For Immediate Release

PERU, IL (June 6, 2011) – As part of a unified effort to provide state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging, medical and radiation oncology services to cancer patients in the Illinois Valley area, Vantage Oncology, a Manhattan Beach, CA-based developer and operator of radiation oncology facilities, is pleased to announce the opening of Valley Regional Cancer Center in Peru, IL. The new center leverages services and specialists from Illinois Valley Community Hospital in Peru, St. Margaret's Hospital in Spring Valley, Illinois CancerCare, the premier medical oncology practice in Peoria and the Illinois Valley, and Valley Radiation Oncology – a long-time provider of radiation oncology in the Valley – in the ongoing fight against all forms of cancer.

Valley Regional Health Services, a joint venture of Illinois Valley Community Hospital and St. Margaret’s Hospital, will offer state-of-the-art PET/CT and laboratory diagnostic services. Medical oncology services will be provided by Dr. Greg Gerstner and Dr. James Knost of Illinois CancerCare of Peoria. Radiation oncology services will be spearheaded by Dr. Neelima Kabre and Dr. Thomas Zusag of Valley Radiation Oncology. The combined experience of these parties will rival larger institutions that provide similar services.

“As a result of Illinois Valley Community Hospital and St. Margaret’s Hospital joining forces with Valley Radiation Oncology and Illinois CancerCare, we are able to provide comprehensive cancer care to our patients in a state-of-the-art cancer care facility,” said Dr. Kabre, Medical Director of Valley Radiation Oncology. “This partnership allows us to utilize valuable resources that enhance and ensure our served communities’ convenient access to the most precise and sophisticated cancer treatments available.” 

Valley Regional Health Services’ on-site 16-slice PET/CT scanner is the GE Discovery ST, which incorporates some of the most advanced PET/CT imaging technology available today. This new technology assists the physicians in the staging of cancer and aids in surgical and radiation treatment planning. Most importantly, however, the PET/CT scanner has the unique ability to monitor the effectiveness of the oncologist’s treatment plan which enables them to make adjustments during the patient’s course of treatment.

Valley Regional Cancer Center’s medical oncology team is actively involved in groundbreaking research of novel therapies for the treatment and prevention of all forms of cancer. Illinois CancerCare offers FDA-approved chemotherapy protocols as well as an experienced multidisciplinary team which includes a nurse practitioner and a certified oncology nurse. Illinois CancerCare prides itself on its coordinated patient care with primary care physicians, surgeons, specialists, home-health agencies, IV infusion companies and hospice care. Education, support groups and treatment information are also available for patients and their families.

"Our collaborative research efforts with nationally respected academic cancer centers enables us to provide patients access to new targeted therapies designed to attack various forms of cancer,” said Dr. Gerstner. “Valley Regional Cancer Center’s experienced team of physicians and researchers are dedicated to educating and treating our served communities with the most advanced cancer treatments available today.”

Valley Regional Cancer Center will house a state-of-the-art Varian Clinac® linear accelerator. This technology enables the radiation oncology center to offer its patients the most sophisticated forms of radiation therapy, including Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) and Image-Guided Radiation Therapy (IGRT). IMRT and IGRT are two of the most significant recent innovations in radiation therapy technology used to treat cancer. By combining daily imaging to confirm the size and location of the tumor before each treatment session, radiation oncologists are able to more precisely treat tumors throughout the body. As a result, the patient’s normal healthy tissue is exposed to less radiation, thereby facilitating the preservation of healthy tissue and minimizing potential side effects and complications.

“Newer technologies such as IMRT and IGRT help physicians deliver higher doses of radiation to tumors with fewer complications and less immediate and long-term side effects,” added Dr. Zusag. “With a coordinated multidisciplinary approach of chemotherapy and radiation therapy available under one roof, patients will have the best chance for achieving optimal treatment results with the added convenience of a local center.” 

For more information about Valley Radiation Oncology or to schedule an appointment, please call 815-224-5511 or visit us at  

For more information about Illinois CancerCare for medical oncology or to schedule an appointment, please call (815) 233-7010 or visit us at

For more information about Valley Regional Health Services and its diagnostic PET/CT and Laboratory services, please call (866) 667-7226 or visit us at 

About Vantage Oncology
Founded in October 2002, Vantage Oncology develops and operates radiation oncology centers of excellence through acquisitions and joint ventures. The Company was founded because of a growing need among cancer patients, hospitals and physicians for easily accessible and advanced radiation treatment therapies. Vantage Oncology is led by a seasoned management team, including Chief Executive Officer Michael Fiore, Medical Director Leslie Botnick, M.D., Chief Financial Officer Marshal Salomon and Chief Development Officer Mark Ahern. For more information about Vantage Oncology, visit

About Valley Regional Health Services

Valley Regional Health Services, a joint venture of Illinois Community Hospital and St. Margaret’s Hospital, combines the resources of both to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic services to the Illinois Valley area. Our on-site PET/CT scanner is the GE Discovery ST, one of the most advanced PET/CT scanners available. Where other facilities might have a two or four slice CT unit, the PET/CT scanner at Valley Regional Health Services has a 16-slice CT.

Valley Regional Health Services also offers an on-site state-of-the-art laboratory service. When diagnostic blood work is needed, specialists in laboratory medicine perform Complete Blood Counts and Chemistry Analysis. The laboratory ensures the highest level of quality in the testing of all specimens by adhering to the strict standards set by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). For patients requiring additional testing or consultation, the laboratory maintains relationships with other approved reference laboratories to guarantee high-quality and timely results. 

About Illinois CancerCare

Illinois CancerCare is one of the largest private, comprehensive oncology and hematology practices in the country. The organization has approximately 78,000 active patients and sees around 4,000 new cancer patients and 1,000 new hematology patients each year. Our goal is to provide state-of-the-art treatments and therapies for our patients in their fight against cancer and blood disorders, while staying on the leading edge of breakthrough research and medicines. Illinois CancerCare was founded in 1977 and began participating in clinical trials within the first year. Since then, we have grown to include 15 different locations throughout central and western Illinois. Our main office is located at the Peoria Cancer Center in Peoria, IL.


Trace Longo
Longo Communications
(949) 364-2821 

Vantage Oncology
Marketing Dept.