Thomas Shanahan

Thomas G. Shanahan, MD

Physician – Innovator – Teacher
Department of Radiation Oncology
2000 – 2011

Thomas G. Shanahan, MD lived a life of Service to Humanity through his medical practice in radiation oncology and his commitment to community service.

Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1957, Dr. Shanahan graduated from St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois and, after serving in the U.S. Army from 1975 through 1978, he attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in physiology in 1982. From there, he went on to earn his medical degree from Northwestern Medical School in 1986.

Dr. Shanahan’s career brought him to Memorial Medical Center as a radiation oncologist/brachytherapist practicing with University Radiologists in 2000. Throughout his years of service at Memorial Medical Center, he served thousands of patients and performed 1,359 prostate seed implants with remarkable skills, wisdom, empathy, kindness and humility.

His Service to Humanity reached out far beyond central Illinois. Dr. Shanahan collaborated with international colleagues to introduce brachytherapy in Trinidad and the Caribbean and teach the process of using his seed implant techniques in South Africa, Japan and Jamaica.

He authored numerous clinical and research articles in cancer journals, including the International Journal of Radiation, Biology, Physics; Journal of Clinical Oncology; Cancer; Brachytherapy; and Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment, among others. He presented his clinical and research findings widely. His research on the placement of radioactive seeds in the prostate and patient outcomes was presented at the American Brachytherapy Society, the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center, and the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

For five years, Dr. Shanahan held a seat on the Executive Committee and chaired the Radiation Oncology Committee of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG), a national group of cancer specialists sponsored by the National Cancer Institute to develop promising new clinical trials.

Dr. Shanahan’s expertise, wisdom and leadership were further recognized by peers and colleagues through his years of service as a member of the American Brachytherapy Society’s Board of Directors; the Chicago Prostate Cancer Center; the American Society for Radiation Oncology; and the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (where for five years he held a seat on the Executive Committee and chaired the Radiation Oncology Committee). He was included since 1995 on the Best Doctors in American Group List.

His commitment to improving the health of the people and communities we serve extended to the medical education setting. Dr. Shanahan served as the clinical assistant professor for the Department of Surgery (specializing in brachytherapy) at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine since 2000. His dedication to teaching enabled residents and medical students there to learn, grow and discover their capacity to serve the health needs of others.
Dr. Shanahan’s selflessness extended to the community through his service as a Ward 1 alderman in the City of Springfield and his generous support and engagement with the Central Illinois Foodbank.

It is with immeasurable gratitude that we remember Thomas G. Shanahan, MD, for his Service to Humanity and the profound impact he had on the lives of the patients for whom he cared, the colleagues with whom he worked and the community in which he lived.