Cancer Care Innovation

Hero Cancer Care Innov

State-of-the art cancer centers are the first--and necessary--step in ensuring that patients can access the renowned cancer care at IU Health. Philanthropy is making possible advanced technologies and treatments, and working to train the next generation of cancer care experts, to deliver the future of cancer care here and now.

Read on for stories of survivors and strivers.

The new Regional Academic Health Center (RAHC) in Bloomington--an integrated medical campus drawing on the dual strengths of IU Health Bloomington Hospital and Indiana University, including its School of Medicine, School of Nursing, and Health Sciences program--will serve as a healthcare hub for over 470,000 residents in 11 counties. However, only donor support will make it a true center for cancer care.

Claudia Scott understands how the RAHC could ease the journey of patients like her. Watch Claudia's story below!

An Integrated Cancer Center could offer patients all services in one easily navigable place. The center will also offer precision medicine customized according to each patient’s genes, lifestyle and environment. Participation in clinical trials will be convenient for more patients as well as connecting care to complementary amenities such as support groups; nutritional, psychological and pharmacy counseling; yoga; wigs and prosthetics; and art and music therapy. Naming opportunities are available for the cancer center’s core services and spaces. Give now.

Whether you’ve personally experienced cancer, heard stories or seen bumper stickers, you know cancer treatment is a challenge.

With cancer radiation, you lose your ability to focus,” says IU Health Simon Cancer Center patient Kathy Elder. “Brain fog is real.

Kathy says the best part of her radiation therapy was a device 3D-printed by the IU Health 3D Innovations Lab. Called an AVATAR, which stands for Audio Vision Assisted Therapeutic Ambience in Radiotherapy, it allowed Kathy to exert some control over her treatments.

“The longer you can hold your breath during radiation, the more radiation you can receive,” Kathy explains. “I watched a bar graph on the AVATAR screen to see how much longer I needed to hold my breath. This was huge for me. Instead of my treatment taking 30 minutes, we were able to cut my session time in half.”

Philanthropy is needed to design the next generation AVATAR 2.0 – which will allow radiation therapists to send notes of encouragement and instructions to patients during radiation therapy. Donate now.

Kathy

Better tech & treatments

Whether you’ve personally experienced cancer, heard stories or seen bumper stickers, you know cancer treatment is a challenge.

With cancer radiation, you lose your ability to focus,” says IU Health Simon Cancer Center patient Kathy Elder. “Brain fog is real.

Kathy says the best part of her radiation therapy was a device 3D-printed by the IU Health 3D Innovations Lab. Called an AVATAR, which stands for Audio Vision Assisted Therapeutic Ambience in Radiotherapy, it allowed Kathy to exert some control over her treatments.

“The longer you can hold your breath during radiation, the more radiation you can receive,” Kathy explains. “I watched a bar graph on the AVATAR screen to see how much longer I needed to hold my breath. This was huge for me. Instead of my treatment taking 30 minutes, we were able to cut my session time in half.”

Philanthropy is needed to design the next generation AVATAR 2.0 – which will allow radiation therapists to send notes of encouragement and instructions to patients during radiation therapy. Donate now.

Kathy

In the course of doing about 160 surgeries a year, Avinash V. Mantravadi, MD FACS, a head and neck surgeon at IU Health Simon Cancer Center and an assistant professor at the IU School of Medicine, often uses biocompatible implants to replace body parts destroyed by cancer. Acquiring an implant typically takes two weeks and “requires astronomical amounts of money,” Mantravadi said.

Mantravadi is ready for the next leap forward: 3D-printing implants down the hall from the operating room rather than buying them from outside vendors.

“Fabricating implants here in the hospital would be a game-changer,” he said. “There would be massive cost savings to the patient, and some patients might even spend less time in the OR.”

The 3D Innovations Lab at IU Health Simon Cancer Center is working toward 3D-printing implants onsite in the hospital using PEEK, a thermoplastic material now available for use in 3D printers. Philanthropic support can facilitate the lab’s growth. Give now.

3 D Printing

Making implants in-house

In the course of doing about 160 surgeries a year, Avinash V. Mantravadi, MD FACS, a head and neck surgeon at IU Health Simon Cancer Center and an assistant professor at the IU School of Medicine, often uses biocompatible implants to replace body parts destroyed by cancer. Acquiring an implant typically takes two weeks and “requires astronomical amounts of money,” Mantravadi said.

Mantravadi is ready for the next leap forward: 3D-printing implants down the hall from the operating room rather than buying them from outside vendors.

“Fabricating implants here in the hospital would be a game-changer,” he said. “There would be massive cost savings to the patient, and some patients might even spend less time in the OR.”

The 3D Innovations Lab at IU Health Simon Cancer Center is working toward 3D-printing implants onsite in the hospital using PEEK, a thermoplastic material now available for use in 3D printers. Philanthropic support can facilitate the lab’s growth. Give now.

3 D Printing

Joe Schwarz was a hard-working entrepreneur who achieved the American dream and had an enormous sense of gratitude. When he died in March of 2018 after a second battle with cancer, his widow Shelly Schwarz wanted to honor his grateful spirit and recognize the care he received as an IU Health patient. She committed $10 million to establish the Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center at IU Health North Hospital. Schwarz’s gift represents the largest single gift to date to IU Health from a living donor.

Opened in 2020, the Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center makes it possible for more people to access the renowned care offered by IU Health, in one state-of-the-art facility. Under one roof, the center offers radiation oncology spaces and infusion rooms, plus support services including a pharmacy and laboratory.

Inspired by Joe and Shelly’s gift, other generous donors have supported additional amenities – such as a courtyard where patients and families can find respite – but additional philanthropic support could provide an Integrative Health and Wellness Center to offer programs including art, music and yoga that benefit patients and their caregivers. Give now.

Schwarz Cancer Center

Honoring grateful husband

Joe Schwarz was a hard-working entrepreneur who achieved the American dream and had an enormous sense of gratitude. When he died in March of 2018 after a second battle with cancer, his widow Shelly Schwarz wanted to honor his grateful spirit and recognize the care he received as an IU Health patient. She committed $10 million to establish the Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center at IU Health North Hospital. Schwarz’s gift represents the largest single gift to date to IU Health from a living donor.

Opened in 2020, the Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center makes it possible for more people to access the renowned care offered by IU Health, in one state-of-the-art facility. Under one roof, the center offers radiation oncology spaces and infusion rooms, plus support services including a pharmacy and laboratory.

Inspired by Joe and Shelly’s gift, other generous donors have supported additional amenities – such as a courtyard where patients and families can find respite – but additional philanthropic support could provide an Integrative Health and Wellness Center to offer programs including art, music and yoga that benefit patients and their caregivers. Give now.

Schwarz Cancer Center