Cancer Stories


WILL is producing a wealth of content for radio and television tied to the documentary Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies.

Living with Cancer in Central Illinois on WILL-TV features two half-hour documentaries. Strategic Treatment looks at the latest in treatment and care, and Seeking a Cure examines medical research underway at the University of Illinois.

Also, doctors, families and cancer survivors come together in the WILL-TV studio for a half-hour community conversation, Diagnoses & Decisions, hosted by Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky.

On WILL Radio, Illinois Public Media News contributor Christine Herman looks at a new drug that may improve prognoses for patients with the most aggressive form of brain cancer. This month marks the start of a clinical trial in Illinois for the drug that has shown promising results when tested on lab animals with cancer.

All of our stories on cancer will be collected here. 

WILL is producing a wealth of content for radio and television tied to the upcoming documentary Cancer: Emperor of All Maladies on WILL-TV on March 31st, April 1st, and April 2nd. All of our stories on cancer will be collected here. Dr. Jo-Mel Labayog
Rohit Bhargava, the Coordinator of the Cancer Community @ Illinois, announces the C*STAR program at the Cancer Community @ Illinois Spring Reception
Abigail Bobrow of the Cancer Community @ Illinois

University Of Illinois Announces Graduate Cancer Program

Last week, the Cancer Community @ Illinois in partnership with Carle Cancer Center announced a new graduate program in cancer research. The Cancer Scholars for Translational and Applied Research (C*STAR) graduate educational program is currently accepting applicants and will begin in the fall.

The C*STAR program will give funding for six existing University of Illinois graduate students to work on a specific cancer research project for up to three years alongside a faculty member from the Cancer Community @ Illinois and a clinician mentor from Carle. The students and projects chosen will be announced in early July. 

Living With Cancer In Central Illinois: Strategic Treatment

“Strategic Treatment” follows doctors and patients during innovative procedures and treatment plans being used at UnityPoint Methodist Medical Center, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, Carle Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital of Illinois.

Living With Cancer In Central Illinois: Seeking A Cure

Incredible advances are being made in cancer research and treatment right here in Central Illinois. To spotlight the local doctors, researchers, and institutions on the cutting edge of cancer care, WTVP and WILL are teaming up to produce a multi-platform companion to the national PBS series, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.

Matthew MacDonough with his grandfather and mother. Matthew was inspired to pursue a career in cancer research after his grandfather passed away from prostate cancer.
(Photo: Matthew MacDonough)

Cancer Researcher Inspired By Childhood Loss

University of Illinois post-doctoral student, Matthew MacDonough made a life changing decision at fifteen to pursue a career in cancer research, after losing his grandfather to prostate cancer.

Matthew said at the time he really didn’t understand what cancer was, but since been determined to learn more about the disease that took his loved one.

Betsi and Tod Waldron with their daughter, Emily. This photo was taken after Betsi completed her treatment for breast cancer in 2013.
(Photo: Emily Waldron)

Couple Faces Cancer Again After Nearly Four Decades

It’s been forty years since Tod Waldron was a freshman at the U of I and diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He says the hardest part was talking about his cancer with his girlfriend (now wife), Betsi and his parents.

“I was pretty nonchalant about it at the time, because I just didn’t know enough,” said Tod, “but my parents were from a generation that didn’t discuss cancer.

University of Illinois researcher working on cancer drugs in a lab
Credit: Christine Herman

U of I Researchers Discover Cancer-Killing Drug

It's been just over a year since Brenda O’Brien brought her fiancé Pete Biondo to the emergency room at Mercy hospital in St. Louis. She thought he had a tooth infection. But it turned out to be something far more serious.

“They saw a tumor,” she said. “The next day they went in and did a biopsy of it, and they told us that it was anaplastic astrocytoma.”

A terminal form of brain cancer.

Dr. Folkman’s War: Angiogenesis and the Struggle to Defeat Cancer

Guest: Robert Cooke.

Today on Focus, we'll chronicle the life and discoveries of one of the most significant medical figures of our time. Dr. Judah Folkman was the first to hypothesize treatment of cancerous tumors with angiogenesis inhibitors—medicine that would prevent new blood vessels from forming to "feed" the tumor. Today on the show, we're joined by science writer Robert Cooke, the doctor and scientist's biographer and the author of Dr. Folkman's War.