<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=799546403794687&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Blogs

Patient Care Awareness Breast Cancer Surgical Oncology Plastic Surgery

Young Mom’s Breast Cancer Journey Highlights Importance of Breast Cancer Screening in Younger Women

Kirsten Stewart was just putting on lotion, like she does every morning after her shower. That particular morning, though, she noticed something different: a lump that hadn’t been there before and that definitely wasn’t normal. She was only 30 years old.

Research    Patient Care    Community    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Breast Cancer Research Gathers Data to Help Women Understand Well-Being Outcomes After Surgery

When a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis, she may have many questions about her immediate future – the stage of the disease, what treatment she’ll receive, where it will happen.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 22, 2021
Full Story

Press Releases    Pediatric Cancer    Blood Cancer    Brain and Spinal Cancer    ovarian cancer

CU Cancer Center Researchers Awarded Grants From V Foundation

Three researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center have received grants from the V Foundation, a cancer research nonprofit founded in 1993 by college basketball coach Jimmy Valvano, who died of cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 20, 2021
Full Story

Community    Blood Cancer

Colin Powell’s Death Highlights the Challenges Multiple Myeloma Patients Face With COVID-19

In a grim reminder of the toll COVID-19 can take even among those who are vaccinated against it, former Secretary of State Colin Powell died Monday of complications from the virus. His family said Powell, who was 84, was fully vaccinated against the disease.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 18, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Breast Cancer    Advocacy

Genetic Counseling Helps Young Woman Take Control After Testing Positive for BRCA2

The first time Caley Kurchinski had to think about a double mastectomy, she was only 16. Her mother had died at age 36 from breast cancer, when Caley was 6. When she became a teenager, Caley’s family physician began telling her she needed to get genetic testing.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 15, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Erica’s Colon Cancer Didn’t Stand a Chance With Procedure That Kills Microscopic Cancer Cells

Erica Ramsthaler was only given three years to live when she was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but after transferring her care to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, she is thriving more than four years later.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 08, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Awareness    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Plastic Surgery

Young Mom’s Breast Cancer Journey Highlights Importance of Breast Cancer Screening in Younger Women

Kirsten Stewart was just putting on lotion, like she does every morning after her shower. That particular morning, though, she noticed something different: a lump that hadn’t been there before and that definitely wasn’t normal. She was only 30 years old.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 07, 2021
Full Story

Research    Thyroid Cancer    Clinical Research    Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial Experience Motivates Participant to Become Advocate

Tommy Stewart was already a prostate cancer survivor when, during his annual physical in 2004, his physician felt a nodule on his neck.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 04, 2021
Full Story

Research    Community

Keeping Up Exercise Levels for Cancer Survivors

The cancer survivorship journey can have many components, but one of the most important is regular exercise. Physical activity for individuals who have completed cancer treatment can build stamina, reduce anxiety, improve quality of life and physical fitness, and even improve survival outcomes.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 01, 2021
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Lung Cancer

LUNGevity Award Supports Ongoing Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Research

One of the reasons why cancer continues developing and growing is not just because cancer cells exist, but because they can recruit help from the body’s own blood vessels, stromal cells, and immune cells.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 30, 2021
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer

Targeting a Rare Secondary Cancer in Children

 It’s one of the most heartbreaking things Adam Green, MD, sees as a pediatric oncologist: children who beat their cancer, only to see an incurable brain tumor arise five years later.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 28, 2021
Full Story

Community    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

“Sex and the City” Actor’s Death Raises Awareness of Pancreatic Cancer

Actor Willie Garson was probably best known for his role as Stanford Blatch on “Sex and the City,” playing one of Carrie Bradshaw’s New York-savvy best friends.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 27, 2021
Full Story

Research    Melanoma

Why Don’t Adrenal Gland Metastases Respond to Immunotherapy?

Recent advances in immunotherapy have allowed doctors at the University of Colorado Cancer Center to more effectively treat melanomas that spread to other parts of the body. Immunotherapy drugs such as checkpoint inhibitors, which are commonly used to treat melanomas, work to strengthen a patient’s immune system so that it can prevent a tumor from “turning off” the ability of the immune system to fight it.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 23, 2021
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Clinical Trials

Research Leading to Clinical Trial Testing Two-Armed Approach to Treating Head and Neck Cancer

A crucial challenge in cancer research is figuring out how to make immunotherapies more effective, channeling, and selectively guiding the body’s own immune responses in targeting and killing tumors.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 21, 2021
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer

Putting a Target on Breast Cancer That Spreads to the Brain

Breast cancer patients whose cancer spreads to the brain may soon have new treatment options, thanks to research led by CU Cancer Center member Diana Cittelly, PhD.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 20, 2021
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer    Leukemia

CU Cancer Center Member M. Eric Kohler, MD, PhD, Receives Award to Develop Immunotherapy Treatment for Pediatric Leukemia

University of Colorado Cancer Center member M. Eric Kohler, MD, PhD, was awarded a three-year, $270,650 Young Investigator Grant from CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, in partnership with the SebastianStrong Foundation, to develop a new treatment approach for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare blood cancer in children.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 17, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Blood Cancer    Leukemia

Norm MacDonald’s Death Puts Spotlight on Acute Leukemia

Comedian and former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Norm MacDonald died Tuesday, after what his brother, Neil MacDonald, described as a nine-year battle with acute leukemia. Norm MacDonald, known for his intelligence and sarcastic wit, was 61.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 16, 2021
Full Story

Research    Brain and Spinal Cancer

Studying Resistance to Therapy in BRAF-Mutated Brain Tumors

Looking to understand why some brain tumors with a specific mutation can start to reject drugs commonly used to treat them, CU Cancer Center member Jean Mulcahy Levy, MD, led researchers from institutions around the country — including several from the University of Colorado School of Medicine — to study samples of brain tumors before and after being treated with the drug.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 15, 2021
Full Story

Community    Colorectal Cancer

Surviving a Stage I Diagnosis Turned Him Into an Advocate for Colorectal Cancer Research

Evan Conant was one of the lucky ones. His stage I colon cancer was caught early, during a routine colonoscopy, and doctors at the University of Colorado Cancer Center were able to perform a surgery to remove the tumors entirely.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 14, 2021
Full Story

Research    Cancer    ovarian cancer

Innovative Ovarian Cancer Research Newly Supported by R37 MERIT Award

One of the most impactful advancements during the past decade in treating ovarian cancer is the use of PARP inhibitors (short for poly adenosine diphosphate-ribose polymerase). PARP inhibitors are a type of cancer drug that blocks the PARP enzyme from helping to repair DNA damage in cancer cells.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 13, 2021
Full Story

Innovation    Patient Care

GOAL Consortium Facilitates Group Purchases and Knowledge Sharing for Academic Pathology Testing Labs

When Dara Aisner, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, was approached by a colleague at another university about splitting the cost of a bulk purchase of new clinical testing products, she initially declined. Although it would be a valuable resource — and might even save her lab money in the long-term — the short-term cost was prohibitive.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date September 07, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer Patient Hopes His Story Encourages Early Detection for Others

The diagnosis came as a shock. Although, looking back, Bill Mordecai says it shouldn’t have been. 


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date September 01, 2021
Full Story

Innovation    Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Robotic Whipple Procedure Offers Pancreatitis Patient Relief

After suffering from painful bouts of pancreatitis for more than a decade, Christina Gonzalez felt resigned to a seemingly endless cycle of procedures.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date August 31, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Liver Cancer

Surviving a 1-in-5-Million Liver Cancer

The doctors she saw initially didn’t seem too concerned, but 22-year-old Ella Neal knew something was seriously wrong. A persistent, unusual abdominal pain was keeping her up at night and distracting her from her studies at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 25, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Lung Cancer    Clinical Trials

Traveling to CU Cancer Center for a Lung Cancer Clinical Trial

David Kooyman transferred his care to University of Colorado Cancer Center member and associate professor of thoracic oncology, Tejas Patil, MD, to be part of a clinical trial to help with his rare lung cancer gene fusion.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 19, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

The Pancreatic Cancer Battle That Bonded a Patient and His Physician

Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, becomes close with all of his patients, but he has a special bond with Gerry Turner, one of Schulick’s surgical patients for pancreatic cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 18, 2021
Full Story

Lung Cancer

CU Experts: Extinguishing Smoking Stigma, Promoting Screening Can Save Lives

Comedian Kathy Griffin’s recently announced lung cancer diagnosis came early and arose from a non-related health screening. A lucky catch, and an understandable path to detection for a person who never smoked.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date August 13, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    COVID-19    Vaccinations

Why COVID-19 Vaccines Don’t Work As Well In Immunocompromised Cancer Patients

Despite the growing threat of the Delta variant, many Americans who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are living life much as they did pre-pandemic — traveling, shopping, going out to eat, and forgoing masks in many situations.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 13, 2021
Full Story

Innovation    Press Releases    Pancreatic Cancer

University of Colorado Cancer Center Earns Distinguished Title from National Pancreas Foundation Academic Center of Excellence

The most important factor predicting the survival of pancreatic cancer patients is whether the cancer can be surgically removed (whether the cancer is “resectable”). The answer isn’t always clear.


Author Siyab Khan | Publish Date August 05, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Community   

138 CU Faculty Recognized as 5280 Magazine Top Doctors

Each year, Denver-area magazine 5280 publishes its list of top doctors. On this year’s list, which came out last week, CU School of Medicine faculty members continue to be ranked among the best. We are proud to congratulate the 138 CU School of Medicine faculty members honored with the title Top Doctor.


