Norton Cancer Institute: A Downtown Cancer Treatment and Research Center



By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

I got a look-see at the Norton Cancer Institute along with about 500 other guests today at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the 65,000 square-foot Norton Cancer Institute (NCI) located 676 South Floyd Street which is on the northwest corner of Broadway & Floyd on edge of Norton Healthcare’s campus in downtown Louisville.  Mayor Greg Fischer was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony along with Norton Healthcare dignitaries and many cancer survivors.

Innovation in the Radiation Center for Adults and Kids, too.

The cancer center will treat adult and pediatric cancers and tumors. The first floor of the NCI is the radiation center. Dr. Aaron Spalding, M.D., PhD, a fellowship-trained adult and pediatric radiation oncologist, will head NCI radiation therapy. Dr. Spalding actually trained at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital before joining NCI.  As a result of his background at St. Jude’s, the pediatric section of the new center has been modeled after St. Jude’s new radiation center.  In addition, the center offers full anesthesia and conscious sedation services for pediatric patients using an integrated pediatric anesthesia suite which will be staffed by Kosair Children’s Hospital physicians and staff.

The NCI is equipped with $3.8 million linear accelerator which offers a faster, more precise, more powerful and more comfortable radiation therapy treatments with the ability to treat deep-seated tumors more effectively while sparing surrounding healthy tissue.

In addition to the linear accelerator there is a Siemens SOMATOM® Sensation Open 4-dimensional, 40-slice CT simulator which is the industry’s most accurate technology to localize, define and reconstruct the movement of the patient’s tumor. The CT carefully identifies the tumor along with the normal tissue surrounding it. After the identification process occurs, the radiation oncologist can then develop a unique personal treatment plan.

NCI Multidisciplinary Center

The second floor which was not ready for viewing by the public will include expert specialty teams in diagnosing and treating advanced cancers and tumors which includes a brain tumor center, a survivorship clinic, a lung cancer center and a sarcoma clinic. The third floor will be available for future growth with 2 additional floors available as well.

Artwork from Some Local Artists But Credentials Count

While the beautiful artwork throughout the center does create a calming effect,   I look at the credentials of the health care professionals and how they are able to communicate and care for their patients.  I witnessed a conversation between, Russell Tinnell, who read a poem entitled “I am more than cancer” at the ceremonial tree planting, and Dr. Aaron Spalding in the linear accelerator imaging room. Russell was thanking Dr. Spalding repeatedly for all of his exceptional care of cancer patients. The take home message I got from this brief encounter was that Dr. Spalding possessed all the qualities that you want in your personal physician: a gentle and caring attitude toward his patients who was also a great communicator and listener.

For more information about the Norton Cancer Institute, you can call 502.629.HOPE (4673), 800.555.6772 or  

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N, is a registered dietitian ( who has been teaching healthy lifestyles strategies to consumers for over 35+ years. Check out Barbara’s new healthy lifestyles website: