Breast Cancer Center, Chicago

Your treatment options


With so many treatment options available, breast cancer patients face many decisions. Because the experts at our Breast Cancer Center at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), Chicago, focus specifically on breast cancer, they have the experience to help you navigate the complexities of choosing a treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Our Breast Cancer Center offers a number of evidence-based clinical therapies for breast cancer patients. Depending on your specific diagnosis and individual needs, those treatments may include:

Our Breast Cancer Center doctors

Stephen P. Ray - Medical Director, Breast Cancer Center

Stephen P. Ray

Medical Director, Breast Cancer Center, CTCA Chicago

Eugene Ahn - Medical Director of Clinical Research & Hematologist/Oncologist

Eugene Ahn

Deputy Medical Director of Clinical Research

Laure Farrington - Medical Oncologist

Laura Farrington

Medical Oncologist, CTCA Chicago

Karan Shah

Radiation Oncologist, CTCA Chicago

Karen Smorowski - Radiation Oncologist

Karen Smorowski

Radiation Oncologist, CTCA Chicago

Miral Amin - Surgical Oncologist and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon

Miral Amin

Surgical Oncologist and Oncoplastic Breast Surgeon, CTCA Chicago

Aaron Pelletier - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Aaron Pelletier

Chief of Surgery, CTCA Chicago

Daniel Liu - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

Daniel Liu

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, CTCA Chicago

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy (IORT)

Following a lumpectomy, radiation may be recommended to reduce the risk of cancer growing back in the same area of the breast. With IORT, a single dose of radiation is targeted to the lumpectomy site while the patient is under anesthesia following surgery. The procedure is performed by a radiation oncologist and usually takes less than 30 minutes.

Who is a candidate for IORT?

To receive IORT, patients must be able to undergo surgery and have early-stage breast cancer that has not spread.

What are the possible advantages of IORT?

NQMBC certification

Since 2013, the Breast Cancer Center at CTCA® Chicago has been continuously recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™ by the National Quality Measures for Breast Centers Program™, and remains the only center in Illinois with the designation.

Learn more about what it means to be recognized as a Certified Quality Breast Center of Excellence™.

A comprehensive team approach

The oncologists, surgeons and other doctors working in at the Breast Cancer Center are part of a wider team of multidisciplinary experts who understand that breast cancer is not one disease, and that no two patients have the same needs. Whether you are weighing decisions about a lumpectomy versus a mastectomy, fertility preservation, breast reconstruction, family genetics or clinical trials, your Breast Cancer Center care team is committed to arming you with the information and resources you need to make educated decisions about your treatment. Your care team will be led by a medical oncologist with experience in breast cancer care, and your treatment plan will be coordinated by care managers dedicated to helping you navigate your care.

Other doctors and clinicians are assigned to your care team depending on your needs and treatment goals. For example, depending on your breast cancer type, stage and recommended treatment plan, your Breast Cancer Center team may include radiation and surgical oncologists and reconstructive plastic surgeons with advanced training in helping breast cancer patients restore their function and appearance. Supportive care experts with expertise in evidence-informed supportive therapies are also available, as part of the whole-person focus that is at the heart of the Breast Cancer Center’s dedication to comprehensive, personalized care. All these experts work together under one roof, collaborating daily, with one another and each patient, monitoring the patient’s progress and adjusting the treatment plan when appropriate.

Breast cancer clinical trials

Our medical oncologists and other CTCA Breast Cancer Center experts are committed to delivering advanced and innovative treatment options when possible. Offering qualified breast cancer patients carefully selected clinical trials in areas like immunotherapy, genomically targeted chemotherapy and other innovative research is an important part of that commitment. Clinical trials are not available to all patients. But those who qualify based on certain requirements may have access to emerging treatment options.

Clinical trials Q&A

Who may benefit from breast cancer clinical trials?

The answer is based on a case-by-case analysis of each breast cancer patient’s situation. This is a time of rapid scientific advances in breast cancer treatment. New surgical techniques are being developed with a goal of attacking tumors while reducing the amount of trauma to healthy breast and other tissue. Meanwhile, a new generation of breast cancer therapies is designed to attack tumors that have specific genomic mutations, such as too much HER2, mTOR, CDK4 and CDK6. These new targeted treatments may be more effective and cause fewer side effects than traditional chemotherapy. But they are so specialized that only a limited subset of patients qualifies for participation. Genomic tumor testing may determine whether you are a candidate. Other factors—such as your cancer type and stage, how you have responded to past treatments and other individual considerations—may also determine whether you qualify for specific breast cancer trials.

Are they only available to breast cancer patients who have exhausted other treatment options?

Breast cancer patients may qualify to participate in a clinical trial at any stage of their treatment journey. Some patients may join a clinical trial when they first start treatment, in conjunction with standard therapy for breast cancer, on the chance it may offer improved outcomes. Other trials are designed for patients who have not responded adequately to conventional treatments. Your oncologist will discuss the options and risks, and explain the various protocols involved.

How does CTCA select the breast cancer trials it offers?

At CTCA, our cancer experts never stop searching for innovative ways to treat cancer. Offering carefully selected breast cancer clinical trials helps us fulfill that mission. The new generation of precision drugs is generally designed to deliver more targeted, less toxic therapies. Our Breast Cancer Center oncologists decide to participate as a clinical trial site only after careful consideration of the relative benefit to patients.

How do I find out whether a specific breast cancer clinical trial may benefit me?

Your oncologist and Breast Cancer Center care team may recommend a trial depending on your individual needs and treatment goals. For general questions, contact an Oncology Information Specialist at 888-841-9129.

Learn more about breast cancer clinical trials being offered at CTCA.

Where we are located

CTCA Chicago

Breast Cancer Center
2520 Elisha Ave.
Zion, IL 60099

New patients: 888-552-6760
Existing patients: 847-510-CTCA

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New research

Offering clinical trials on new and emerging cancer treatment options.

View our clinical trials

What’s your risk?

Assess your cancer risk and take control

Assess your cancer risk

Insurance plans

We accept a wide range of insurance plans.

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