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Blogs

CU Cancer Center News and Stories

By Author

David Kelly


Patient Care    Community    Leukemia

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Climber Tristan Chen Treated for Leukemia at CU Cancer Center

When your life is about being outdoors — about making your way up and around complex rock formations, looking for that flow you get into as every foothold and ledge reveals itself — the last place you want to be is stuck in a hospital bed, enduring the side effects of chemotherapy.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 22, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Magazine    Ovarian Cancer

CU Cancer Center Care Team Provides a Foundation for Healing for BRCA1-positive Patient

Amy Bibbey has two distinct lives. There’s the life she led before ovarian cancer, and there’s everything after diagnosis.


Author Carie Behounek | Publish Date September 21, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Thyroid Cancer

Neck Dissection Surgery at the CU Cancer Center Helped Ensure that TV Newsman Danny New Remains Cancer-Free 

“I got lucky that I suck at golf. I threw my back out playing a sport that people usually enjoy in khakis.” 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 17, 2023
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer

CU Cancer Center Members Spotlight the Latest Leukemia Treatments 

Illustrating the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s research strength in the area of blood cancers, the American Cancer Society Journal recently asked CU Cancer Center members Andrew Kent, PhD, and Dan Pollyea, MD, MS, to give readers an update on the latest advances in leukemia treatment.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 11, 2023
Full Story

Skin Cancer    Dermatology

What to Know About Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Jimmy Buffett’s Rare Skin Cancer

After battling skin cancer for four years before his death, "Margaritaville" singer Jimmy Buffett died on September 1, 2023, at age 76, from Merkel cell carcinoma, according to his website.


Author Jessica Cordova | Publish Date September 07, 2023
Full Story

Community    Pediatrics

Helping Children and Their Families Cope With a Cancer Diagnosis

The fear, anger, and anxiety that come with a cancer diagnosis are only magnified in children, who—along with their family members—often need help working through the emotions that surround cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 01, 2023
Full Story

Research    Education    Community    Blood Cancer

Elijah Johnson Came to the CU Cancer Center to Research the Mutation That Makes Him More Likely to Develop Cancer 

Growing up in Windsor, Colorado, Elijah Johnson thought he would grow up to be a professional musician. He never considered a career as a biomedical researcher. But that all changed when his mother was diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS), a rare genetic mutation that increases the risk of cancer.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 30, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community

Surprising Finding in Cannabis Research: The Drug Improves Cognition in Cancer Patients 

Can using over-the-counter cannabis products help cancer patients cope with issues like pain, anxiety, sleeplessness, and depression? 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 21, 2023
Full Story

Press Releases    Equity Diversity and Inclusion    Leadership

CU Cancer Center Expands DEIA Efforts With Hire of Associate Director and Deputy Associate Director 

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is doubling down on its diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) efforts in 2023, adding an associate director and deputy associate director of DEIA to its leadership team. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 17, 2023
Full Story

Community    Esophageal Cancer

CU Cancer Center Member Opens Clinic for Benign Esophageal and Gastric Conditions 

University of Colorado Cancer Center member Sachin Wani, MD, inaugural director of the Katy O. and Paul M. Rady Esophageal and Gastric Center of Excellence, is behind a new clinic for people with benign, complex conditions of the foregut, including complicated reflux cases, refractory esophageal strictures, and motility disorders such as achalasia and gastroparesis. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 10, 2023
Full Story

Research    Data analysis

NCI National Cancer Plan: Maximize Data Utility 

At the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Office of Community Outreach and Engagement (COE), cancer center members are creating an interactive data platform to give researchers information on Colorado’s demographics, cancer burden, risk factors and health behaviors, environmental factors, and access to care across the cancer continuum.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 04, 2023
Full Story

Pancreatic Cancer

University of Colorado Leads Work to Standardize Global Guidelines for Cystic Tumor of the Pancreas 

University of Colorado Cancer Center member Marco Del Chiaro, MD, PhD, division chief of surgical oncology, is coordinating a new effort to standardize global diagnosis and treatment efforts for cystic tumor of the pancreas. More frequent than solid lesions, cystic tumors are usually detected incidentally and are often asymptomatic.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 03, 2023
Full Story

Community    Lung Cancer

CU Cancer Center Offers Free Radon Testing Kits to the Colorado Community          

The statistics about radon exposure and lung cancer in Colorado are sobering: Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the state, and radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer, after tobacco smoke. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 01, 2023
Full Story

Research    Ovarian Cancer    Multiple Myeloma

Guidelines for Preventing Blood Clots in People With Cancer 

Many of the side effects of cancer treatment are well-known, including nausea, fatigue, and weight loss. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 28, 2023
Full Story

Research    Melanoma    Immunotherapy   

R01 Grant Will Help Find a Way to Overcome Resistance to Immunotherapy in Melanoma  

Melanoma cells can hide, but they can’t run from Eduardo Davila, PhD, associate director of cancer research training and education coordination at the University of Colorado Cancer Center


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 26, 2023
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer   

Studying the Role of Sox9 in Lung Cancer

New research led by Sharon R. Pine, PhD, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology Research Initiative, may help doctors understand why some lung cancer patients don’t respond to immunotherapy.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 24, 2023
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Research    Community    Equity Diversity and Inclusion

NCI National Cancer Plan: Optimize the Workforce 

Whether they are focused on middle school and high school students, college undergraduates, or current medical students, pipeline programs at the University of Colorado Cancer Center are designed to expose students of all ages and backgrounds to the world of cancer science and research, with a special focus on giving students from underrepresented backgrounds the opportunity to see themselves working in the field.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 21, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Lung Cancer

New Treatment Paradigm Helps Lung Cancer Patient Thrive at CU Cancer Center 

There’s no such thing as perfect timing when it comes to lung cancer, but Kathy Ballard got pretty close. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 20, 2023
Full Story

Research    Press Releases

The Largest Study of Its Kind Shows a Need for Improvement in Esophageal Cancer Screenings

A new study published in Gastroenterologyaims to improve the effectiveness of screening and surveillance practices for early cancer detection in Barrett’s esophagus (BE).


