CHICAGO - A series of bond-financed hospital projects advanced this week after winning approval from an Illinois regulatory board, paving the way for construction of a new $1 billion children's hospital in downtown Chicago and a pioneering $160 million nuclear cancer treatment center on the west side of the city.

The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board's approval Tuesday removed the last regulatory hurdle for Children's Memorial Hospital to move ahead with its $1 billion, 288-bed replacement hospital to be built on the campus of Northwest University's Feinberg School of Medicine and Prentice Women's Hospital in downtown Chicago.

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