A Publication of WTVP

Methodist continues to seek out, develop and implement innovative approaches for fighting cancer.

As early as 1919, when Dr. L. S. Goin began treating Peoria cancer patients with radium, Methodist Medical Center has been a leader in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of what has become the nation’s most dreaded disease.

Leadership in Cancer Detection
The best weapon against cancer is early detection, catching disease at its earliest, most curable stage. Methodist has led the way with advanced imaging services for early detection. Imaging services for the early detection and accurate diagnosis of breast cancer include all-digital mammography, as well as bilateral breast MRI. Methodist was the first, and still the only local hospital to provide mobile mammography service in central Illinois. The Methodist MammoVan, outfitted with the latest digital equipment, makes screening mammograms convenient for women within a 100-mile radius.

Leadership in Cancer Diagnosis
Methodist has also been a leader in PET (Positron Emission Tomography) technology, which allows physicians to determine the extent of cancer, detect recurring cancer early and monitor response to treatment. When the Methodist Downstate PET Center opened in 1991, it was one of just 32 such centers in the world, and the only one in Illinois.

Today, Methodist is home to the latest advance in PET/CT (Computerized Tomography) technology. When the results of PET and CT scans are fused together, a single test can produce a combined image that provides detailed information on cancer location and metabolism, so physicians can make effective treatment recommendations.

Leadership in Cancer Treatment
A new era in cancer treatment in central Illinois began in 1977 with the opening of Methodist’s Heidrich Radiation Oncology Center — the first such treatment center in central Illinois. This year, Methodist began treating patients at the Heidrich Center with a new, state-of-the-art TrueBeam linear accelerator, a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy. “This equipment allows oncologists to deliver treatment more quickly,” says Dr. Mathew Carpenter, medical director for the Heidrich Center, “while monitoring and compensating for tumor motion, leading to new possibilities for the treatment of lung, prostate, head and neck, as well as other cancers that are treatable with radiotherapy.”

Other innovations at Methodist include being the first cancer center in the Midwest to offer seeding implants for the treatment of prostate cancer, and the only location in the region with an Autologous Bone Marrow Transplant Program for the treatment of certain cancers. In 2008, Methodist became one of a few select sites in the nation to offer TomoTherapy treatment for cancer. TomoTherapy combines the precision and 3D imaging of CT with the power of high-energy radiation treatment to selectively destroy cancerous tumors while avoiding healthy surrounding tissue. Today, TomoTherapy is offered at the Heidrich Radiation Oncology Center and in collaboration with Midwest Urological Group at the Peoria Radiation Therapy Center on North Knoxville.

Leadership in the Future
Methodist continues to seek out, develop and implement innovative approaches for fighting cancer. Already, patients diagnosed with cancer get the support of trained patient navigators, who help them and their families through the healthcare system as decisions are made about testing and treatment options. The Methodist Breast Health Navigator is dedicated specifically to helping women with their journey through breast cancer. Methodist is also collaborating with leading specialists throughout the region. From a partnership with Midwest Urological Group to treat prostate cancer with greater precision and fewer side effects, to the new Methodist Cancer Institute, a partnership with leading oncologists from Illinois CancerCare, Methodist Medical Center is helping central Illinois residents prepare to win against cancer. iBi