Author Julia Milzer | Publish Date July 20, 2023
Full Story

Research    Leadership

Diana Cittelly, PhD, Named Co-leader of Tumor Host Interactions Program 

Diana Cittelly, PhD, a longtime University of Colorado Cancer Center member and a researcher on cancer that spreads to the brain, has taken on a new role at the CU Cancer Center. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 18, 2023
Full Story

Community    Clinical Trials

NCI National Cancer Plan: Deliver Optimal Care 

When Nathan Hammond traveled to Colorado from Fort Wayne, Indiana, to consult with University of Colorado Cancer Center specialists about his newly diagnosed esophageal cancer, his first stop was the esophageal and gastric cancer multidisciplinary clinic, where patients are seen by doctors from multiple specialties — including surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, dietitians, and genetic counselors — all at the same time.   


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 14, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Brain and Spinal Cancer

Wheels of Justice Team Commemorates Brain Cancer Patient Trevor Kling 

Look at the racing jersey created in his memory, and you’ll see images of everything Trevor Kling loved. Bright colors. Baseball. Pineapple. Bowling. Sports cars. Board games. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 10, 2023
Full Story

Research    Press Releases    Cancer   

Research Offers Insight into Improving Efficacy of PD-L1 Immunotherapy for Cancer Patients

A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institutebrings researchers and oncologists one step closer to better understanding the complexities of PD-1 inhibitors, a common type of immunotherapy, and their intracellular signaling on cancer behavior.


Author Julia Milzer | Publish Date July 06, 2023
Full Story

Colorectal Cancer    Multidisciplinary Clinic    Clinical   

Expanding the Umbrella of Care

In the earliest days of specialized cancer care, two things often happened: either individual oncologists were burdened with the expectation to know everything, or patients were sent on treatment journeys that could involve multiple visits with multiple clinicians in multiple locations.

As the field of cancer care has grown and evolved, buoyed by tremendous strides in research and therapeutics, patients could increasingly and reasonably hope to live many years, rather than many weeks or months, after a diagnosis. A significant contributor to this hope has been the move toward multidisciplinary care.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date July 05, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Pancreatic Cancer    Multidisciplinary Clinic   

Individualized Care Provides Hope for Pancreatic Cancer Patient with Stage 4 Diagnosis

Barb Spanjer lay on the floor of her office. She had never been so tired. Her stomach and left side ached, and the pain under her left shoulder blade was relentless. She had seen her doctor a couple of times that autumn of 2017, but the medicine for the ulcer he suspected she had wasn’t working. She had been too tired and too busy running the construction company she and her husband, Steve, owned to follow up with the doctor. But it was getting harder to ignore the symptoms. Something just wasn’t right.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date June 26, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community    Clinical Trials

NCI National Cancer Plan: Engage Every Person  

Clinical trials are an important part of cancer care, giving people with cancer potentially life-saving early access to new medications and treatments and making sure those medications and treatments are safe and efficacious before approving them for widespread use.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 23, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer   

Colorectal Cancer Patient Doug Scanlon Grateful for Cutting-Edge Care at CU Cancer Center 

For Doug Scanlon, last year’s Walk to End Colon Cancer was a victory lap. This year, it’s more like a homecoming. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 22, 2023
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer   

CU Cancer Center Researcher Receives Gilead Grant to Study Persister Cells in Lung Cancer 

Cancer researchers have long been interested in the resistance that lung cancer patients develop to targeted therapies aimed at specific mutations. Though the therapies provide significant remission at first, the cancer eventually finds a way to return. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 19, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Immunotherapy    lymphoma   

CU Cancer Center Member Gains Unique Perspective as Cancer Patient

For a significant portion of his career, Arnold Levinson, PhD, MJ, has done work related to cancer.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date June 16, 2023
Full Story

Research    Breast Cancer    Awards

Clinician Scientist Development Grant From the American Cancer Society Will Help Sarah Tevis, MD, Advance Her Research on Breast Cancer Outcomes 

For the past four years, University of Colorado Cancer Center member Sarah Tevis, MD, has focused her research on the psychosocial outcomes of breast surgery for women with breast cancer — specifically comparing patient-reported outcomes three and six months after receiving a lumpectomy (surgery in which just the tumor and some of the surrounding cells are removed) and a mastectomy (surgery to remove the entire breast). 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 14, 2023
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Awards

Overcoming Drug Resistance in Multiple Myeloma 

The good news for people with multiple myeloma is that treatments exist that almost always put the cancer into deep remission soon after it’s diagnosed. The bad news for people with the blood cancer, though, is that even though that remission can last several years, almost all patients eventually relapse — and the disease that returns becomes increasingly difficult to treat. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 12, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community

