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CU Cancer Center News and Stories


Press Coverage    Community    Cancer

Association of Community Cancer Centers Names Innovator Award Recipients

The Association of Community Cancer Centers announced recipients of its 11th annual Innovator Awards.

Author Healio | Publish Date November 06, 2021
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Press Coverage    Community    Cancer

‘Coming Out’ to Cancer: LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in the Health Care System

Uncomfortable and possibly discriminatory situations are what keep many LGBTQIA+ community members from seeking health care on a regular basis.

Author Cure Today | Publish Date November 05, 2021
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Research    Cancer    ovarian cancer

Innovative Ovarian Cancer Research Newly Supported by R37 MERIT Award

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

Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 13, 2021
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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    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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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    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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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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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    ovarian cancer

Building Towards Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer

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

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 16, 2020
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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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Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Cancer    Clinical Trials

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

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

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 29, 2020
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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    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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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    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    Lung Cancer    Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 14, 2020
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Research    Cancer    Clinical Research

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

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

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date April 28, 2020
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Research    Cancer

What Patients Should Know About Anti-Cancer Immunotherapy Side Effects

Immunotherapies have revolutionized the treatment of many cancers. The most common anti-cancer immunotherapies are called checkpoint inhibitors, which block a handshake between the protein PD-L1 on tumor cells and the protein PD-1 on immune system T cells. Checkpoint inhibitors including pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and nivolumab (Opdivo) block the action of PD-1 and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) blocks the action of PD-L1, but the result is largely the same: When this tumor-to-T-cell handshake can’t take place, the immune system attacks the cancer.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 17, 2020
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COVID-19    Cancer

COVID-19 Recommendations for Cancer Patients

With the first cases of COVID-19 reported in Colorado, CU Cancer Center reached out to Thomas Campbell, MD, Professor in the CU School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases to ask what cancer patients should do to keep themselves safe.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date March 05, 2020
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Patient Care    Cancer

University of Colorado Cancer Center adds years back to bile duct cancer patient’s life

It is said that ignorance is bliss. In some cases, choosing to not acknowledge a “truth” or “fact” is detrimental to an individual. However, there are times when not knowing is the thing that keeps you going. Take Lydia Mallernee for example. When she was diagnosed with cancer in March of 2018, Lydia was unaware that she had two to eight months to live.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 27, 2020
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Research    Philanthropy    Cancer

Community climbing competition raises funds for CU Cancer Center research

When you think about what defines Colorado’s Front Range, adventure sports including rock climbing are near the top of the list. More and more, biosciences and medical innovation including cancer research are high on the list, too. Now a fun event at the Denver Bouldering Club combines the two. On February 29, the 7th annual Heart & Soul Climbing Competition will raise money and awareness for research at University of Colorado Cancer Center.

“Cancer is something that has affected every member of our staff personally – you could go through the crowd at Heart and Soul and every person would have their own cancer story.

Climbing is a selfish pursuit to some extent, and this is our way to step outside our own bubble and say there’s something else going on in the world,” says John Gass, the gym’s climbing services manager.

The fun event is appropriate for all ages and ability levels, from beginners who can rent climbing shoes at the gym, to pros who will compete for $4,000 in cash prizes in the Open division. Since the inaugural event in 2014, the Heart and Soul Climbing Competition has raised just over $70,000 for cancer research through ticket sales, day-of donations, and online fundraising (if you can’t make it to the event, click to donate!). 

“We’ve gotten bigger and better every year,” Gass says. “This year, we’re hoping to push the bar even higher and make it to that $100,000 mark for cancer research. If we can knock it out of the park, we can make it happen!”

CU Cancer Center researcher James Costello, PhD, promises to keep his welcome speech to 5 minutes, tops, before the 7pm finals. And you may even catch a few of his postdocs climbing earlier in the day – if you see folks in blue CU Cancer Center tee shirts, encourage your kids to ask them about their research! Pointing the flow of the climbing/research collaboration in the other direction, Denver Bouldering Club staff recently had the opportunity to tour labs at CU Cancer Center to see their money at work.

“A couple years ago, one of our employees was going through chemo at the same time he was helping with the event. It was really empowering for him and showed us all why we do what we’re doing,” Gass says.