Author School of Medicine | Publish Date August 04, 2021
Full Story

Lung Cancer

Kathy Griffin’s Lung Cancer Diagnosis: What Nonsmokers Need to Know

Comedian Kathy Griffin, 60, shared the news with the world Monday via Twitter: She was about to undergo surgery for stage I lung cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 04, 2021
Full Story

Public Health

Colorado State Cancer Plan launches in rural Cheyenne County

The Colorado Cancer Coalition launched the 2021­–2025 Colorado State Cancer Plan in the town of Cheyenne Wells on July 23, in concert with the Communities That Care Community Action Plan with Cheyenne County Local Public Health. More than 40 Cheyenne County residents joined in person, and nearly 100 more joined virtually. One of the Colorado Cancer Coalition's main priorities is to focus on increasing capacity and screening rates in rural and frontier counties. Over the past year, the coalition has focused on Cheyenne County, which has the second highest age-adjusted incidence rate of cancer in Colorado.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 30, 2021
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer

Seeking a Unique Treatment for Lobular Breast Cancer

Though the two main histological types of breast cancer — lobular and ductal — are treated with the same hormonal therapies, women with lobular breast cancer often have recurrence or metastasis of the disease several years after their initial treatment.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 28, 2021
Full Story

Research    Education   

Educational Pipelines Ensure Future Interest in Cancer Research

When you ask a classroom full of middle schoolers what they want to be when they grow up, you’re likely to get a range of answers, from “pro athletes” and “astronauts” to “musicians” and “movie stars.”


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date July 26, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    COVID-19    Clinical Trials

Adjusting to the Virus Has Long-Term Advantages for Clinical Trials

The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were an adjustment period for medical professionals across the board, but they brought up particular challenges for the Cancer Clinical Trial Office (CCTO) at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. A number of procedures that used to take place in person or in the office — collecting signatures from patients and doctors, delivering medications, submitting data to trial sponsors — suddenly had to be done in a whole new way.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 22, 2021
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer

Study Identifies MET Amplification as Driver for Some Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers

A study led by D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, director of thoracic oncology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and CU Cancer Center member, has helped to define MET amplification as a rare but potentially actionable driver for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date July 19, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care   

Helping Working Cancer Caregivers Manage Stress

It’s difficult enough when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, but employed spouses of those who receive the diagnosis also are confronted with an array of practical problems. It’s now up to them to untangle issues around medical leave, health insurance, caregiving benefits, and more.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 14, 2021
Full Story

Research    Brain and Spinal Cancer    SOP Shared

Study Sheds Light on Mechanism of Liposome Accumulation in Tumors

Dmitri Simberg, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and a CU Cancer Center member, has released the results of a new study of the effectiveness of different types of fluorescent labels used to monitor the accumulation of liposomes in tumors.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date July 08, 2021
Full Story

Research    Honors

Director of CU Cancer Center’s Animal Imaging Shared Resource Honored for Contributions to the Field

As director of the Animal Imaging Shared Resource at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Natalie Serkova, PhD, has played an integral part in many groundbreaking projects on the Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 07, 2021
Full Story

Research

CU Cancer Center Researchers Showcase Their Work at Virtual Event

Nearly 30 researchers and physicians from the University of Colorado Cancer Center shared the results of their work at a June 15 online event titled “Collaborating to Conquer Cancer: A virtual conversation benefiting the CU Cancer Center.”


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 06, 2021
Full Story

Research

Metabolism is a Key Research Area at the CU Cancer Center

All cells use the process of metabolism to turn nutrients into energy — including cancer cells. Metabolism is a fundamental function whose role in cancer is being explored by researchers across the CU Cancer Center.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 30, 2021
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer

Two Studies by CU Cancer Center Researchers Explore Link Between Inflammation and Leukemia

Two recent collaborative publications by CU Cancer Center members provide insights into how chronic inflammation can serve as a key factor in the development of leukemia and other blood cancers.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date June 28, 2021
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer

Promising New Research for Metastatic Breast Cancer

A discovery by CU Cancer Center member Traci Lyons, PhD, is providing new hope for women with metastatic breast cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 25, 2021
Full Story

Research    Cancer

Tricking Cellular Powerhouse to Circumvent Chemotherapy Resistance

Since a chance discovery by U.S. Army scientists studying mustard gas during World War II, chemotherapy has added countless years to cancer patients’ lives around the world.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date June 24, 2021
Full Story

Innovation    Patient Care    Melanoma

A New Drug Combination to Treat Mucosal Melanomas

Though people most often think of melanoma as affecting the skin, the cancer can occur anywhere in the body where pigment-producing melanocyte cells are found. That includes mucous membranes in the head, neck, eyes, respiratory tract, and genitourinary region.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 23, 2021
Full Story

Community    Philanthropy    Awareness

CU Cancer Center is Taking a Leap for a Cure in 2021

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is at it again this year, gathering a group of 12 employees or members who will rappel 44 stories to raise money and awareness for Colorado-based cancer research. The Over the Edge event is put on by the Cancer League of Colorado (CLC).


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 21, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Community   

U.S. News Ranks Children’s Hospital Colorado Among the Nation’s Best

U.S. News and World Report released its 2021–22 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings this week. Children’s Hospital Colorado ranked number 6 nationally and placed seven pediatric specialties in the top 10, including a number-one ranking for gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery. Children’s Colorado is affiliated with the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Together, the institutions are a national center for clinical care and medical research.


Author School of Medicine | Publish Date June 15, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Community   

Patients Now Have Immediate Access to Their Medical Records. How Can Providers Help Them Make Sense of the Data?

Patients’ rights advocates scored a major victory in April, when a provision went into effect that allows patients immediate access to all information in their medical records, including physician notes and test results. The change is part of the 21st Century Cures Act, which was passed by Congress in 2016 and continues to be updated.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 14, 2021
Full Story

Community    Colorectal Cancer

Fighting Disparities in Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer

The recent decrease in the age recommendation for colorectal cancer screening came as no surprise to Chris Lieu, MD, associate director of clinical research at the CU Cancer Center. Like many cancer doctors around the country, Lieu has seen an alarming increase in recent years of cases of colorectal cancer in patients younger than 50.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 14, 2021
Full Story

Research    Honors    Blood Cancer

Effect of Oil and Gas Exposure on Childhood Leukemia Risk Studied by CU Cancer Center Researcher

A pilot study of childhood leukemia patients living near Colorado’s oil and gas drilling sites recently led to an American Cancer Society (ACS) grant award for CU Cancer Center member Lisa McKenzie PhD, MPH.  


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date June 09, 2021
Full Story

Research    Honors    Head and Neck Cancer    Funding

CU Cancer Center Receives Highly Competitive SPORE Grant for Head and Neck Cancer

Research and treatment of head and neck cancers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center reached a new level this month with a highly competitive Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The SPORE was approved by NCI Scientific Program leadership for FY2021 funding; the projected starting date is July 1


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 07, 2021
Full Story

Breast Cancer

COVID-19 Vaccines Can Cause Lumps That Mimic Breast Cancer

The COVID-19 vaccines are beginning to significantly slow the spread of the virus, but the Pfizer and Moderna and vaccines are having an unforeseen consequence for breast cancer doctors. The vaccines often cause swelling in the armpit or underarm that can mimic the lumps associated with breast cancer, causing some women undue concern.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 03, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Support    Cancer

CU Cancer Center Celebrates National Cancer Survivors Day

National Cancer Survivors Day, June 6, 2021, is a day to recognize cancer survivors, bring attention to the ongoing challenges cancer survivors face, and celebrate life. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 01, 2021
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer

CU Cancer Members Recognized for Contributions to Immunotherapy in Pediatric Cancer

Three members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and a longstanding supporter of the campus are part of a group of more than 200 researchers nationwide who were recognized in April with the Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 28, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Esophageal Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Clinical Trials

Investigating a Better Treatment Sequence for Esophageal Cancer

Looking for better ways to treat patients with esophageal cancer, University of Colorado Cancer Center member Martin McCarter, MD, is investigating whether a new treatment sequence will result in better outcomes.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 25, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Community    Lung Cancer

From Debilitating Chemo to One Pill a Day for Lung Cancer

One of the most difficult nights of Hank Baskett Sr.’s life was the night he told his wife he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 24, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer

Recommended Colorectal Cancer Screening Age Lowered to 45 for People at Average Risk

In a move that has the potential to save thousands of lives, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) this week lowered the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer from 50 to 45 for asymptomatic patients with no family history of colorectal cancer. Considered the leading source of medical guidance in the U.S., the USPSTF is an independent, volunteer organization made up of national experts in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, nursing, behavioral health, and more.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 21, 2021
Full Story

Community    COVID-19   

CU School of Medicine Doctor Working to Get COVID-19 Supplies to India

After seeing the tragic COVID-19 crisis unfolding in India, Saketh Guntupalli, MD, associate professor of gynecologic oncology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine and member of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, decided to do something about it.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 19, 2021
Full Story

Research    COVID-19   

Are the COVID-19 Vaccines Good News for Cancer Care?

Long before RNA and mRNA became important parts of the COVID-19 vaccine conversation, researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine were studying how RNA biology can improve diagnostics and therapeutics for a range of diseases.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 18, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Clinical Trials

Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Won’t Slow World Champion Triathlete Down

Siri Lindley couldn’t swim. She had never learned how and the idea of competing in a triathlon seemed completely out of the question.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 16, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Patient’s Advice: Take It One Treatment at a Time

It feels odd to use the phrase “perfect timing” when talking about a cancer diagnosis, but that’s exactly how Tonya Quinn describes her experience being diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago.  


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date May 12, 2021
Full Story

Research    Cancer

May Is National Cancer Research Month

May is National Cancer Research Month, during this time we aim to raise awareness of the high-quality, innovative cancer research happening at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. This research continues to help the more than 16.9 million people in the United States who are living with, through, and beyond their cancer diagnoses. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 06, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Blood Cancer

From Start-Up to Established: Lymphoma Program Celebrates Six Years

When Manali Kamdar, MD, joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s Division of Hematology as clinical director of lymphoma services in January 2015, she was fresh off her third fellowship (a bone marrow transplant and lymphoma fellowship at Stanford) and ready for a new challenge.  


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date May 05, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Faculty

Linda Cook, PhD, Joins CU Cancer Center as Associate Director of Population Sciences

Bringing more than two decades of experience in the fields of population health and cancer prevention and control, Linda Cook, PhD, will join the University of Colorado Cancer Center in July as associate director of population sciences.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 03, 2021
Full Story

Research    Prostate Cancer

Department of Defense Grants Help CU Cancer Center Researchers Investigate Metastasis

Two members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center have received prestigious Idea Awards from the U.S. Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP).


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 27, 2021
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer

A New Method For Fighting ‘Cold’ Tumors

Not all cancerous tumors are created equal. Some tumors, known as “hot” tumors, show signs of inflammation, which means they are infiltrated with T cells working to fight the cancer. Those tumors are easier to treat, as immunotherapy drugs can then amp up the immune response.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 22, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Pediatric Cancer    Magazine

CU Cancer Center Technology Gives Kids a Welcome Distraction During Radiation Treatment

Thirty days of radiation treatments — five days a week, with Saturdays and Sundays off — are difficult for even the toughest of adults. But for a child, they’re even harder to bear. They involve fasting, waking up early, and lying in a dark room alone, without even your parents there for support.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 21, 2021
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer

Inter-campus Collaboration Receives R01 Award to Study Salivary Gland Cancer

Two University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers have received a five-year R01 Award for $497,893 per year from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study a potential new drug treatment for salivary gland cancer. The award is part of an inter-campus collaboration between Antonio Jimeno, MD, PhD, co-leader of the Developmental Therapeutics Program, and Tin Tin Su, PhD, co-leader of the Molecular and Cellular Oncology Program.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date April 16, 2021
Full Story

Research    Surgical Oncology

Tackling Unconscious Bias in Surgical Oncology

Over the past few years, Camille Stewart, MD, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology, has conducted research for the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) to examine unconscious bias within the organization. In her studies, Stewart examines unconscious bias and microaggressions by focusing on the subtle differences in introductions of speakers at professional meetings and conferences.


Author Siyab Khan | Publish Date April 15, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer    Magazine

Helping Low-Income Patients Navigate the Cancer Screening Process

Pablo Garcia started to worry when he began experiencing unusual stomach symptoms. He worried even more when his doctor at the Salud Family Health Center in Longmont, Colorado, ordered a colonoscopy to check for signs of colon cancer. Pablo was unfamiliar with the procedure, the preparation, and the hospital where the test was to take place. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 14, 2021
Full Story

Research

How transcription factors work together in cancer formation

A new study co-authored by University of Colorado Cancer Center researcher Srinivas Ramachandran, PhD, shows how DNA segments known as enhancers function in cells.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 13, 2021
Full Story

Research    Prostate Cancer

Better treatment for aggressive prostate cancer

New research from CU Cancer Center member Scott Cramer, PhD, and his colleagues could help in the treatment of men with certain aggressive types of prostate cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 12, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Awareness    Pediatric Cancer    Kidney Cancer

Research supports the practice of personalized treatment to improve fertility outcomes for pediatric kidney cancer patients

Although rare, kidney cancer is the third most common type of solid tumor affecting children. Thankfully, pediatric kidney tumors are generally treatable and most have high cure rates. Treatment outcomes depend on several factors including age, tumor type, staging, genetics, the overall health of the patient, and the risk of treatment side effects.  


Author Noelle Musgrave | Publish Date April 09, 2021
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer

A New Treatment for Brain Metastases from Small-Cell Lung Cancer

A new phase 3 randomized clinical trial overseen by CU Cancer Center member Chad Rusthoven, MD, and Vinai Gondi, MD, from Northwestern University, is testing whether a new treatment approach could result in improved outcomes for patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that has spread to the brain. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 08, 2021
Full Story

Research    Melanoma

A Drug That Can Stop Tumors From Growing

Cancer doctors may soon have a new tool for treating melanoma and other types of cancer, thanks to work being done by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 06, 2021
Full Story

Research   

CU Cancer Center Researcher Reveals New Effects of Oxygen Deprivation in Cancer Cells

A team of University of Colorado School of Medicine researchers recently published a paper offering new insight into the role that oxygen deprivation, or hypoxia, plays in cancer development. CU Cancer Center member Joaquin Espinosa, PhD, is the senior researcher on the paper, which he hopes will help lead to more targeted treatments for cancer. 


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 31, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Pediatric Cancer    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine

CU Cancer Center Researcher and Physician Poses Double Threat to Pediatric Cancer

M. Eric Kohler’s commitment to both cancer research — particularly CAR T-cell therapy — and clinical care make him a double threat when it comes to battling pediatric blood cancer.   


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 26, 2021
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Improving Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

Though breast cancer patients are now living longer than ever before, treatments for the disease can have wide-ranging effects on their long-term quality of life. Physical, social, and sexual wellbeing all can be impacted by radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, antiendocrine therapy and other challenges that go along with a breast cancer battle.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 23, 2021
Full Story

Research    Magazine

CU Cancer Researcher Wins Two Awards to Study Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells

Sabrina L. Spencer, PhD, is a CU Boulder researcher and a CU Cancer Center member. Spencer recently won two awards: the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award (from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation) and the Emerging Leader Award (from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research). The preliminary research she used to apply for the grants, "Melanoma subpopulations that rapidly escape MAPK pathway inhibition incur DNA damage and rely on stress signalling," was published in Nature Communications on March 19, 2021.

We spoke to Spencer about the awards and how she plans to use them to further her research.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 22, 2021
Full Story

Research

How RNA Editing Affects the Immune System

Three University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers are part of a team that recently published a paper offering new insight into how the immune system relates to cancer. Quentin Vicens, PhD, Jeffrey Kieft, PhD, and Beat Vögeli, PhD, are authors on the paper, which looks at how an enzyme called ADAR1 operates in pathways associated with cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 19, 2021
Full Story

Research    Pancreatic Cancer

$500,000 Grant Supports Pancreatic Cancer Multidisciplinary Care

A multiyear grant totaling $500,000 is aimed at making the University of Colorado Cancer Center even better at providing multidisciplinary care for patients with pancreatic cancer.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 17, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    Philanthropy    Prostate Cancer    Magazine

An Engineer Tackles the Problem of Prostate Cancer as a Patient and Financial Donor

Ashton Villars has always been a problem solver. As a competitive athlete in basketball, waterskiing, and tennis and an actual rocket scientist, Villars has tackled every challenge in life head on — including his prostate cancer diagnosis. Now, he’s bringing that same problem-solving spirit to supporting cancer research. 


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 05, 2021
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer    Brain and Spinal Cancer

Five CU Cancer Center Researchers Receive Grants to Study Brain Tumors

Three projects from University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers have received grants from the Denver-based Michele Plachy-Rubin Fund for Pilot Grants in Brain Cancer Research. Receiving $40,000 each to fund their work around brain cancer are Sujatha Venkataraman, PhD; and the teams of Philip Reigan, PhD, and Michael Graner, PhD; and Natalie Serkova, PhD, and Nicholas Foreman, MD, MBChB.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 04, 2021
Full Story

Research    Community    Magazine

The Impacts of Aging on Cancer

For more than a year, a working group at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has been studying the many ways the aging process impacts cancer — including incidence, progression, and prognosis of the disease, therapeutic options and outcomes, and the psychosocial aspects of living with cancer.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 18, 2021
Full Story

Research    Philanthropy    Awareness    Lung Cancer    Pediatric Cancer

Golfers Against Cancer Funds Three CU Cancer Center Researchers

The Denver chapter of Golfers Against Cancer this week named University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center researchers Matthew Sikora, PhD, Jamie Studts, PhD, and Jenna Sopfe, MD, as the beneficiaries of three $50,000 grants for cancer research and clinical trials.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 12, 2021
Full Story

Community    Skin Cancer    Magazine    Melanoma

Prevent Cancer Foundation Grant Will Help Researcher in Fight Against Melanoma

CU Cancer Center member Neil Box, PhD, is on a quest to decrease the deadly effects of melanoma.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 09, 2021
Full Story

Awareness    Support

Raising Awareness for Cancer

At the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center, we use awareness months and days to highlight and honor our patients – both past and present – that have fought these cancers, as well as educate about warning signs, new treatments, clinical trials, prevention methods, and support options.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 05, 2021
Full Story

Education    Awareness    Magazine

Dustin Diamond’s Death Proves There is Still Much For Researchers to Learn About Cancer

Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for playing the nerdy character Screech on teen sitcom “Saved By the Bell,” died Monday at age 44. Diamond died just weeks after being diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, a type of cancer that commonly occurs in the lungs but can also originate in the prostate or gastrointestinal tract.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 03, 2021
Full Story

Education    Awareness

CU Cancer Center Celebrates World Cancer Day

For the past 20 years, the Union for International Cancer Control has designated February 4 as World Cancer Day — a day to raise awareness, improve education, and catalyze personal, collective, and government action around the deadly disease. The organization hopes to reduce the number of premature deaths from cancer and noncommunicable diseases by one-third by 2030.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 02, 2021
Full Story

Research

New Insight Into How Cancer Spreads

Breast cancer is harmful enough on its own, but when cancer cells start to metastasize — or spread into the body from their original location — the disease becomes even more fatal and difficult to treat.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 28, 2021
Full Story

Gynecologic Cancer    Vaccinations   

Three Things to Know About the HPV Vaccine and Cervical Cancer

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, and CU Cancer Center member Lindsay Brubaker, MD, wants everyone to be aware of the relationship between cervical cancer and the human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted disease that causes the vast majority of cervical cancers. The current HPV vaccine protects against seven predominant strains of the virus that cause cancer, as well as the two that cause genital warts.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date January 22, 2021
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer

The Role of T Cells in Fighting Cancer

New research from CU Cancer Center member Jing Hong Wang, MD, PhD, and recent University of Colorado Immunology program graduate Rachel Woolaver, PhD, may help researchers develop more effective personalized immunotherapy for cancer patients.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 14, 2021
Full Story

Patient Care    COVID-19    Colorectal Cancer

The Importance of Getting Your Cancer Screening and Treatment During a Pandemic

There’s never a good time for a cancer diagnosis, but it’s especially difficult in the middle of a pandemic, when concerns about safety compound the worry and anxiety that come along with hearing, “you have cancer.”