NCI National Cancer Plan: Developing Effective Treatments   

Hatim Sabaawy, MD, PhD, MS, associate director of translational research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, is excited about the future of treatment for pancreatic cancer. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 09, 2023
Full Story

Community    Prostate Cancer    Bladder Cancer    Kidney Cancer    Testicular cancer

CU Cancer Center Member Helps Develop Genitourinary Cancer Guidelines in Sub-Saharan Africa 

It’s one thing to develop cancer treatment guidelines in the U.S., where even the smallest health centers have access to the same basic technology for treatment and testing. But what about creating guidelines for oncologists in Sub-Saharan Africa, where access to medical resources can be limited and the disease can present differently?  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 07, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community    Cancer    Magazine    Mental Health   

Understanding Cancer in the Mind and the Heart

Cancer, the author Susan Sontag wrote, is “the disease that doesn’t knock before it enters.”

It’s the scary C-word that a large and continually growing body of research demonstrates has effects far beyond its physical symptoms. A cancer diagnosis, especially one made in the later stages of the disease, often impacts a person’s mental and emotional health in ways that can be unexpected and broad-reaching.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date June 05, 2023
Full Story

Breast Cancer    Colorectal Cancer    cancer screening

NCI National Cancer Plan: Detect Cancers Early

Early detection of cancer plays a vital role in improving cancer survival rates. Detecting cancer early allows for timely intervention, stopping the cancer before it metastasizes, and increasing the effectiveness of treatment options.

At the University of Colorado Cancer Center, many members are focused on detecting cancer early by providing greater access to screening and educating the community on options.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date June 02, 2023
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Research    Community    Philanthropy    Magazine   

Endowed Chairs Fund Vital Research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center 

Philanthropy is critical to the mission of the University of Colorado Cancer Center. Donors who are able to make gifts of any amount help CU Cancer Center members contribute to breakthrough research and improved patient outcomes. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 31, 2023
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Community

NCI National Cancer Plan: Preventing Cancer 

Over the past several decades, doctors and researchers have gotten much better at detecting and treating cancer. A cancer diagnosis, however, is still often costly to treat, not to mention the physical and emotional toll that treatment can take. 

The best way to avoid a diagnosis altogether? Stop cancer before it starts.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 26, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer    GITES

Outpatient Colectomy? It’s Possible at the CU Cancer Center

Sean Ryan did everything right. 

Ryan’s father died of colorectal cancer when he was just 45, so Ryan knew he was at high risk for the disease. When he turned 50, he made plans to get a screening colonoscopy. (In 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer from 50 to 45 for men and women at average risk for colorectal cancer.) 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 24, 2023
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer    Brain and Spinal Cancer

Finding New Ways to Treat Diffuse Midline Gliomas 

Cancer is a sneaky disease. Find one method of treating it successfully, and it finds another way to survive. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 22, 2023
Full Story

Breast Cancer    Public Health    cancer screening

Why Does the United States Preventive Services Task Force Want to Lower the Recommended Age for Mammograms? 

Driven in part by an increase in breast cancer diagnoses in younger women — particularly in Black women — the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) — has proposed lowering the recommended age for beginning regular mammograms from 50 to 40. The USPSTF recommends that women at average risk for breast cancer get screening mammograms every other year. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 18, 2023
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Community    Public Health

CU Cancer Center Leader Appointed to Third Term on Colorado’s Board of Health 

Evelinn Borrayo, PhD, has made it her mission to eliminate cancer disparities in Colorado.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 17, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Community    Kidney Cancer    Urology

Kidney Cancer Journey Emphasizes Importance of Asking a Doctor when Things Don’t Feel Right

 

To start with, there was his usual schedule of national travel for his job as a Wall Street journeyman – he was always flying somewhere. Add to that moving to Castle Rock from San Francisco, plus a love for concerts and baseball games and whatever else life offers, and it’s no wonder that Lincoln Yersin was feeling run down.

But this run down? This exhausted? He went to see his primary care provider in San Francisco a few times, had a few tests, and the diagnosis was stress.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 16, 2023
Full Story

Research    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Transplant Surgery

Data Analysis Offers Promising News for Transplant Patients with Previous Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms Diagnosis

Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) are cystic lesions that can form by the ducts of the pancreas. They generally are asymptomatic and discovered in the course of testing for other conditions.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 10, 2023
Full Story

Awareness    Bladder Cancer    Urology

Awareness and Early Detection Key to Good Bladder Cancer Outcomes

In its early stages, bladder cancer can be easy to ignore or write off as something it isn’t – a UTI, a bladder infection, or other conditions that are commonly treated with an antibiotic.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 09, 2023
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Pediatric Cancer    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Pediatrics

What to Know About Pediatric Brain Cancer 

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month, which makes it a perfect time to turn the spotlight on pediatric brain cancer. Brain cancer is the second most common cancer in children, after leukemia, and brain tumors are the most common solid tumors in children and adolescents, with more than 4,000 new diagnoses each year, according to the American Cancer Society. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 08, 2023
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Community    Lung Cancer    Hope

Lung Cancer Survivorship Celebration Emphasizes Living with Hope and Optimism

Paul Herzegh’s lung cancer story began six years ago on a beautiful April morning, roadtripping back home to Boulder from visiting friends in Virginia. He was 68, in otherwise good health, and felt some small kinks in his chest.

