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Blogs

CU Cancer Center News and Stories

By Author

Chris Casey


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
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Research    Patient Care    COVID-19

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Research    Patient Care    Esophageal Cancer    Surgical Oncology

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
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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
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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
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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
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Patient Care    Blood Cancer    Leukemia

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Research    Gynecologic 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Philanthropy    Gynecologic Cancer    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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Cancer

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Community    Lung Cancer

CU Cancer Center investigator honored for his part in the fight against lung cancer

An investigator from University of Colorado Cancer Center is being recognized for his contributions to the battle against lung cancer.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 17, 2013
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CU Cancer Center In the News

Healio

Movie ‘distraction therapy’ improves children’s experience of radiation

news outletHealio
Publish DateJuly 15, 2021

In the 2016 animated film “Moana,” the title character bravely battled a volcanic demon and saved her people.

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La Voz

Skin Cancer Awareness

news outletLa Voz
Publish DateJuly 07, 2021

Now that summer has officially arrived, thoughts might be turning to a new seasonal look. But, before that, it might be wise to think about another look, one that results from spending too much time in the sun. Sunburn is not just an uncomfortable condition, it could be a precursor to skin cancer, the most common and potentially fatal cancer in the United States.

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MedPage Today

Hold Off on Approving Anal Cancer Drug, Advisors Tell FDA

news outletMedPage Today
Publish DateJune 24, 2021

FDA advisors told the agency to wait on more data before approving an investigational immunotherapy for squamous carcinoma of the anal canal (SCAC), largely due to questions over the drug's activity.

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The Denver Post

Radiation therapy as a pound of prevention? A ray of hope for pancreatic cancer patients, thanks to Wings of Hope

news outletThe Denver Post
Publish DateJune 20, 2021

Using radiation to kill malignant cells in the body is nothing new, but thanks in part to funding from Wings of Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Research, oncologists are continuing to explore newer applications for one of their more standard medical therapies.

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