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UChicago Medicine gets $20 million gift to support 575,000-square-foot cancer care and research pavilion

Susan and Tandean Rustandy have donated $20 million to the University of Chicago Medicine to support development of Illinois’ only freestanding facility dedicated to cancer care and research.

The $815-million project to build the 575,000-square-foot cancer pavilion advances the University of Chicago’s and UChicago Medicine’s goals for cancer prevention, health equity and survivorship and builds off its leadership in cancer research and treatment. It is scheduled to open in 2027.

In making the gift, Tandean Rustandy, who serves as a trustee for both the University of Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center boards, noted cancer’s profound impact on society. 

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S., and there were an estimated 2 million new cases diagnosed in 2022 alone. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention predicts the country’s new cancer cases will increase by 49% between 2015 and 2050.

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“These statistics are a stark reminder of the importance of advancing research and treatment options to make a tangible difference in the lives of patients and their families,” Rustandy said. “We all know someone who has been affected by cancer, and I am steadfast in my belief that we must work together to make a significant and positive impact for patients and the field of cancer research.”

The couple’s gift will support the efforts of UChicago Medicine’s nationally recognized clinicians, physician-scientists and researchers to collaborate and find novel treatments, including new cellular therapies that work against more types of cancers and radiotheranostics, which attack cancer cells while leaving healthy cells intact. 

Teams also will work to dramatically improve cancer patients’ overall care experiences and reduce health disparities in underserved communities, including Chicago’s South Side, where cancer death rates are twice the national average.

“The new cancer pavilion will bring together more than 200 of my colleagues ― all of us working across disciplines — to reduce the burden of cancer on patients and families, as well as the communities we serve,” said Dr. Kunle Odunsi, director of the UChicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We are building a cancer program of the future and are very grateful for Susan and Tandean Rustandy’s support and dedication to helping us prevent, diagnose, study, treat and, ultimately, save more lives.”

UChicago Medicine held a groundbreaking ceremony for the cancer pavilion in September 2023. 

Rustandy is the CEO and founder of PT Arwana Citramulia Tbk, a publicly traded, Indonesia-based manufacturer of ceramic floor and wall tiles. He received his master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business in 2007.

“Susan and I are honored to contribute to the University of Chicago’s mission and initiatives to pursue globally impactful solutions to seemingly unsolvable challenges,” Rustandy said. “We believe in the power of collaborative efforts to effect transformative change, and the new cancer pavilion holds immense potential to impact not only the local community, but also the broader landscape of patient care globally.”

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