Hardly any time later, he had a diagnosis: stage 4 adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that originated in the cells lining the outside of his lungs. At that point, he didn’t know much beyond “the conventional wisdom that 'lung cancer is a killer,’” he explained Saturday evening, emphasizing the air quotes because, well, the conventional wisdom was wrong.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 05, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community    Colorectal Cancer

NCI National Cancer Plan: Eliminating Inequities  

Thanks to the Colorado Cancer Screening Program at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, more than 4,000 people from medically underserved populations received colorectal cancer screening over the past two years — individuals who likely would not have sought the screening out on their own.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 28, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community    Health equity

Lower-Income, Working Cancer Caregivers Experience Harder Financial Impacts

Cancer is a disease of ripples – from symptoms that precede a diagnosis to treatment, side effects, and goals for long-term survival. It can impact every facet of life, for the person who receives the diagnosis as well as the person who is their caregiver.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date April 27, 2023
Full Story

Research    Press Releases    Pancreatic Cancer    Clinical Trials

New Pancreatic Cancer Research Could Boost Survival Rates

A unique treatment combining radiation and immunotherapy can eradicate pancreatic tumors while stopping the cancer from spreading, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Author Julia Milzer | Publish Date April 27, 2023
Full Story

Research    Pediatric Cancer    Kidney Cancer    Urology

Research Shows that Lymph Node Sampling During Kidney Tumor Surgery Is Safe

A longstanding approach to surgeries for children with kidney tumors has been an abundance of caution.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date April 26, 2023
Full Story

Research    Blood Cancer    Immunotherapy    lymphoma

What is the Best Lymphoma Treatment After CAR T Therapy Fails? 

For 30% to 40% of lymphoma patients who receive CAR T therapy, the treatment is a godsend. Typically given to lymphoma patients for whom other treatments have proven ineffective, CAR T therapy involves removing immune cells from the body via a blood draw, reengineering them to become better cancer fighters, then reintroducing them to the bloodstream, where they seek out and destroy cancer cells. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 25, 2023
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Community    Head and Neck Cancer    Veteran and Military Health

PACT Act Allows Military Veterans to Access Benefits for Expanded List of Conditions Related to Exposures

When the PACT Act went into effect January 1, after being signed into law in August, many U.S. veterans were able to access benefits for an expanded list of health conditions presumed to be caused by exposure to toxic substances.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date April 14, 2023
Full Story

Research    Community    Cancer   

Where Advanced Cancer Patients Are Discharged After Hospitalization Affects Outcomes

Cancer patients younger than 65 who are discharged to a skilled nursing facility following hospitalization are less likely to receive cancer treatment and hospice care before death, new University of Colorado Cancer Center research shows.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date April 12, 2023
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Community   

What to Know About Traveling to the CU Cancer Center

Whether they are coming from across the state, across the region, or across the country, more than 1,000 people each year arrive at the University of Colorado Cancer Center for treatment, surgery, or a second opinion on their cancer diagnosis.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 10, 2023
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Research    Pediatric Cancer    Sarcoma    Radiation

Study Shows that Equivocal Scan Results Don’t Predict Higher Risk of Pediatric Cancer Relapse

For many pediatric cancer patients and their families, “scanxiety” is a very real and very scary feeling – the worry that can precede scans before treatment, and the uncertainty stemming from scans after treatment is completed.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date April 05, 2023
Full Story

Community    Awareness    Urology    Testicular cancer

Early Detection an Important Factor in Highly Treatable Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a highly treatable cancer that isn’t always easy to talk about.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date April 04, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal Cancer Patient Traveled From Indiana to Colorado to Receive Care at CU Cancer Center 

Nathan Hammond knew things were getting bad when his doctors had to put the feeding tube in. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 03, 2023
Full Story

Research    Lung Cancer    Radiation   

Research Shows Targeted Therapy Allows Certain Lung Cancer Patients to Avoid Whole-Brain Radiation

Whole-brain radiation therapy used to treat brain metastases is a significant cancer treatment that, while generally well-tolerated, can have serious long-term side effects, including dementia. Neither clinicians nor patients undertake it lightly.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 29, 2023
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Research    Community    Cancer

Growing Health and Wellness in the Community Garden

There’s a growing body of research supporting the satisfactions of gardening, from its positive impact as a mental health intervention to its association with improvement in cognitive function and reduction in stress, anger, and fatigue.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 28, 2023
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Research    Surgical Oncology    Awards

CU Cancer Center Member Named to National Cancer Institute Early-Stage Surgeon Scientist Program 

For her innovative research on how cannabinoids affect the tumor immune microenvironment in melanomaUniversity of Colorado Cancer Center member Camille Stewart, MD, has been named to the 2023 cohort of the National Cancer Institute’s Early-Stage Surgeon Scientist Program (ESSP). The National Cancer Institute coordinates the United States National Cancer Program and is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 24, 2023
Full Story

Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Multidisciplinary Clinic   

Enjoying the Gift of Time After a Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Before receiving a pancreatic cancer diagnosis eight years ago – a diagnosis that resulted from persistent self-advocacy – Carolyn Degrafinried spent one awful weekend wondering if she was losing her mind.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 23, 2023
Full Story

Research    Head and Neck Cancer

Studying the Oral Cancer Immune Landscape in Dogs 

Squamous cell head and neck cancers — cancers that develop in the outer layers of tissue in the oral cavity, throat, larynx, and sinonasal cavity — are the sixth most prevalent cancer worldwide. The five-year survival rate for this type of cancer is 40% to 50%, with a worse prognosis for patients with advanced disease. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 21, 2023
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Research    Pediatric Cancer    Bone Cancer    Data analysis

Socioeconomic Status and Ethnicity Shown to Impact Pediatric Bone Cancer Outcomes

Pediatric osteosarcoma patients who are Hispanic or live in areas of high language isolation are more likely to have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, recently publish research shows.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 17, 2023
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Community    Colorectal Cancer   

Two CU Cancer Center Members Attend Biden’s Moonshot Event on Colorectal Cancer 

Earlier this month, medical professionals, patient advocates, industry innovators, federal policymakers, and public health officials, including two members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, gathered at the White House for the Cancer Moonshot Colorectal Cancer Forum.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 16, 2023
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Community    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

FDA Issues New Mammography Guidelines for Women With Dense Breasts 

For women with dense breasts, getting a mammogram to screen for breast cancer can be something of a double whammy. Not only is cancer more difficult to detect in dense breasts, but dense breasts also are a risk factor for developing breast cancer in the first place. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 15, 2023
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Education    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Dutch Surgeons Visit University of Colorado to Learn Pancreatic Cancer Procedure

When surgeons from the Netherlands needed help establishing a national program for patients with hard-to-treat pancreatic cancer, they knew just whom to turn to: Marco Del Chiaro, MD, PhD, professor and division chief of surgical oncology in the University of Colorado Department of Surgery.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 09, 2023
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Community    Colorectal Cancer

Colonoscopy vs. Stool-Based Tests: What is the Best Way to Detect Colorectal Cancer? 

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and with the recent news that the disease is on the rise among people under 55, it’s more important than ever for people to understand the screening options for colorectal cancer.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 08, 2023
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Research    Awards

Sojourns Scholar Award Will Support Hospice Research in Communities of Color

Channing E. Tate, PhD, MPH, University of Colorado Cancer Center Rising Star, has seen through her personal and professional experiences how aging populations and communities of color often fall through the cracks of health care, especially at the end of life.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 07, 2023
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Research    Philanthropy    Esophageal Cancer

Gift From Patient’s Family Funds Exploration of New Treatment for Esophageal Cancer 

Funding from the Paul R. O’Hara Seed Grant Fund at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus will allow CU Cancer Center member Akshay Chauhan, MD, to explore new methods of detecting and treating esophageal cancer


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 06, 2023
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Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Clinical Trials

Innovative Technology Shows Great Promise Against Certain Head and Neck Cancers

Over the past decade, human papillomavirus (HPV) has increasingly been identified as a significant cause of certain head and neck cancers – for example, evidence suggests it causes 70% of oropharyngeal cancers in the United States.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 03, 2023
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Research    Blood Cancer   

Eric Kohler, MD, PhD, Receives Award to Improve CAR T-Cell Therapy 

Already regarded as one of the country’s leaders in CAR T-cell therapy, University of Colorado Cancer Center member M. Eric Kohler, MD, PhD, has received a $150,000 Scholar Award from the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to investigate a method to make CAR T cells function even better. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 24, 2023
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Research    Bone Cancer

V Foundation Funds CU Cancer Center Research on Pediatric Osteosarcoma That Spreads to the Lungs 

University of Colorado Cancer Center members Michael Leibowitz, MD, PhD, and Dan Regan, DVM, PhD, have received an $800,000 grant from the V Foundation for Cancer Research, co-founded by ESPN and legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano, to study a new potential treatment for pediatric osteosarcoma that spreads to the lungs. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 23, 2023
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Research   

Junior Faculty at CU Cancer Center Selected for 2023 American Cancer Society Grants 

Four early career researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center have received Institutional Research Grants (IRGs) from the American Cancer Society (ACS) for 2023 through the parent grant awarded to the CU Cancer Center. IRGs are intended to support junior faculty members to obtain preliminary results that will enable them to compete successfully for federal research grants.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 17, 2023
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Research    Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Most People Diagnosed with Cancer Seek Information Even Before Their Appointments

For many people who receive a cancer diagnosis, one of the first things they want is information – about the cancer itself, about treatment options, about side effects they may experience, about what it all means.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date February 13, 2023
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Research    Cancer    Genetics

Research Illuminates a Therapeutic Strategy to Induce Cancer Cell Death

Cancer is a disease driven by gene mutations. These mutated genes in cancer fall into two major categories: tumor suppressors and oncogenes. Mutations in tumor suppressor genes can allow tumors to grow unchecked – a case of no brakes – while mutations in oncogenes can activate cell proliferation, pushing the gas pedal all the way to the floor.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date February 10, 2023
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Community    Equity Diversity and Inclusion

CU Cancer Center Part of Global Effort to Close the Care Gap

About one in five people worldwide will develop cancer in their lifetimes and in 2020, the most recent year for which data are available, cancer accounted for nearly 10 million deaths worldwide.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date February 04, 2023
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Research    Lung Cancer   

Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation Funds Efforts to Increase Lung Cancer Screening 

A project co-created by University of Colorado Cancer Center leader Jamie Studts, PhD, to boost lung cancer screening rates in Kentucky has proven so successful that Studts has received a grant from the Bristol Myers Squibb Foundation (BMSF) to create an enhanced version of the program that will roll out in two more states in the coming years.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 23, 2023
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Pediatric Cancer    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Cancer    Pediatrics

