #: RTOG 1203
Clinical Trial #: NSABP B51/ RTOG 1304
Clinical Trial #: SWOG S1207
Clinical Trial #: Genentech GO28753
Clinical Trial #: PUMA-NER-1301
Clinical Trial #: ECOG E1Z11
Clinical Trial #: Alliance A021202
Rogers & Hollands Jewelers Promise of Hope.
The promise of hope represents a passion, a driving force that has been the hallmark of Rogers & Hollands Jewelers Juell Kadet's life. As a cancer survivor for over 30 years, she has been at the forefront of raising funds for cancer research to further Ingalls Hospital's Cancer Care Clinical Trials.
20% of the net proceeds from your purchase will be donated to the Cancer Care Clinical Trials at Ingalls Hospital.
For more information or to make a purchase, please visit: Rogers & Hollands Jewelers Promise of Hope.
- A Silver Lining Foundation
- American Cancer Society, Inc.
- American Society of Clinical Oncology
- Cancer Net
- Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups
- Colon Cancer Alliance
- Coping with Cancer Magazine
- Gilda's Club World Wide
- Disability Rights Legal Center
- Jennifer S. Fallick Cancer Support Center
- Live Strong
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- Lung Cancer Alliance
- One-On-One Cancer Support
- Malignant Mesothelioma
- Mesothelioma and Abestos Awareness Center
- National Cancer Institute
- National Marrow Donor Program
- Spohnc.org: Head and Neck Cancer
- Susan G. Komen for the Cure
- Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization