The University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center is a leader in the research and treatment of gynecological cancers, including cervical cancer. A University of Chicago physician was the first to describe the risk of a rare form of cervical cancer (clear cell carcinoma), which sometimes occurs in women whose mothers took DES during pregnancy.
Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center pioneered the use of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to treat women with cervical and endometrial cancers. A revolution in treatment planning and delivery, IMRT allows doctors to fully target the tumor area while sparing normal tissue in the bowel, bladder and rectum. This greatly reduces side effects. In addition, we have been a leader in developing methods for preserving sexual function in women who undergo radiotherapy for cervical cancer.
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For women who have early cervical cancer and fit certain criteria, we may offer fertility-sparing treatment options, such as vaginal or abdominal radical trachelectomy. Our gynecologic oncology team has specialized expertise in these complex, fertility-preserving surgical techniques.
Cervical cancer is very difficult to treat after it has spread to distant parts of the body (metastasized). University of Chicago researchers are continuously testing new drugs that may be more effective in treating cervical cancer than currently available options. We also have performed many clinical trials combining chemotherapy with radiotherapy with the goal of improving survival for women fighting this life-threatening disease.