New Drug Combination Might Better Treat Often Fatal Childhood Brain Tumor

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered a drug combination that might offer a better prognosis for children diagnosed with MYC amplified Medulloblastoma, an often deadly form of brain cancer. The research was conducted in collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) University Hospital Dusseldorf.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date January 19, 2023
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Research    Community   

CU Cancer Center Member Leads Conference on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancers 

In addition to the research and clinical work she performs as a member of the University of Colorado Cancer CenterSwati Patel, MD, also just completed a one-year term as president of the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancer (CGA-IGC), an international professional medical organization dedicated to taking care of patients who may be at increased risk of GI cancer based on family history and genetics.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 17, 2023
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Research    Faculty    Lung Cancer   

Balancing Science and Medicine to Benefit Lung Cancer Patient Care

When his mom fell off a ladder on New Year’s Eve a number of years ago, after deciding that was as good a night as any to clean the leaves from her gutters, one of the first things Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, did after she got home from the hospital was take her pulse.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date January 12, 2023
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Research    Community    Immunotherapy   

What is Immunotherapy? 

When it comes to treating cancer, doctors have many tools in their arsenal. For decades, cancer was treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation — broad tools that affect healthy cells along with the cancer cells they are meant to eradicate. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 11, 2023
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Press Releases    Cancer   

Study Finds New Feature Indicative of Gastrointestinal Tumor Recurrence

Researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have identified a new feature indicative of the chance of recurrence of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors (GISTs).


Author Kelsea Pieters | Publish Date January 09, 2023
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Research    Prostate Cancer    Cancer   

Using Big Data to Help Understand when a Treatment is Right for Prostate Cancer Patients

As growing numbers of people diagnosed with cancer receive testing to have their cancer genetically sequenced, researchers and clinicians are learning volumes more about specific mutations and genetic alterations that can occur in each type of cancer.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date January 09, 2023
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Research    Blood Cancer    Funding   

New Grant Funding Supports Researcher in Understanding Early Factors in Blood Cancer

A necessary part of the scientific process is sometimes being wrong, and Eric Pietras, PhD, was wrong. He’s the first to admit it.

When Pietras, a University of Colorado Cancer Center member and associate professor of hematology, joined the CU School of Medicine in 2015, a significant body of research suggested that inflammation activated blood-forming stem cells, which normally are dormant in bone marrow.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date January 06, 2023
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Community    Head and Neck Cancer   

Here’s What to Know About Martina Navratilova’s Double Cancer Diagnosis

On January 2, tennis great Martina Navratilova revealed that she has been diagnosed with two unrelated cancers: stage 1 throat cancer and early-stage breast cancer


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 04, 2023
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Community    Lung Cancer   

What Are Pack-Years?

For many people, receiving a cancer diagnosis may require learning a new vocabulary ­– terms that can be useful guideposts for defining the disease and its treatment.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date January 03, 2023
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Kidney Cancer    Urology

Ronnie Hillman’s Death Highlights Rare Cancer that Disproportionately Affects Young Black Men

Former Denver Broncos running back Ronnie Hillman, 31, died Wednesday of a rare type of kidney cancer that disproportionately impacts young people who are Black with sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date December 22, 2022
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Research    Cancer

CU Cancer Center Top Stories of 2022

2022 was an impressive year for the University of Colorado Cancer Center, and we were able to share more than 125 stories highlighting our research, patient care, education, and community partnerships.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 19, 2022
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Research    Patient Care    Head and Neck Cancer    Clinical Trials    Immunotherapy

Clinical Trial Participation Helps Woman Diagnosed with Laryngeal Cancer Enjoy Every Day Without the Disease

Jane Hart is a lot of things: extremely proud mom of Shelby, daughter extraordinaire and apple of Jane’s eye. Dog mom to (deservedly spoiled) Maizy, Taco, Winnie, and Walter. Collector of Talavera pottery. Unabashed “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” fan. A surprising 71, because she looks at least 10 years younger.

Cancer survivor – stage 4 laryngeal cancer that necessitated a tracheostomy and laryngectomy, that forced her to relearn how to breathe and talk.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date December 16, 2022
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Research    Melanoma

Drug Combination for Stage 4 Melanoma Shows Success in CU Cancer Center Trial

A new multidrug treatment for patients with stage 4 melanoma has proven effective after a three-year clinical trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 15, 2022
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Community    Support    Colorectal Cancer

Community Partnerships Support New Endoscopy Suite at Longmont Salud Family Health

A newly opened endoscopy suite at Salud Family Health in Longmont highlights the importance of longstanding partnerships between the University of Colorado Cancer Center and community stakeholders in supporting underserved populations who otherwise might not receive vital cancer screening services.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date December 14, 2022
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Research    Press Releases    Pancreatic Cancer   

Largest Study of its Kind Reveals Adjuvant Chemotherapy Improves Overall Survival for Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Today, the University of Colorado Cancer Center released new research that showcases chemotherapy treatment before and after surgery for pancreatic cancer as the most effective combination for patients.


