CHICAGO (CBS)—Northwestern Medicine is opening a urologic cancer institute today to focus on treating cancers of the kidney, prostate, bladder and others.
The Polsky Urologic Cancer Institute, located in Northwestern Hospital’s Galter Pavilion, opened Monday.
The center is expected to be fully operational by the summer, according to Northwestern Medicine spokesperson Kasmer Quinn.
Northwestern Medicine says the urology cancer institute is the first comprehensive urologic cancer care institute of its kind in the Midwest.
“We had excellent providers in all elements of treatment (in the past),” said Dr. Edward Schaeffer, Chair of Urology at Northwestern. “(But) you’ve come in to see a urologic oncologist and you’d go on a journey where you end up in all these different spaces.”
Now, cancer patients will be able to see a variety of doctors and specialists all in one place for comprehensive care, Schaeffer said.
The Polsky Urologic Cancer Institute will also provide cancer specialists with the space needed to collaborate on diagnoses and conduct research.
“We’ll be able to interface with partners in different specialties, which is a good thing because it fosters an intellectual environment where we can do research to attack these diseases,” Schaeffer said.
A $10 million donation from clean energy entrepreneur Michael Polsky is partially funding the institute, which will operate as part of a partnership with the Lurie Cancer Center.
Polsky, of Chicago, founded Invenergy, an alternative energy company that owns wind farms and provides other clean power and renewable energy solutions.
“The gift to create a urologic cancer institute at Northwestern Medicine symbolizes my family’s commitment to help others facing cancer come out on the winning side—and to ultimately eradicate the disease,” Polsky said in a statement.
About 10 percent of all cancer deaths are due to urologic cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. More than 165,000 cases of prostate cancer and 81,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed annually, according to the organization.
Men are 15 percent more likely to develop urologic cancer, statistics show.
Polsky’s father and grandfather died of prostate cancer, according to Schaeffer, who described him as a “long-term friend to Northwestern.”