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date January 06, 2021
Full Story

Research    Innovation

Sean Davis to Lead Health Data Science and AI Efforts for CU Cancer Center

A 13-year veteran of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is coming to the University of Colorado Cancer Center to help lead efforts to develop and apply data science and artificial intelligence and methods to advance research and improve clinical practice.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 30, 2020
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Community

10 Most-Read CU Cancer Center Stories of 2020

The global pandemic of 2020 has been a pivotal year for the health care industry. This year lead some CU Cancer Center members to shift their focus to learning more about COVID-19 while others continued their research on cancer. Whether the focus was on COVID-19 or Cancer this year showed how coming together as a community can make a difference. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 28, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Magazine

Increase in Cancer Deaths Predicted Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 is the most-talked-about health concern in 2020, but for many, it is not the deadliest disease. University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center leadership is bringing attention to the fact that more people will die from cancer than COVID this year.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 22, 2020
Full Story

Philanthropy    Magazine

Giving Beyond the Norm

Like most people, Arnette Schouten has been touched personally by cancer. One of her cousins is in hospice following a battle with melanoma; her sister-in-law had a long fight with breast cancer; and Arnette herself had early symptoms of ovarian cancer that were caught in time for effective treatment.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 10, 2020
Full Story

Research    Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Untangling Medical Cannabis

Medical cannabis was legalized in Colorado in 2000, but 20 years later, Camille Stewart, MD, isn’t able to prescribe it to her patients. Nor is she able to dictate the dosage or frequency with which patients take the drug.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 07, 2020
Full Story

Diversity    Magazine

Director's Message: Our Commitment to Dismantling Racism

The past year has illuminated the need for change. In addition to the toll it has taken on lives, health and livelihood, COVID-19 has shed light on health disparities and inequities facing our communities of color.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 03, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Community

4 Tips for Caring for a Loved One with Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Elissa Kolva, PhD, clinical psychiatrist and CU Cancer Center member, shares tips that might be helpful for caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 25, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Publications

Changes Needed to Address Financial Hardship from Cancer

Until you or a loved one are facing treatment for a cancer diagnosis, you may not realize the cost associated with treatment and doctor visits. Unfortunately, the cost is continuing to rise as new treatments are discovered and patients are responsible for more of those costs, even if they have health insurance coverage.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 24, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine

CU Cancer Center Leukemia Researcher Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Craig Jordan, PhD, has spent more than 20 years developing better treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow that can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and central nervous system.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 23, 2020
Full Story

Research    Magazine

Reducing Cancer Disparities in Colorado

The CU Cancer Center has launched five studies that are focused on addressing disparities in care and outcomes for Black and Hispanic communities in Colorado.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 19, 2020
Full Story

Awareness    Pancreatic Cancer    Magazine    Surgical Oncology

Alex Trebek’s Death Raising Awareness and Questions About Pancreatic Cancer

Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced it to the world on March 6, 2019: Like 50,000 other Americans each year, he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 11, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine

CU Cancer Center study leads to FDA approval of new treatment for AML

Thanks in large part to early work by investigators at the CU Cancer Center, patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a new treatment option that has fewer side effects and has been shown to increase longevity.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 10, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Community

Self-Care is Key for Caregivers

Elissa Kolva, PhD, clinical psychiatrist and CU Cancer Center member, shares tips around self-care for a caregiver of a loved one with cancer.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 04, 2020
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Lung Cancer    Cancer    CU Anschutz 360 Podcast

Podcast: ‘You Have to Personalize the Miracles’

Melissa Turner had already survived two bouts of breast cancer, so the last thing she expected to hear in early 2018 after experiencing a series of mysterious symptoms was, “You’ve got lung cancer.”


Author Chris Casey | Publish Date November 02, 2020
Full Story

Sarcoma    Cancer

New Disney+ Movie Raising Awareness of Rare Cancer

A new movie streaming on Disney+ is shining a spotlight on a rare type of bone cancer that occurs most often in children and young adults.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 02, 2020
Full Story

Skin Cancer    Melanoma    Surgical Oncology

Melanoma Care is a Priority for the CU School of Medicine and Cancer Center

If you live in or have visited Colorado, you most likely noticed that the state loves its outdoors. With 300 days of sunshine a year, many enjoy hiking, playing at a park or grabbing a craft brew on a patio. But with that love of sunshine comes an increased risk for skin cancer.


Author School of Medicine | Publish Date October 28, 2020
Full Story

Research    Publications    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Simple blood test may help identify patients most likely to benefit from surgery for pancreatic cancer

In the 1860s, French physician Armand Trousseau noticed that patients with a certain form of abnormal blood clotting often went on to be diagnosed with pancreas or gastric cancers. Unfortunately, at age 66 he noticed these same symptoms in himself and died of gastric cancer only a few months later.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date October 20, 2020
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Cancer

Rock Icon Eddie Van Halen Joins List of Musicians Gone Too Soon

In a 1983 concert video, guitar legend Eddie Van Halen abandons his pick as he sets the stage for his famous "Eruption" solo. After popping the pick into his mouth and tucking a cigarette into the top strings of his guitar, the well-loved musician’s fingers fly across his instrument’s neck, a trail of smoke rising from it with every wailing note.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date October 19, 2020
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Community    Prostate Cancer

Improving Patient Outcomes in Prostate Cancer

Although prostate cancer is treatable when found early, there are common fears that men share concerning prostate cancer.

“I hear from patients all the time stating they do not want to get tested and they do not want to know if they have prostate cancer. Due to the possible side effects associated with treatment,” says Paul Maroni, MD, associate professor in the Department of Surgery, Urology Division, program director of the Urologic Cancer Care Center and University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center member.


Author Department of Surgery | Publish Date October 01, 2020
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer

Black Lives Also Matter in Cancer Care

Studies have long reported that Black cancer patients have poorer outcomes than their white counterparts. But two University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers decided to investigate the data further and figure out why. What they found was that the outcome disparity was caused not by biology, but simply by differences in access to health care.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date October 01, 2020
Full Story

Press Releases

Cancer centers nationwide join to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on cancer prevention and treatment

A consortium of 17 cancer centers around the country have come together to better understand the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to delayed cancer detection, care and prevention.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date September 23, 2020
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Community    Prostate Cancer    Cancer

Former Broncos Punter Wants Men to Share Their Experience With Prostate Cancer

Growing up, Douglas “Bucky” Dilts was all too familiar with the dangers of cancer. “My mother ran a cancer tumor registry at St Joseph's Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia for over 25 years. She was always telling us about different types of cancer, so cancer was always at the forefront.”  


Author Department of Surgery | Publish Date September 23, 2020
Full Story

Honors

Early Cancer Detection Should Stimulate Further Medical Testing

By now, we’ve all heard about the importance of cancer screening. But for those with a detected cancer, a new article highlights that the removal of the malignancy might not be where you should stop in your health journey.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date September 18, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Gynecologic Cancer    Blood Cancer    Cancer

Living to Live: Friends Face Off Cancer; Find Strength in Each Other

From “No Hair Don’t Care” to “Keep Calm and Colorado On,” four friends facing two grim diagnoses used humor and grit in their battles against cancer. All four contend that, without their outlook and a little fate, their crusade might have had a different ending.


Author Debra Melani | Publish Date September 15, 2020
Full Story

Research    Gynecologic Cancer    ovarian cancer

CU Researchers Come Together to Better Understand Ovarian Cancer Tumors and Treatment Outcomes

After nearly four years of work, a group of researchers and clinicians from the University of Colorado (CU) published a paper this week in the Clinical Cancer Research that shares findings from research looking at how the composition of ovarian cancer tumors changes during chemotherapy and contributes to therapeutic response.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date September 15, 2020
Full Story

Community    Colorectal Cancer

Chadwick Boseman's Death Shines 'Unfortunate Light' on Young-adult Cancer

Chadwick Boseman’s all-too-early death has cast the spotlight on a trend University of Colorado School of Medicine doctors have been heralding for nearly two decades. Colorectal cancer, the disease that took the acclaimed actor of “Black Panther” fame, no longer falls in the old-person’s disease bucket.
Author Debra Melani | Publish Date September 04, 2020
Full Story

Research    Gynecologic Cancer   

American Cancer Society Releases Simplified Cervical Cancer Screening Guidelines

Last month the American Cancer Society (ACS) released updated guidelines for cervical cancer screening. The most notable change in guidelines is the changes in the age to begin screening. Per the new guidelines, it is recommended that cervical cancer screening begin at age 25. Previously, the starting age for screening was 21.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 18, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care   

Start the Conversation About Fertility Preservation Before Beginning Cancer Treatment

As survival rates of many common cancers have improved it is no surprise that conversations around fertility preservation have also increased. These advances in treatments are letting patients think about their future beyond cancer, and if that future includes children.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 10, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer

CU Cancer Center Effort to Link Underrepresented Patients with Leukemia with Cutting Edge Treatments

A key component in treating newly diagnosed leukemia is genetic and molecular testing. With this knowledge, physicians can better determine which treatment options are best suited for patients based on genetic mutations, fusions and other biologic features. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 05, 2020
Full Story

Research    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Cancer

Multi-organizational study aims to improve outcomes of minority children with brain and central nervous system tumors

Black and Hispanic children diagnosed with brain and central nervous system (CNS) cancers have worse outcomes than their white counterparts in the United States. The reasons behind this are unclear but may include socioeconomic factors and/or limited access to quality care. Now, researchers at the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center and Children’s Hospital Colorado on the Anschutz Medical Campus are collaborating to better understand these disparities, as well as develop ways to reduce the burden of disease in these populations.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 04, 2020
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer

St. Baldrick’s Grant Aims to Better Understand Aggressive Pediatric Cancer Type

University of Colorado Cancer Center member and associate professor of Pathology Paul Jedlicka, MD, PhD, has received the St. Baldrick’s Research Grant with generous support from Marlee’s Smile. His research will focus on better understanding the mechanisms behind rhabdomyosarcoma, a common and aggressive cancer type in children. The goal of the research is to identify new approaches to interfering with disease progression.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 29, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care

Virtual Panel Highlights How CU Cancer Center is Redefining Cancer Care in Colorado and Beyond

On July 23rd, Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center, Cathy Bradley, PhD, deputy director of the CU Cancer Center, James DeGregori, PhD, deputy director of the CU Cancer Center, took part in a virtual panel that highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on cancer as well as the ways the CU Cancer Center is redefining cancer care. The panel was moderated by Don Elliman, Chancellor of the Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 27, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care

Alcohol and Cancer Risk

The American Cancer Society recently updated its recommendation from limiting alcohol to avoiding alcohol altogether to reduce cancer risk. Here, the University of Colorado Cancer Center discusses this update with Valaree Williams, MS, RD, CSO, CNSC, FAND, lead dietician from the Oncology Supportive Services at UCHealth.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 21, 2020
Full Story

Cancer

Cancer Doesn't Stop for a Pandemic

Prevent and Conquer Cancer. Together. At University of Colorado Cancer Center, that’s our vision. During COVID-19, that vision hasn’t changed and, in fact, may be more important now than ever before. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 17, 2020
Full Story

Research

Q&A: A Conversation with Cecilia Caino, PhD

Cecilia Caino, PhD, has been researching cancer cell biology at University of Colorado Cancer Center since 2017. Cecilia earned her PhD in Cellular Biology from the University of Buenos Aires with her research component performed at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Wistar Institute. We spoke with Dr. Caino about her research on how cancer cells use energy and how their unique energy strategies could help cancer cells spread.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
Full Story

Cancer

Reversing a Miracle

In the midst of a global pandemic, it seems odd to be asking my 18-year-old neighbor about the dangers of vaping. However, keeping a safe six-foot distance away and wearing homemade masks, we’re able to hold a decent conversation across the front lawn. My question is simple: Is vaping dangerous? His answer: “I don’t know, but I think it is safer than smoking a cigarette.”


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Bladder Cancer    Cancer

To Live: Artist Shelley Kerr’s Sculptures Explore the Battle, Journey and Gratitude of Five Years With Stage IV Cancer

“Have you ever had a dream when you wake up and everything is just kind of vibrating? It doesn’t make any sense but it kind of points the way?” asks Fort Collins artist and musician, Shelley Kerr.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
Full Story

Philanthropy    Gynecologic Cancer    Cancer    ovarian cancer

Building Towards Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

In July 2019, Emily McClintock Addlesperger was on vacation in Maine with her husband, Jason, when she felt sick and was airlifted to Portland with internal bleeding. A tumor on her ovary had burst. It was Monday. On Saturday, she passed away. Emily was 44 years old.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care

The Human Touch

University of Colorado Cancer Center member Ryan Weight, DO, MS, has always been passionate about caring for patients. However, in early April, in the middle of a global pandemic, the way he goes about patient care looks a little different.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
Full Story

Research   

Cancer Research in the Time of COVID-19

January 2020 was unseasonably warm and dry, so pleasant that students on the Anschutz Medical Campus ate lunch at picnic tables and scientists emerged confused and squinting from hibernation in the campus research buildings. One person who was not there was Deguang Kong, visiting graduate student in the lab of Heide Ford, PhD, University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center Associate Director for Basic Research. With his PhD work wrapping up, Deguang had taken a quick leave to interview for jobs near his home…in Wuhan, China.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care

5 Tips for a Successful Cancer Telemedicine Visit

Telemedicine is not a new concept. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, it might not be something that many providers or patients are becoming familiar with. Recently, it was announced that over 200,000 virtual primary care and specialty visits have occurred since the start of the pandemic at UCHealth, where University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center doctors provide care.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 15, 2020
Full Story

Philanthropy

CU Cancer Center is Taking a Leap for a Cure

While runs and galas that raise money for many different causes have been affected by COVID-19 there is one fundraising event that is made for social distancing, rappelling down a building. The Over the Edge event by the Cancer League of Colorado (CLC) is doing just that while raising money for Colorado based cancer research.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 14, 2020
Full Story

Research

CU Cancer Center Research May Explain Why Some COVID-19 Patients Take Months to Recover

Many patients diagnosed with COVID-19 have symptoms such as a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath, and in some cases, incredibly low oxygen levels in their blood. Additionally, many patients report having long-lasting side effects, for example decreased lung capacity, even after they recover from the virus.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 13, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care

Anxiety and Cancer During COVID-19

Originally posted on the University of Colorado (CU) Department of Psychiatry website. Tips from Joanna Arch, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and CU Cancer Center member.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 10, 2020
Full Story

Research    Sarcoma    Cancer    Bone Cancer

What is Sarcoma?

Video Transcript:

Good morning, I’m Dr. Breelyn Wilky from the sarcoma program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 01, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Breast Cancer

BFitBWell Strengthens Cancer Survivors

In late 2019, two remarkable women were brought together by a shared experience that could only happen at the University of Colorado Anschutz Health & Wellness Center. Through their participation in the BFitBWell Program for cancer survivors, they found renewed strength and friendship.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 30, 2020
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Cancer    Clinical Trials

CU Cancer Center Study Aims to Increase Access to Head and Neck Cancer Clinical Trials in Hispanic Population

Nearly two thousand people living in Colorado will be diagnosed with head and neck cancer (HNC) in 2020. Generally, a very aggressive disease, head and neck cancer require expert care that is not widely available in community cancer clinics. However, patients that are not well-represented in clinical studies, especially Hispanic patients, are less likely to get care from centers that specialize in the disease, such as the University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 29, 2020
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer    Cancer

CU Cancer Center study tackles racial and socioeconomic disparities in patients with lung cancer

Lung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the United States. In Colorado more than 2,500 people will be diagnosed with the disease and more than 1,400 will die of it in 2020. While advances in lung cancer treatment have gifted many patients with more time, the benefit of these treatments is limited by the racial and socioeconomic status of some patients in Colorado. A new study at the University of Colorado Cancer Center focuses on reducing disparities in lung cancer patients with diverse backgrounds.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 24, 2020
Full Story

Research    Honors    Sarcoma

Two New Grants Help CU Researchers Test New Sarcoma Treatments

While many cancer types have added new treatments including genetically targeted drugs and immunotherapies, treatment for the rare types of cancer known as sarcomas have remained largely the same for about two decades. Now, two grants to University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers from the Sarcoma Foundation of America hope to change this.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 22, 2020
Full Story

Honors    Pediatric Cancer

U.S. News Ranks Colorado Pediatric Oncology Services Ninth in the Nation

U.S. News and World Report (USNWR) released its 2020-21 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings this week. In the category of best hospitals for pediatric cancer, Children’s Hospital Colorado was ranked ninth in the country. Pediatric cancer services are provided by University of Colorado (CU) School of Medicine faculty who many are members of the CU Cancer Center.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 19, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Cancer

CU Cancer Center Researcher Named Pew-Stewart Scholar Aims to Improve Early Cancer Detection

University of Colorado (CU) researcher Srinivas Ramachandran, PhD, was named one of the five 2020 Pew-Stewart Scholars. These researchers are selected to spearhead innovations in cancer research.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 15, 2020
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer    Cancer

Chad Rusthoven, MD, awarded Coltman Fellowship to support small-cell lung cancer research

University of Colorado radiation oncologist Chad Rusthoven, MD, was recently awarded the prestigious Dr. Charles A. Coltman Jr. research fellowship award from the Hope Foundation for Cancer Research. The award provides two years of salary support to engage early career investigators from Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) affiliated institutions in clinical trial research.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 08, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Cancer

Cord blood as source for stem cell transplant may outperform accepted “gold standard” of matched sibling donors

When a blood cancer patient needs a bone marrow transplant, there are four common donor sources: A matched related donor (sibling), a matched unrelated donor (from a donor database), a half-matched donor, or umbilical cord blood. Of course, there are plusses and minuses to each approach, but consensus has generally ranked a matched sibling first, followed by a matched unrelated donor, with cord blood and half-matched donors reserved for patients without either of the first two options. Now a University of Colorado Cancer Center study based on a decade of research and treatment may reshuffle this list. In fact, the comparison of 190 patients receiving cord-blood transplants with 123 patients receiving transplants from the “gold standard” of matched sibling donors showed no difference in survival outcomes between these two approaches, with significantly fewer complications due to chronic graft-versus-host disease in patients receiving transplants from cord blood.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 08, 2020
Full Story

Cancer

National Cancer Survivors Awareness Day 2020

Clinical psychologist Emily Cox-Martin, Ph.D., discusses National Cancer Survivors Awareness Day and offers tips and tricks for maintaining and improving the mental health of cancer survivors.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 07, 2020
Full Story

Lung Cancer    Cancer

FIRE-SCLC analysis: Largest ever study of first-line radiosurgery for brain metastases from small cell lung cancer

The international First-line Radiosurgery for Small-Cell Lung Cancer (FIRE-SCLC) analysis led by University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers and published today in JAMA Oncology details clinical outcomes for 710 patients with brain metastases from small cell lung cancer treated with first-line stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), without prior treatment with whole-brain radiation (WBRT) or prophylactic cranial irradiation (PCI).


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 04, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Phase III clinical trial results support rituximab as new standard-of-care in pediatric Burkitt lymphoma

Results of the phase III Inter-B-NHL-ritux 2010 clinical trial reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine show 95 percent three-year survival for pediatric patients with advanced B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma treated with the addition of anti-cancer immunotherapy rituximab to standard chemotherapy. The trial represents a major international collaboration between the European Intergroup for Childhood Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (EICNHL) and the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), and was led in the United States by Thomas Gross, MD, PhD, University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator and pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and in Europe by Véronique Minard-Colin, MD and Catherine Patte, MD, both pediatric oncologists at the Gustave Roussy Department of Child and Adolescent Oncology in Paris, France. The addition of rituximab decreased treatment failures by 70 percent resulting in a 10 percent increase in the three-year survival rate seen with chemotherapy alone (LMB protocol).


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 03, 2020
Full Story

Research    COVID-19

CU Cell Technologies Shared Resource makes COVID-19 proteins for research, antibody testing

In mid-March, the University of Colorado Cancer Center Cell Technologies Shared Resource shut down along with almost all the other labs and technologies on the Anschutz Medical Campus. Then shared resource director, Steve Anderson, PhD, got an email from a colleague asking if the facility could make COVID-19 proteins. They could: The shared resource has been making proteins for over 15 years.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 29, 2020
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Cancer

Colorado tool, My-DST, may pick best multiple myeloma treatment

In 1844, multiple myeloma was first treated with a rhubarb pill and an infusion of orange peel. Since then, more than 15 drugs have earned FDA approval to treat multiple myeloma and with so many options, a major question has become what cocktail and sequence is best?


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 28, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Skin Cancer    Cancer

Do chemicals in sunscreen cause cancer?

In the summer of 2019, Dr. Neil Box toured Colorado with the Sun Bus, attending events with over 700,000 participants and reaching 26,000 people in 46 service days. Free skin cancer screens identified 96 suspected skin cancers, including six cases of dangerous melanoma. The tour also gave Dr. Box the opportunity to hear what people think about skin cancer and sun protection.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 28, 2020
Full Story

COVID-19

CU Animal Imaging Shared Resource uses MRI to assess COVID-19 severity

One of the few labs on the Anschutz Medical Campus to remain mostly open during the COVID-19 shutdown is the University of Colorado Cancer Center Animal Imaging Shared Resource (AISR).


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 27, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Skin Cancer    Magazine    Melanoma

Melanoma Skin Cancer Clinical Trial Provides Hope When Options Looked Bleak

“For Christmas, we took a family photo with all the grandkids,” says Sam’s wife, Janet. She went on to explain, “The kids wanted to take this photo because they thought Sam would not be here next Christmas.”


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 26, 2020
Full Story

Research

CU Human Immune Monitoring Shared Resource banks COVID-19 samples for research

You’ve heard of the Human Genome Project. Now the University of Colorado Cancer Center Human Immune Monitoring Shared Resource (HIMSR) is partnering with the Cancer Center Tissue Biobanking and Histology Shared Resource to store COVID-19 samples for individual research efforts and for a major project known as the COVID-ome. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 22, 2020
Full Story

COVID-19    Support

Mental Health Tips for Patients with Cancer During Covid-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic patients with cancer may be experiencing mental health challenges such as increased anxiety or depression. The psycho-oncology team at the CU Cancer Center is providing tips that can help during these difficult times. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 21, 2020
Full Story

Innovation    COVID-19

CU Mass Spectrometry Shared Resource works to predict embolism in COVID-19

One of the major complications of severe COVID-19 is blood clots in the lungs – a pulmonary embolism that can block lung function leading to death. In fact, these blockages are similar to those from chronic heart disease, stroke, and even traumatic injuries like a car crash or gunshot wound. In these non-COVID-19 conditions, doctors use drugs to break up and dissolve the clotted blood. Now a team led by Colorado trauma surgeon Gene Moore, MD, is testing a similar approach against the dangerous blood clots associated with COVID-19.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 19, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    Skin Cancer    Melanoma

Does getting a suntan really protect against burns that cause skin cancer?

We all know that in the spring or before going on a beach vacation, it’s important to get a solid tan so that we don’t get burned. After all, it’s sun burns and not sun tans that cause skin cancer, right? Not so fast, says Neil Box, PhD, University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator and president of the Colorado Melanoma Foundation.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 18, 2020
Full Story

COVID-19    Lung Cancer    Cancer

D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD: COVID-19 lung cancer treatment diary

March 5th: The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Colorado is reported in a young man who had been on vacation to Italy before continuing his vacation amid the skiing and snowboarding crowds up in Vail.

March 10th: While I am in my lung cancer clinic, I get an email from Harry Ren, a doctor from the Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital who had worked with us previously. He had heard COVID-19 was in Colorado. Harry warns me to wear protective equipment, to keep myself and the team safe. Over 3,000 Chinese doctors and nurses have gotten sick from COVID-19.

March 11th: The World Health Organization officially labels COVID-19 a pandemic.

March 12th: We admit our first lung cancer patient with COVID-19 symptoms – a potential “patient zero” for us. Bert, short for Roberta, is a wonderful 77-year old retired publisher, who appeared to be responding to her treatment but then developed increasingly difficult breathing and low-grade fevers over a week.1 On her CT scan there are new infiltrates in both lungs. She had received immunotherapy together with her last chemotherapy which can cause inflammation in the lungs. We send blood tests for different infections, including COVID-19.

Bert is stabilized and kept under isolation conditions. Steroids, which can be used to treat inflammation in the lungs, but which could worsen some infections, are kept in reserve while the test results are awaited.

March 16th: All my work meetings have become virtual. From our respective rooms and offices, the clinical and research teams discuss ongoing clinical trial accruals; then new and difficult cases in our weekly Tumor Board.

March 17th: My clinic has changed dramatically. I see a fraction of the patients I would normally see in person; the rest are through telehealth appointments. Our scheduler jokes that tech support for older patients has now become an everyday part of her job.

March 19th: There is little traffic and I get rock star parking at the clinic. We still do not have the COVID-19 results back on Bert. It has been 7 days since she was admitted. Her other infectious tests are all negative.

I do my usual phone call with the thoracic oncology consortium that I direct – 14 University Hospitals and Cancer Centers across the USA and Canada. Patient accruals to clinical trials are down. Everything is becoming bottlenecked. Patients are scared. Staff are scared. However, the feeling on the call is that, as doctors, this is what we went to medical school for.

Because medical situations are the explosions we run toward rather than away from. In medicine, we are used to chaos. We are used to finding and protecting the possible, under a barrage of the uncontrollable, the impossible.

On the call among my colleagues, we all feel as if we are the shepherds of our own flocks. Patients with lung cancer are, in theory, no more susceptible to catch COVID-19 than anyone else, but if they do catch it, they will have a higher risk of dealing with the worst of the symptoms COVID-19 has to offer.

I finish off the day with a Remote Second Opinion from Israel.2 In Haifa, the patient and her children are now faced with not just the stress of her lung cancer growing, but a new kind of stressor. To determine the next best treatment would require a biopsy but going into the hospital to get this done could increase her risks of COVID-19 infection. To not get the biopsy would mean hunkering down with a progressing cancer or switching straight to chemotherapy in the absence of rational alternatives. The risks they are most worried about all relate to catching COVID-19. The risks from her progressing cancer appear clearer.

There are internet adverts for virus killing light-wands. Hydroxy-chloroquine, an anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory agent, is being thrown around as a possible ‘treatment’ for COVID-19 without any debate about the source or extent of the data available to support these claims. I revisit how patients with cancer can fall prey to promises of miraculous results from unproven treatments simply because they so desperately want the good news to be true.

March 21st: I get Bert’s COVID-19 test result back. She is negative. She finally starts steroids and her treatment can move on. It took 9 days to get her results back and we can only test people who are in-patients in the hospital. Any attempt to halt the spread of the virus by isolating known positive people using these tools is doomed to failure.3 Instead we have only one solution for the entire population: Keep distant, keep clean.

March 26th: Colorado as a state is ordered to stay at home. In the Cancer Center, we set in place jeopardy and double, triple and quadruple jeopardy plans. Who covers whose patients in the event one of our lung cancer doctors gets quarantined or sick. We even establish back-ups across other tumor-types in case whole teams are incapacitated.