Tickets are $55 until Feb 28 and $65 at the door. Registration includes free food and door prizes donated by event sponsors including Friction Labs, Milestone Homes, Organic Climbing, Groove Toyota Scion, Stone Brewing, Metolius, X-Cult, Escape, Rhino Skin Solutions, Honey Stinger, Brazos Wine Imports, and more.

Really, don’t be shy: “Heart and Soul takes that stress you feel at most climbing comps and replaces it with a community feel where we’re all supporting each other and supporting cancer research,” Gass says.

See you there for this truly only-in-Colorado event!

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 17, 2020
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Education    Cancer

What is Cancer?

On a sunny fall Saturday after a CU Buffs win, my 13-year-old, Leif, and I walked down to Boulder’s Pearl Street Mall to talk with strangers about cancer. Among others, we spoke with a mid-60s visiting Arizona State football fan, a very cute eight-year-old girl, and some guy with dreadlocks named Carl. We asked them three questions: What is cancer, How do you get cancer, and How do you treat cancer? I also asked these same questions of University of Colorado Cancer Center researchers including Nobel Laureate, Tom Cech, PhD, director of the CU Boulder BioFrontiers Institute, and D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD, Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research and Director of the CU Thoracic Oncology Clinical and Clinical Research Programs. Can you guess who said what?     

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 11, 2020
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Research    Cancer

Colorado’s James DeGregori, PhD, to lead new journal ‘Aging and Cancer’

December 2020 Update: The first edition of the Aging and Cancer journal was published on December 8, 2020. To see Volume One, please click here.

As you age, your cancer risk increases. It seems so obvious! And maybe because it seems so obvious, the connection between aging and cancer has received surprisingly little research attention. Basically, the story has been the longer you live, the more time you have to accumulate a cancer-causing genetic mutation, and we’ve largely left it at that: The more time, the more risk. But recent research shows that in addition to the “accumulation of mutations over time” theory, cancer requires (or at least benefits from) a host of other aging-associated changes that let these cells with dangerous genetic changes take root and grow. Some of these changes, for example those to the tissue ecosystem and the immune system, may be preventable or even reversible.

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James DeGregori, PhD

These features of age and cancer that go beyond just the idea of risk over time are the topic of a new academic journal, appropriately titled Aging and Cancer, by the publisher Wiley. The founding Editor-in-Chief will be CU Cancer Center Deputy Director, James DeGregori, PhD, the Courtenay C. and Lucy Patten Davis Endowed Chair in Lung Cancer Research at the CU School of Medicine.

For example, DeGregori points out that the immune system changes dramatically with age, but the vast majority of anti-cancer immunotherapies are tested in young mice. Is it any surprise that many immunotherapies that show promise in (young) mouse models fail to show clinical benefit in (primarily older) patients? Or, for another example among many, additional attention at the intersection of aging and cancer could help to better define how frailty indexes influence cancer treatments offered to older patients, a topic being studied at CU by researchers including Drs. Dan Sherbenou, Tomer Marks, and Elizabeth Kessler.

“It’s the elephant in the room if the elephant was wearing camouflage,” DeGregori says, “as if it’s been hiding in plain sight all this time: These aging-associated physiological changes matter.”

Academic journals help to define fields of study, providing a forum for researchers from many disciplines to display and discuss findings that come at a topic from many angles.

“When you create a new forum that highlights an area of study, it stimulates the research – it creates a community, and it helps catalyze interactions with a community. Despite the fact that it should be slapping us in the face, until now it’s mostly been individual researchers here and there,” DeGregori says. “I would say this new journal will help coalesce a field.”

The journal, which is accepting submission for the inaugural issue publishing this spring, will include research papers, brief reports, opinions, commentaries, and reviews.

“This is a multidisciplinary journal,” DeGregori says. “We want to be a forum for research that looks at these connections, from basic research through clinical studies. If it’s really good solid science and it’s relevant to our focus and making an advance, we would be the forum for it.”

Interestingly, cancer research as a whole originally defined cancer by where it lives in the body – think lung cancer or breast cancer. Then the focus turned inside-out to examine the genetics driving cancers. Now cancer research is again broadening its focus to include study of the tissues where cancer grows – the “microenvironment” that acts for or against the disease. And what this research shows is that while mutation may create the potential for cancer, it’s largely the microenvironment that decides whether or not it grows.