Author Julia Milzer | Publish Date December 08, 2022
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Colorectal Cancer    cancer screening

What Kirstie Alley’s Death Tells Us About Colorectal Cancer Screening 

Actress Kirstie Alley, best known for her role as Rebecca Howe on the 1980s sitcom “Cheers,” died Monday at age 71. According to a representative for the actress quoted in People magazine, Alley died from colon cancer after a short battle with the disease.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 06, 2022
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Research    Lung Cancer    Women's Health   

New Research from the University of Colorado Cancer Center Explores Options for Motherhood in Lung Cancer Patients

New research from the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center highlights the need for additional data collection for women hoping to have successful pregnancies while undergoing treatment for lung cancer. Specifically, they focus on the diagnosis of advanced oncogene-driven non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) that disproportionately affects women of reproductive age.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date December 02, 2022
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Community    Cancer    Magazine    Leadership

Women Are Gaining Increasing Seats at the Table in Cancer Leadership

Two important numbers to keep in mind are that 50.5% of the U.S. population is female, and that cancer will account for more than 606,000 deaths in the United States this year, making it the second-leading cause of death.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 28, 2022
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Press Releases    Head and Neck Cancer    Cancer   

CU Anschutz Researchers Find Less Invasive Treatment for Certain Head and Neck Cancers

A new study from researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has identified a less invasive way to treat a subset of head and neck cancers that could potentially change the standard of care for patients.


Author Kelsea Pieters | Publish Date November 28, 2022
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Head and Neck Cancer    Cancer    Oncology    Immunotherapy

Selective Nodal Radiation May Be a More Effective Approach in Cancer Treatment

A promising new study released by the University of Colorado Cancer Center suggests that recurrence of certain cancers can be significantly decreased by irradiating only a select set of lymph nodes near a tumor rather than all of them.


Author Laura Kelley | Publish Date November 16, 2022
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Research    Community    Cancer

Focusing on Cancer, Work, and Employment

In the course of her research studying employment and cancer, Cathy J. Bradley, PhD, MPA, deputy director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, has heard from people diagnosed with cancer who would skip a chemotherapy treatment rather than skip work and risk losing their job.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 16, 2022
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Research    Education    Community    Equity Diversity and Inclusion

PIKE-PREP Supports Scholars from Underrepresented Backgrounds in Pursuing Top-Tier Education

Xander Bradeen began his undergraduate studies at the University of Colorado Boulder planning to major in neuroscience as a pre-med student, the first in his family to pursue a college education. Then he learned about prairie voles.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 14, 2022
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Research    Leukemia

CU Cancer Center Research Finds the Pathway AML Cells Use to Avoid Therapeutic Elimination

New research conducted in the lab of University of Colorado Cancer Center co-deputy director James DeGregori, PhD, may explain why acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells that reside in the bone marrow are more resistant to medication than AML cells found in the blood and elsewhere in the body.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 11, 2022
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Patient Care    Awareness    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Pancreatic Cancer Survivor is Eternally Grateful for her Surgery With Schulick

Laura Foote is now three years out from her pancreatic cancer diagnosis, thanks to a surgery performed by Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and chair of the Department of Surgery


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 08, 2022
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Research    Lung Cancer    Funding   

Translational Research Scholar Grant Supports Further Study of Immune Cell Changes During Lung Cancer Treatment

University of Colorado Cancer Center member Erin Schenk, MD, PhD, has been named one of the CU School of Medicine 2022 Translational Research Scholars and received four-year grant support to facilitate exploration and new lines of research.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 07, 2022
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Research    Community   

Michaela Montour Celebrated as Research Administrator of the Year 

Corralling four research programs, 12 shared resources, a 28-member leadership team, and a $23 million grant is a huge job — but it’s one that Michaela Montour has performed at the University of Colorado Center with ease for more than 20 years.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 31, 2022
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Breast Cancer    Women's Health    cancer screening

What to Expect from a Screening Mammogram

Mammograms are a vital tool for breast cancer screening. They can detect tumors even before a woman experiences signs or symptoms of cancer, and are sensitive enough to register changes to breast tissue as small as a grain of sand.

A significant body of research has shown that having regular mammograms can lower a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 28, 2022
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Thyroid Cancer    Awards

Bryan Haugen, MD, Receives Outstanding Scholarly Physician Award from the Endocrine Society

University of Colorado Cancer Center member Bryan Haugen, MD, always knew he was a science person. His question was if he wanted to be a MD or a PhD. After completing his bachelor’s degree at Saint Olaf College in Minnesota, he did a few years of research at the Mayo Clinic before starting medical school there.


Author Jessica Cordova | Publish Date October 27, 2022
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Community    Breast Cancer    Metastasis

What Happens When Breast Cancer Metastasizes to the Brain? 

Cancer becomes especially dangerous when it metastasizes — or spreads — to other parts of the body, including the brain. Breast cancer is more likely than many other cancers to spread to the brain, due in part to the large amounts of estrogen present in areas including the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and amygdala. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 26, 2022
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Research    Patient Care    Breast Cancer    Plastic Surgery

Multi-Faceted Treatment Helps Young Breast Cancer Patient Through Her Cancer Journey

Amanda Vegter did not have time for whatever it was that she felt on the side of her left breast.

She was six weeks into her fourth year of veterinary school, she had backpacking trips to go on with her boyfriend, walks to go on with her two dogs, plus plans for a summer externship in South Africa. She was busy and happy and it was probably nothing.

But that firm spot she first felt on her breast in January 2021 while working out at her boyfriend’s house didn’t just go away. Now she can look back and shake her head – of course it was breast cancer.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 21, 2022
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Patient Care    Awareness    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Breast Cancer Survivor Emphasizes Self Exams and Self-Advocacy

Scarlet Doyle was 29 when she was diagnosed with angiosarcoma, a rare type of breast cancer. She had found a lump and had to advocate for herself to get her breast cancer diagnosis. After having her care transferred to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, she was seen by Breelyn Wilky, MD, associate professor of medical oncology and deputy associate director of clinical research at the CU Cancer Center, and Gretchen Ahrendt, MD, professor of surgical oncology. 