March 31st: My thoughts on the similarities between how we are all dealing with COVID-19 worldwide and what patients with cancer have already been through from the moment they were diagnosed crystalize after a particular conversation in the clinic. The patient said to me, “Now you know what it’s like:”

This is what not knowing whether you will be well next month or on the verge of death feels like.

This is what not knowing if you will be financially ok or ruined because of matters beyond your control feels like.

This is what worrying that every minor symptom is the start of something far more deadly feels like.

This is what consuming every piece of news, hoping for a breakthrough, knowing that most of the breakthroughs you find are not real, but you still consume them because anything is better than nothing, feels like.

This is what watching others die and wondering if you will be next feels like.

But now we have to worry about COVID-19 as well.

That same day I see Bert again. She looks great and feels great. Her treatment, without the immunotherapy, is set to continue. Life goes on.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 14, 2020
Full Story

COVID-19    Melanoma    climate science

Sun protection strategies for COVID19 outdoor recreation

During COVID19, getting outside for socially distanced activities is one of the few forms of available recreation. But more people getting out also means more sun exposure, and so during Skin Cancer Awareness Month, University of Colorado Cancer Center reached out to one of our members, Neil Box, PhD, president of the Colorado Melanoma Foundation, to learn about the risks and how to stay safe.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 11, 2020
Full Story

Honors    Clinical Research

Christopher Lieu, MD, named Associate Director of Clinical Research at the CU Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is excited to announce that the “interim” title before Christopher Lieu, MD, has been removed making him the Associate Director of Clinical Research. Dr. Lieu was in the interim role for 8 months before being named the associate director. Dr. Lieu, who is also the director of the gastrointestinal medical oncology program, joined the CU School of Medicine faculty in 2011. For the past nine years Dr. Lieu has been an investigator on numerous CU Cancer Center studies, including taking the lead on early-onset colorectal cancer research. Dr. Lieu received the National Cancer Institute Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award in 2017. Additionally, Dr. Lieu is the Vice-Chair of the National Cancer Institute Colon Cancer Task Force and on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Panel for Neuroendocrine Cancers.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 02, 2020
Full Story

Research    Cancer    Clinical Research

Variation in how side effects are reported leaves first impressions of new anti-cancer drugs open to manipulation

An important goal of early-phase clinical trials is to discover a drug’s possible side effects. But despite FDA guidelines seeking to standardize this reporting, a University of Colorado Cancer Center study finds significant variation in how drug side effects are reported, potentially making some drugs seem safer or less safe than they really are. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date April 28, 2020
Full Story

Child & Adolescent    Clinical Trials

Study shows fewer kids enrolling in cancer clinical trials

Historically, pediatric cancer patients have been much more likely than adult cancer patients to enroll in clinical trials as part of their treatment. Now a study by University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers working at Children’s Hospital Colorado shows pediatric oncology clinical trial enrollment may be down, from 40-70 percent seen in studies completed in the 1990s, to 20-25 percent in the early 2000s, to 19.9 percent in the current study.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date April 23, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    COVID-19

Leading Chloroquine Scientists Weigh in on Drug As Possible COVID-19 Treatment

French and Australian studies suggest the anti-malarial drug chloroquine could be effective against COVID-19. Promising early results now lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to fast-track its own tests, and have spurred the drug’s maker, Bayer, to offer the drug free for treatment. Earlier today, President Trump (among others) touted chloroquine as a ready-to-use treatment for the disease.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 19, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care    COVID-19

COVID-19 Recommendations for Patients Receiving Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy

We should all be doing our best to keep from catching COVID-19, if not for ourselves and our loved ones, then to avoid passing the disease to people in high-risk populations – like cancer patients taking chemotherapy, which can lower white blood cell counts and undercut the effectiveness of remaining white blood cells, leaving these patients immunocompromised and less able to fight infections like COVID-19.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 19, 2020
Full Story

Patient Care   

Veteran’s Pancreatic Cancer Caught ‘At Just the Right Time’

Steve Becker always looks forward to Veterans Day. He and his father, Don, both did hitches in the Navy, so it’s a special day they set aside to hang out and reflect on their service to the nation.


Author Chris Casey | Publish Date January 16, 2020
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer

Tucatinib “game changing” against stage IV HER2+ breast cancer, especially with brain metastases

Phase III clinical trial results reported today in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented concurrently at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) 2019 show the combination of the investigational drug tucatinib with standard of care treatment including the drugs trastuzumab and capecitabine nearly tripled one-year progression-free survival (33 percent vs. 12 percent), and nearly doubled the two-year overall survivor (45 percent vs. 27 percent) in women with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer. The international, multi-center trial, named HER2CLIMB (NCT02614794), builds on early development and clinical trials involving the  University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 11, 2019
Full Story

Research    Patient Care

$4M grant aims to reduce stress in cancer caregivers

Patients aren’t the only ones affected by cancer. Often alongside patients are family caregivers who struggle to keep their own lives on track while supporting their loved one’s treatment and recovery. It’s not easy. For example, a study showed that stress increases a family caregiver’s chance of death by 63 percent over four years. Now a nearly $4M grant from the National Cancer Institute to researchers at University of Colorado Cancer Center seeks to lessen the impacts of stress specifically on cancer caregivers who are also employed. The project hopes to help caregivers manage the demands of their jobs and their lives, while also meeting the day-to-day needs of their loved one with cancer.

The grant leverages the expertise of co-principal investigators Cathy Bradley, PhD, a health economist, and Mark Laudenslager, PhD, a stress researcher.

Dr. Bradley, Deputy Director and the David F. and Margaret Turley Grohne Endowed Chair for Cancer Prevention and Control Research at CU Cancer Center, focuses her research on defining the associations between health insurance and employment on cancer outcomes, while identifying socioeconomic disparities in the delivery of and response to care. Dr. Laudenslager, is a professor in the CU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, and director of the Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory. His works focuses on the physiological impacts of stress such as increased inflammation and shortening of telomeres, the protective caps on chromosomes that shorten with stress and aging.

The current study will test the ability of an intervention that was proven effective in reducing stress in cancer caregivers when delivered face-to-face, now transformed by Laudenslager and former fellow, Dr. Nicole Amoyal-Pensak, for delivery via a website (Pep-Pal) at the caregiver’s discretion.

“Mark has developed effective interventions to reduce stress in caregivers. My research is on employment outcomes of people with cancer. We intersect at the point of employed caregivers,” Bradley says.

Pep-Pal will be delivered via a mobile application and/or website including eight 20-minute sessions: (1) Introduction to Stress Management, (2) Stress and the Mind-Body Connection, (3) How Our Thoughts Can Lead to Stress, (4) Coping With Stress, (5) Strategies for Maintaining Energy and Stamina, (6) Coping With Uncertainty, (7) Managing Relationships, and (8) Getting the Support You Need. In addition, the website includes short (3-minute) videos demonstrating an activity or exercise to decrease stress, focusing on relaxation and mood.

“The caregiver actually gets to select between face-to-face meetings with a social worker, video chat with the social worker, or using Pep-Pal at their discretion. The idea is to maximize caregiver convenience and hopefully keep them more engaged during the three-month program,” Laudenslager says.

The study follows caregivers for one year, starting when the caregiver’s patient begins “adjuvant” therapy (used after primary treatment to keep cancer from returning).

“The grant will allow us to look at whether less stress correlates with improved health and employment outcomes for the caregivers – and perhaps result in improved outcomes for patients,” Bradley says.

If the intervention proves effective in employed caregivers, the team hopes the program could provide a model for reducing caregiver stress, and perhaps be useful with health conditions beyond cancer.  


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 19, 2019
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer

Three-drug cocktail of targeted therapies promising against hormone receptor and HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer

The growth of some breast cancers is driven by hormones like estrogen and progesterone. Other breast cancers are driven by changes in the gene HER2. Still some cancers are driven by both – and breast cancers whose growth can be controlled by hormonal receptors and HER2 can be especially tricky to treat. A University of Colorado Cancer Center phase 1b study presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2019 offers an attractive alternative to the chemotherapy that is often used with these patients: the three-drug cocktail of targeted treatments – tucatinib, palbociclib and letrozole – was overall well-tolerated and showed preliminary evidence of promising anti-cancer activity. Results support the continued development of the combination in an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial.

“I see this as a promising chemotherapy-free combination for patients who have been without good options, especially for those whose disease has spread to the brain,” says Elena Shagisultanova, MD, PhD, investigator at CU Cancer Center and the trial’s principal investigator.

Tucatinib is a targeted HER2 inhibitor; palbociclib stops cancer cells from rushing through the cell cycle required for fast proliferation; and the anti-hormonal drug letrozole restricts the ability of cancers to drive growth using estrogens. Previous work has shown that palbociclib and letrozole combine to kill more cancer cells than letrozole alone. And lab work by Shagisultanova and her mentor Virginia Borges, MD, at CU Cancer Center led them to believe that tucatinib should be a potent addition to this combination.

Results of the current trial show that the theory holds up in humans: of 20 patients enrolled on the study since November 2018, 14 remained on study as of 1/4/2019, five of which had been on the study more than 6 months. The goal of the phase 1b study was to explore the safety of this combination, with no patients experiencing side effects that required study withdrawal.

“All these patients have metastatic breast cancer and up to five different treatments before trying this trial. Also, 45 percent have brain metastases. In this population, our results look promising,” Shagisultanova says.

A phase 2 trial further exploring the combination is offered at CU Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Northwestern University, New Mexico Cancer Care Alliance, Stony Brook University, and University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 17, 2019
Full Story

Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Cancer

The Power of a Second Opinion: Karen Possehl's Story

Karen Possehl was diagnosed with cancer in November 2016. At the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, her doctor told her that the type of cancer she had was inoperable and wouldn't respond to radiation or chemotherapy. He expected her to live only a few more months.