“If a doctor has a patient and they want to know if a patient has a high risk of getting cancer, the first thing you should ask is their age. Instead, we tend to focus on things we can do something about – you can not smoke, you can maintain your weight and exercise, and by doing these things, you can reduce your risk of cancer. But you can’t stop yourself from getting old,” DeGregori says. “However, if we understand what factors associated with getting older increase the chance of getting cancer, maybe we could develop interventions to counteract this aging-associated risk.”

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date January 30, 2020
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Research    Education    Cancer

Inspiring the Next Cancer Scientists

Inspiring the next generation of cancer scientists is the idea behind the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s annual  “Learn About Cancer Day.”  One hundred twenty students from five high schools in the Denver metro area participated.

Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date February 27, 2019
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Research    Cancer

Young Adult Cancer Survivors Struggle with Debt, Work-Related Impairments

Student loans aren’t the only reason young adults end up in debt. One of the largest-ever studies of work-related risks in young adult cancer survivors finds that of 872 survivors, 14.4 percent borrowed more than $10,000 and 1.5 percent said they or their family had filed for bankruptcy as a direct result of illness or treatment. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that cancer or treatment interfered with physical demands of their job, and 54 percent said that cancer or treatment interfered with their ability to perform mental tasks related to their job.

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date February 25, 2019
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Research    Cancer

The State of Cancer in Colorado

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Colorado has the fifth lowest overall rate of cancer in the United States, behind only District of Columbia, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. And the American Cancer Society recently reported that the U.S. cancer death rate has dropped 27 percent over 25 years. In Colorado, the decline in the cancer death rate is even steeper: 31 percent reduction over the same period. Does this mean that cancer in Colorado is a concern of the past? Not so fast, says Myles Cockburn, PhD, co-leader of the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date February 04, 2019
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Faculty    Cancer

“No One Hates Cancer More Than I Do”

Richard Schulick was born in Rangoon, Burma, the capital city of the country now known as Myanmar, where his father was stationed as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department. A coup d’état had recently installed a military government, and it was a relief, about a year after Richard was born, when Schulick’s father was transferred to a post in Thailand.

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date January 03, 2019
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

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

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date October 15, 2018
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Research    Leukemia    Cancer

Cancer Hijacks the Microbiome to Glut Itself on Glucose

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date September 28, 2018
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

Innovative Cancer Immunology Researcher Joins CU Cancer Center

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

Author Kelli Jones | Publish Date September 04, 2018
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

Richard Schulick Named Director of University of Colorado Cancer Center

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

Author Mark Couch | Publish Date June 07, 2018
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Patient Care    Breast Cancer    Cancer    Surgical Oncology

In Breast Surgery, Sometimes Less is More

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date December 07, 2017
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Research    Community    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Cancer

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

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date January 17, 2017
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Community    Faculty    Cancer

Former NCAA Basketball Player Calls CU Cancer Center Home

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

Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date April 12, 2016
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Research    Prostate Cancer    Cancer

EBRT with Brachytherapy Offers Modest Survival Benefit in Prostate Cancer

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date February 08, 2016
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

Cannabis & Cancer: Cause, Cure, Conundrum

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date December 14, 2015
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

Dietary Supplements Shown to Increase Cancer Risk

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

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date April 20, 2015
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

After Great Dane Success, Cancer Doc Eyes Brain Tumors

Two University of Colorado Cancer Center publications set stage for K9 cancer vaccine test with human glioblastoma.

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date June 27, 2013
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CU Cancer Center In the News


Association of Community Cancer Centers Names Innovator Award Recipients

news outletHealio
Publish DateNovember 06, 2021

The Association of Community Cancer Centers announced recipients of its 11th annual Innovator Awards.

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Cure Today

‘Coming Out’ to Cancer: LGBTQIA+ Discrimination in the Health Care System

news outletCure Today
Publish DateNovember 05, 2021

Uncomfortable and possibly discriminatory situations are what keep many LGBTQIA+ community members from seeking health care on a regular basis.

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Centennial Citizen

Former Castle Pines Mayor Pivots to Fight Pancreatic Cancer

news outletCentennial Citizen
Publish DateNovember 03, 2021

Of all cancers, pancreatic cancer is one of the hardest to suspect, screen for or treat. For Castle Pines resident Maureen Shul, the disease took away two family members and changed her outlook on life.

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The Denver Post

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

news outletThe Denver Post
Publish DateOctober 05, 2021

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

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