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date October 20, 2022
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Press Releases    Community    Leadership

Jan Lowery Named Assistant Director for Dissemination and Implementation at CU Cancer Center 

Jan Lowery, PhD, MPH, who started her career as a researcher at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, returned September 1 as assistant director for dissemination and implementation for the Office of Community Outreach and Engagement at the CU Cancer Center. In her new role, Lowery will lead efforts to develop, conduct, and disseminate implementation-focused projects in cancer prevention, early detection, and survivorship.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 18, 2022
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Research    Lung Cancer    Funding

CU ASPIRE Grant Supports Multi-Investigator Research Focusing on Lung Cancer Pre-Malignancy

A team of scientists and University of Colorado Cancer Center members are collaborating to understand pre-malignancy in lung cancer and decrease the risk of developing the disease, supported by a grant to promote such multi-investigator research.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 14, 2022
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Colorectal Cancer    Cancer    cancer screening

The Message Hasn’t Changed: Get Colorectal Cancer Screening

The best screening test for colorectal cancer is the screening that gets done, because it decreases a person’s chances of getting colorectal cancer and significantly reduces their risk of dying from colorectal cancer.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 13, 2022
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Diversity    Clinical Research    Inclusion    Leadership

McDermott Named Deputy AD for Diversity and Inclusion in Clinical Research at CU Cancer Center

As lead investigator or sub-investigator on numerous clinical trials at the University of Colorado Cancer Center — many of them investigating new treatments for head and neck cancerJessica McDermott, MD, has been instrumental in improving access to cancer clinical trials for patients from medically underserved communities.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 11, 2022
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Research

Colorado Researchers Gather in Aurora for Genome Regulation Symposium 

More than 85 researchers from five different institutions around Colorado, including the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Colorado State University, and CU Boulder, gathered in the newly opened Anschutz Health Sciences Building on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus on August 19 for the 2022 Genome Regulation Summer Symposium.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 07, 2022
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Breast Cancer

What Katie Couric’s Diagnosis Teaches Us About Breast Cancer 

Former “TODAY” show anchor Katie Couric revealed last week that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in summer 2022. Couric appeared on “TODAY” on October 3 to talk about her diagnosis, saying she was lucky her cancer was detected during a routine mammogram and urging other women to keep up with their mammograms. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 05, 2022
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Research    Lung Cancer   

American Lung Association Award Funds CU Research on Epithelial Progenitor Cells 

University of Colorado Cancer Center members Moumita Ghosh, PhD, and Eric Clambey, PhD, have received a grant from the American Lung Association (ALA) to study how epithelial progenitor cells and immune cells may impact each other to shape the outcome of lung cancer


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 03, 2022
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Research    Colorectal Cancer    Cancer    Funding

R01 Grant Supports Deep Dive into Protein Associated with Cachexia in Late-Stage Colorectal Cancer

When a person has lived with colorectal cancer for a long time, and gotten to the point of not responding to therapies as much or at all, it’s common to develop cachexia. This debilitating condition is a multi-systemic wasting syndrome that can cause weight loss, a loss of muscle and bone mass, fatigue, and frailty.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 30, 2022
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Research    Lung Cancer   

CU Anschutz Researchers Create New Method to More Accurately Measure Cancer Lesions’ Response to Treatment

Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have created a new way of measuring cancer lesions’ response to treatment that could better inform the development of new cancer drugs.


Author Kelsea Pieters | Publish Date September 29, 2022
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Research    Prostate Cancer    Cancer   

Ongoing Research Studying Effect of High-Dose Testosterone in Treating Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men and, when caught and treated early, is considered curable. But when prostate cancer becomes metastatic, meaning it spreads to distant organs, it is no longer considered curable and novel treatment strategies are needed.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 28, 2022
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CU Cancer Center In the News

OncLive

Camidge and Vokes Reflect on Research Journeys, Team Building, and Mentorship

news outletOncLive
Publish DateAugust 24, 2023

In this episode of "How This Is Building Me," Drs Camidge and Vokes discuss the span of countries and institutions along Dr Vokes’ journey to MD Anderson Cancer Center, how Dr Vokes balances research and work in the clinic, and how the correct mentors can help shape career paths in oncology.

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Colorado Public Radio

Community Gardening Can Also Grow a Bounty of Physical and Mental Health Benefits, a CU Study Finds

news outletColorado Public Radio
Publish DateAugust 15, 2023

Horse Barn Community Garden is in Five Points’ Curtis Park, near downtown Denver. This is where you’ll often find Charlotte Griffin, watering the vegetables.

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Science News

Why Are More People Under 50 Getting Colorectal Cancer? Scientists Have Some Clues

news outletScience News
Publish DateAugust 14, 2023
Many factors may be driving an uptick of the cancer among younger and middle-aged adults.
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Healio

Radiation-Immunotherapy Strategy Shows ‘Strong Efficacy Signal’ in Pancreatic Cancer

news outletHealio
Publish DateAugust 08, 2023

A novel therapeutic approach that combined radiation and immunotherapy demonstrated the ability to eliminate pancreatic tumors and halt metastases.

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