Author Department of Surgery | Publish Date November 30, 2018
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Community    Sarcoma

Dr. Breelyn Wilky Joins Sarcoma Team

The CU Sarcoma Clinic is pleased to welcome Breelyn A. Wilky, MD, to our multidisciplinary team. Dr. Wilky joined the Medical Oncology faculty in the cancer clinic on November 1, 2018.


Author Department of Surgery | Publish Date November 01, 2018
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Cancer

Karyn Goodman, MD, Named Co-Chair of NCI Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee

The National Cancer Institute’s steering committees review and prioritize concepts for large phase 2 or phase 3 clinical trials conducted in the National Clinical Trials Network, thus in large part driving the direction of new treatments. University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Associate Director for Clinical Research, Karyn Goodman, MD, MS, the David and Margaret Turley Grohne Chair in Clinical Cancer, was recently appointed co-chair of the NCI Gastrointestinal Cancer Steering Committee (GISC).


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date October 15, 2018
Full Story

Research    Leukemia    Cancer

Cancer Hijacks the Microbiome to Glut Itself on Glucose

Cancer needs energy to drive its out-of-control growth. It gets energy in the form of glucose, in fact consuming so much glucose that one method for imaging cancer simply looks for areas of extreme glucose consumption – where there is consumption, there is cancer. But how does cancer get this glucose? A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in the journal Cancer Cell shows that leukemia undercuts the ability of normal cells to consume glucose, thus leaving more glucose available to feed its own growth.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date September 28, 2018
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Cancer

Innovative Cancer Immunology Researcher Joins CU Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is always looking for unique approaches to advance cancer science and advanced ways to strengthen our programs. A powerhouse in the field of immunology is now part of the CU Cancer Center leadership team. Eduardo Davila, PhD, co-leader of the Tissue-Host Interaction program, will lead our efforts to understand the role of the immune system in the development and progression of cancer.


Author Kelli Jones | Publish Date September 04, 2018
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Head and Neck Cancer

Improving Humanized Mouse Models for Head and Neck Cancer Research

If a new anti-cancer drug shows promise in a Petri dish, often the next step is to test the drug’s effect in mice. This system tends to work well with drugs that directly target cancer, but breaks down with immunotherapies. That’s because tumors from human cancer samples can only grow in mice with suppressed immune systems. Immunotherapies activate the immune system against cancer. And in a mouse model in which the immune system has been suppressed, there is no immune system to activate against cancer.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date August 23, 2018
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Cancer

Richard Schulick Named Director of University of Colorado Cancer Center

Richard D. Schulick, MD, MBA, a renowned cancer surgeon and accomplished administrative leader, has been named director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center to lead a $100 million investment in the program over the next five years.


Author Mark Couch | Publish Date June 07, 2018
Full Story

Patient Care    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Clinical Trials

Drummer Finds New Rhythm after CU Cancer Center Clinical Trial

Bob Rupp is a drummer. He works with the best musicians in the world and he’s celebrated for his contributions to the music scene in the Metro Area. There is even a day in his honor in the City and County of Denver.


Author Erika Matich | Publish Date January 31, 2018
Full Story

Patient Care    Breast Cancer    Cancer    Surgical Oncology

In Breast Surgery, Sometimes Less is More

Last year when surgeon Gretchen Ahrendt, MD, was considering a move from the University of Pittsburgh to accept the position of Director of the Diane O’Connor Thompson Breast Center on the Anschutz Campus, she and her husband, Steven – also a surgical oncologist – agreed their three daughters would have to support the move.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date December 07, 2017
Full Story

Research    Patient Care    Lung Cancer

Blood Tumor Markers May Warn When Lung Cancer Patients Are Progressing on Targeted Treatments

For many years, oncologists have known that cancers can secrete complex molecules into the blood and that levels of these molecules can be easily measured. These so-called ‘tumor markers’ are traditionally associated with a single dominant cancer type, for example Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) linked to prostate cancer, Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) to colorectal cancer, CA125 to ovarian cancer, CA19.9 to pancreatic cancer and CA27.29 to breast cancer. However, the real challenge has been to determine a practical use for these markers. They don’t appear to be useful as a means of screening otherwise healthy people for evidence of underlying cancers.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date September 06, 2017
Full Story

Research    Community    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Cancer

Malaria Drug Successfully Treats 26-year-old Brain Cancer Patient

After her brain cancer became resistant to chemotherapy and then to targeted treatments, 26-year-old Lisa Rosendahl’s doctors gave her only a few months to live. Now a paper published January 17 in the journal eLife describes a new drug combination that has stabilized Rosendahl’s disease and increased both the quantity and quality of her life: Adding the anti-malaria drug chloroquine to her treatment stopped an essential process that Rosendahl’s cancer cells had been using to resist therapy, re-sensitizing her cancer to the targeted treatment that had previously stopped working. Along with Rosendahl, two other brain cancer patients were treated with the combination and both showed similar, dramatic improvement.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date January 17, 2017
Full Story

Community    Pediatric Cancer    Brain and Spinal Cancer

Baseball, Brain Tumor and Bravery: Matthew’s Story

When Matthew Murray started experiencing some double vision after school during baseball practice his mother took him to be checked out by an eye doctor. They were told not to be too concerned unless his double vision became constant. Less than two weeks later during a double-header game, Matthew’s double vision would not go away.


Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date September 09, 2016
Full Story

Community    Faculty    Cancer

Former NCAA Basketball Player Calls CU Cancer Center Home

Even before Thomas (TJ) Pugh, MD, grew to 6’10″, he loved the sport of basketball.


Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date April 12, 2016
Full Story

Colorectal Cancer

Immunotherapy Trial Gives Young Colon Cancer Patient Back His Life

More than a stomachache

A trip to Jamaica means white sandy beaches, warm waters, and a perfect get away for most people. But for Stephen Estrada, a colon cancer patient at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, his trip to the island turned into a nightmare.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 07, 2016
Full Story

Research    Prostate Cancer    Cancer

EBRT with Brachytherapy Offers Modest Survival Benefit in Prostate Cancer

A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published ahead of print in the journal Brachytherapy shows that intermediate risk prostate cancer patients experience modest benefit from the addition of external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) to brachytherapy. The study is based on the results of 10,571 patients, of which 3,148 received brachytherapy plus EBRT and 7,423 received brachytherapy alone. Overall survival rates were 91.4 percent versus 90.2 percent at five-year follow up, and 85.7 percent versus 82.9 percent at seven-year follow up.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date February 08, 2016
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Cancer

Cannabis & Cancer: Cause, Cure, Conundrum

Within two miles of the University of Colorado Cancer Center are at least seven recreational marijuana dispensaries with names like Pink House, Terrapin Care Station, Sweet Leaf, Lightshade and Starbuds. And the influence of what happens off campus doesn’t stay off campus. Our patients are using marijuana – some recreationally, some to alleviate the symptoms of cancer and cancer treatments, and some with the belief that cannabis and cannabis-based products could improve or cure their disease.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date December 14, 2015
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Skin Cancer    Melanoma

Will One Bad Sunburn Give You Skin Cancer?

It seems like everybody’s got a story about that “one bad burn” – the time you fell asleep next to the pool and tattooed a white handprint on your lobster-red chest, or forgot to pack the sunscreen while hiking a Colorado 14er. As you know, sunburn increases your chance of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. But what about just one bad burn? And what can you do about it now?


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date July 27, 2015
Full Story

Research    Faculty    Cancer

Dietary Supplements Shown to Increase Cancer Risk

While dietary supplements may be advertised to promote health, a forum at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015 by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigator Tim Byers, MD, MPH, describes research showing that over-the-counter supplements may actually increase cancer risk if taken in excess of the recommended daily amount.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date April 20, 2015
Full Story

Patient Care    Faculty    Colorectal Cancer

Young Colon Cancer Patient Finds Hope at CU Cancer Center

With long blonde hair, a fit physique, and an overwhelmingly positive attitude, Katy Davenport hardly looks like someone who is enduring cancer. Yet at 34 years old Katy went in for a precautionary colonoscopy after noticing some blood in her stool. Her doctor was shocked to discover a tumor.


Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date March 02, 2015
Full Story

CU Cancer Center In the News

The Denver Post

Wings of Hope Raises More than $100,000 for Pancreatic Cancer Research at CU Cancer Center

news outletThe Denver Post
Publish DateOctober 05, 2021

Despite the continuing effects of COVID-19, a dedicated community of supporters converged Sept. 18 for the sold-out Evening of Hope, generating more than $100,000 to benefit pancreatic cancer research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.

Full Story
Denver 7

Robotic Technology Takes Us into a New Era of Drug Discovery

news outletDenver 7
Publish DateSeptember 30, 2021

A giant robot at CU Anschutz Medical Campus is busy doing lifesaving work. Dan LaBarbera is the founding director at the Center for Drug Discovery at the campus.

Full Story
Healio

Animal imaging researcher wins award for contribution to oncology research

news outletHealio
Publish DateAugust 04, 2021

The International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine awarded Natalie J. Serkova, the 2021 Senior Fellow Award for her work in animal imaging for oncology research. “I was humbled and ecstatic to receive this award…,” Serkova, director of the Animal Imaging Shared Resource at University of Colorado Cancer Center, said during an interview with Healio.

Full Story
Cure Today

Life With von Hippel-Lindau Disease

news outletCure Today
Publish DateAugust 03, 2021

At first, Camron King’s sixth-grade teacher thought he was nervous. King had just started at a new school when he told the teacher he couldn’t read aloud from his textbook. The problem, however, was more complicated than childhood stage fright.

Full Story