By now, you’ve probably heard several news accounts about the World Health Organization report that associates the eating of processed meat with a higher risk of cancer.  A food scientist at the University of Illinois says all that needs to be taken in context.  

CHICAGO - The typical patient seeking to use medical marijuana in Illinois is an older woman in Cook County with either severe fibromyalgia or cancer. That's the picture revealed Thursday in a new report to the Legislature from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The report shows more than one-third of 3,300 completed applications submitted through June 30 came from patients in Cook County. Counties with the next highest number of applicants - Will, DuPage, Lake and Kane - also are in northern Illinois.

A major study has shown that a drug targeting the body's disease-fighting immune system may improve survival for the most common form of lung cancer.

The Illinois Cancer Action Network is calling attention to breast and cervical cancer screenings, especially as some of those programs face cuts.

Cardinal Francis George, a vigorous defender of Roman Catholic orthodoxy who played a key role in the church's response to the clergy sex abuse scandal, has died. He was 78.

U of I Researchers Discover Cancer-Killing Drug

Mar 30, 2015
Christine Herman

It's been just over a year since Brenda O’Brien brought her fiancé Pete Biondo to the emergency room at Mercy hospital in St. Louis. She thought he had a tooth infection. But it turned out to be something far more serious.

“They saw a tumor,” she said. “The next day they went in and did a biopsy of it, and they told us that it was anaplastic astrocytoma.”

A terminal form of brain cancer.

The tumor—which was the size of a grapefruit—was too large to be operated on. The doctors said Pete could expect to live another 7 to 10 months.

“I was devastated,” O’Brien said. “You just don’t expect that. So, it was shocking, and it took about, I guess, two days, to really let it sink in.”

Pete has outlived his prognosis by about 5 months. But the illness, the aggressive treatments involving radiation, chemotherapy and drugs to manage side effects, have taken a toll.

“There would be a delay in his thinking, he didn’t function for himself,” O’Brien said. “He had to have somebody live with him to make sure he ate something, make sure he did take showers… It’s been, you know, just a rollercoaster of a ride because at one point you think he’s dying and then the next couple months he seems to turn around, and the cycle starts all over again.”

Some 22,000 people in the United States will receive news like Pete’s this year. And roughly 15,000 will die from cancers of the brain and nervous system. That's nearly 3 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. For a patient with the most aggressive form of brain cancer, known as glioblastoma, the future is bleak.

STAR Program helps cancer patients

Nov 18, 2014

Care for cancer patients is expanding, from a focus on the cancer itself, to the after-effects that patients experience due to cancer and its treatment. 

Party for a Purpose Sunday August 31st

Aug 21, 2014

OSF Saint Francis Medical Center is hosting the 4th annual Party for a Purpose on Sunday, August 31st.  

UICOMP gets grant for pancreatic cancer research

Aug 18, 2014

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria is using a two-year grant to boost research on pancreatic cancer. The school received the $50,000 grant from the William E. McElroy Charitable Foundation. This is the third grant the medical school has received from the group. The grant will fund ways to overcome the resistance some pancreatic cancers have to chemotherapy. The research is headed up by professor Christopher Gondi. He’s developed a new substance that can suppress the pancreatic cancer resistance to chemotherapy.

Renowned cancer researcher resigns from UICOMP

Mar 25, 2013

A renowned professor and researcher with the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria has resigned his post. Doctor Jasti Rao resigned Monday morning due to health concerns. Doctor Rao headed the Cancer Research Center at U of I College of Medicine and was also a professor of cancer biology and neurosurgery.  The College of Medicine Dean,Doctor Sara Rusch, says she will fill Doctor Rao’s roles until a replacement is found.  Doctor Rao’s research efforts have led to a patented discovery of an anti-cancer treatment and more than $30 million in grant funding.