Limited Metastatic Cancer Program

how cancer can spread: localized, oligometastatic cancer and widely metastatic

Hope for Patients with Metastatic Cancer

A diagnosis of metastatic cancer doesn’t always mean that your cancer cannot be controlled long term, or even eliminated.

A Long History of Rethinking Treatment for Metastatic Cancer

In 1995, University of Chicago’s Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, and Samuel Hellman, MD, were the first cancer experts in the world to suggest that certain metastatic cancers could be controlled long term, or even eliminated if the tumors were limited to a few sites. They named this state of cancer “oligometastasis,” Greek for “a few that spread.” 

Since then, cancer experts at the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center have helped many patients achieve long-term survival by pushing the boundaries of treatment for metastatic cancer. As a result, some cancers that were once considered unmanageable can now be treated to achieve a long term disease free state. 

Today, the Limited Metastatic Cancer Program (L-MEC) at UChicago Medicine is widely regarded internationally as leading the study and treatment of oligometastatic cancer. Through our groundbreaking research program, we have identified new ways of testing metastatic cancers at the molecular level to determine which patients are most likely to benefit from localized, aggressive treatment, alone or in combination with personalized comprehensive treatments.

If you have been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, more therapies may be available to you than you think. Our cancer specialists are eager to help you understand all of your options.

Treating Metastatic Cancer with Optimism and Hope

If you are diagnosed with metastatic cancer — also known as stage 4 cancer or stage IV cancer — we strongly encourage you to reach out to our Limited Metastatic Cancer Program by calling 855-826-3881. Our intake coordinator will ask you a series of questions to determine if you are a good candidate for our program.

Many factors determine your candidacy for aggressive treatment of metastatic cancer, including:

  • The type of cancer you have, which may be any type of solid tumor 
  • The number and location of sites where cancer has spread in your body
  • The pace of how your metastatic disease spread from time of diagnosis 
  • Your previous cancer treatments (treatment history)
  • Your age and overall health

We will determine if any additional testing is needed and schedule you for a visit with members of our multidisciplinary team, which includes a radiation oncologist, surgical oncologist and medical oncologist. Then, you will meet with the appropriate specialists, who will work with you to develop an individualized plan including the most innovative therapies — such as highly precise radiation treatments, novel surgical approaches and the most promising chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy drugs — aimed at combatting your cancer and improving your quality of life.

spectrum of cancer spread: localized, oligometastatic, widely diffuse metastatic disease
Understanding Metastatic Cancer and Oligometastatic Cancer

View an infographic and learn how physicians approach these cancers differently.

Olwen Hahn, MD, and patient in clinic
Why You Should Choose UChicago Medicine for Metastatic Cancer Treatment

Our physicians are world leaders in optimizing treatment for metastatic cancer.

Nora Jaskowiak, MD, in surgery with staff
Which Types of Metastatic Cancer Respond to Aggressive Treatment?

If you have limited metastatic cancer, we may be able to provide treatments aimed at long-term survival.

S. Diane Yamada, MD, and team in office
Frequently Asked Questions About Treating Metastatic Cancer

Find answers to your questions about metastatic cancer treatments.

Steven J. Chmura, MD, PhD, and colleague in clinic
Our Limited Metastatic Cancer Program Physicians

Meet the team that has pioneered this innovative treatment approach.

Ralph Weichselbaum, MD, in lab
Metastatic Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

Learn more about the research behind the latest metastatic cancer treatments and ongoing clinical trials.

Convenient Locations for Cancer Care

Request an Appointment

This secure form to request an appointment will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

You may also request an appointment by calling our Limited Metastatic Cancer Program intake coordinator at 1-855-826-3881.

If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

 

For Referring Physicians

To refer a patient to the Limited Metastatic Cancer Program, please call 1-855-826-3881.

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Limited Metastatic Cancer Program (L-MEC)