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CU Cancer Center News and Stories

Clinical Trials

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
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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
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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
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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    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    Pediatric Cancer    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Clinical Trials

St. Baldrick’s Funds CU Study of New Pediatric Leukemia Drug 

As part of its ongoing efforts to eradicate childhood cancers, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has awarded University of Colorado Cancer Center member Kelly Faulk, MD, a St. Baldrick’s Scholar grant to investigate a new method for treating infant leukemia

Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 08, 2022
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Research    Colorectal Cancer    Clinical Trials    DOM Newsletter

CU Cancer Center Leading Clinical Trial of New Drug to Treat Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

A new phase 2 clinical trial led by University of Colorado Cancer Center member Robert Lentz, MD, may offer hope for patients with metastatic colon cancer for whom standard therapy is no longer effective. Lentz is mentored by Wells Messersmith, MD, associate director of clinical services at the CU Cancer Center.

Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date September 07, 2022
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Research    Cancer    Clinical Trials

Studying Psychedelics to Treat Psychiatric Distress in Late-Stage Cancer

The effects of cancer are not just physical, especially in advanced stages of the disease. People living with a cancer diagnosis may experience depression, anxiety, and fear, or feel demoralized by the weight of new and unanticipated burdens.

Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date August 15, 2022
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Research    Patient Care    Sarcoma    Clinical Trials   

Beating a Deadly Sarcoma 

Ward McNeilly thought he was a goner.  

It was summer 2021, and the sarcoma that had started in the Denver resident’s left thigh seemed to be under control, subdued by radiation and chemotherapy following a surgery in 2018 to remove the initial tumor and another surgery in 2019 to remove cancerous tumors in his groin. McNeilly was doing so well, in fact, that his doctors at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital authorized a “chemo vacation” to give his body a break from some of the side effects of the treatment.

Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 11, 2022
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Advancement    Clinical Trials

Climbing Against Cancer: How an Annual Event is Supporting Investigator-Initiated Trials

Colorado is known for adventure – from kayaking to skiing, horseback riding to rock climbing, and everything in between. These sports take full advantage of the beauty and challenge of Colorado’s landscape, and often come to define a group of like-minded and spirited individuals who share a passion for adrenaline, community, and focus.

Author Carolyn Wilson | Publish Date May 27, 2022
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Research    Community    Magazine    Clinical Trials

Growing Evidence Shows Increasing Overlaps Between Human and Companion Animal Cancer Research

Molly the golden retriever was a fan of cookies. Whenever there was a plate of them nearby, she kept her eye on it, waiting for her chance to sneak one or five. She was a fan of water, too, even after she had surgery to remove her left front leg following an osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, diagnosis in April 2017.

Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 19, 2022
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Research    Patient Care    Prostate Cancer    Clinical Trials

New Testosterone Treatment Options for Prostate Cancer Patients

Carlos J. Castro transferred his care to Elizabeth Kessler, MD, University of Colorado Cancer Center member, after learning about a clinical trial that gave him a new treatment option for his stage 4 prostate cancer.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date January 12, 2022
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Research    Thyroid Cancer    Clinical Research    Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial Experience Motivates Participant to Become Advocate

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

Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 04, 2021
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Research    Head and Neck Cancer    Clinical Trials

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

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

Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 21, 2021
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Patient Care    Lung Cancer    Clinical Trials

Traveling to CU Cancer Center for a Lung Cancer Clinical Trial

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

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date August 19, 2021
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Research    COVID-19    Clinical Trials

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

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

Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 22, 2021
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Research    Patient Care    Esophageal Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Clinical Trials

Investigating a Better Treatment Sequence for Esophageal Cancer

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

Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 25, 2021
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Patient Care    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine    Clinical Trials

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

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

Author Jessica Cordova | Publish Date May 16, 2021
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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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Child & Adolescent    Clinical Trials

Study shows fewer kids enrolling in cancer clinical trials

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

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date April 23, 2020
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Clinical Research    Clinical Trials

With smaller clinical trials, it may be up to doctors to notice rare drug side effects

Tejas Patil, MD, is a medical oncologist. Lisa Ferrigno, MD, MPH, FACS, is a trauma surgeon. Working with lung cancer patients at University of Colorado Cancer Center, they both, independently, noticed something strange: A small percentage of patients taking high doses of the drug osimertinib (Tagrisso) were developing a rare twist in the right side of their colon, a condition called cecal volvulus. Their case series, published in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, describes three of these patients, suggesting that doctors who use osimertinib with EGFR+ non-small cell lung cancer patients may consider watching for rare cases of cecal volvulus along with more expected side effects.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date April 22, 2020
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Clinical Trials

OnKure and CU Cancer Center announce first patient enrolled in clinical trial of OKI-179, a potent and selective HDAC inhibitor

OnKure, Inc. and the University of Colorado Cancer Center announced enrollment of the first patient in a first-in-human phase 1 clinical trial testing investigational anti-cancer agent OKI-179, a novel and Class-selective HDAC inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors. The study represents a milestone in the ongoing partnership between OnKure and the University of Colorado system, with the drug discovery and development company built around basic research from CU Boulder and the clinical trial taking place in partnership with CU Cancer Center on the Anschutz Medical Campus.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 17, 2019
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Clinical Trials    Radiation

New Investigator Award helps Tyler Robin, MD, PhD bring new clinical trials to Colorado

When Tyler Robin, MD, PhD, graduates from the Radiation Oncology Residency Program at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus at the end of June, he won’t have to move far – after graduation, Robin will make the leap from trainee to researcher, joining CU faculty as an assistant professor in the CU School of Medicine Department of Radiation Oncology where he hopes to be involved with clinical trials testing new uses of radiation as a component of cancer care. A New Investigator Award from the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) and NRG Oncology will help Robin expand the scope of his clinical trial involvement to the national level, while bringing new, innovative clinical trials to cancer patients in Colorado.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date June 05, 2019
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Clinical Trials    Ovarian Cancer

ASCO: Phase 1 clinical trials benefit patients with aggressive ovarian cancer

Patients with recurrent, heavily pretreated ovarian cancer generally have few therapeutic options.  Phase 1 clinical trials are considered by some providers as a “last hope.” Historically, there has been concern that there is little clinical benefit to these trials and high concern of toxicity, as these are typically first in human studies. However, these worries may be unnecessary.  A University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference in Chicago indicates that there are therapeutic benefits for ovarian cancer patients that enroll in Phase 1 clinical trials.  

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 30, 2019
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Patient Care    Lung Cancer    Clinical Trials

Virtual clinical trial gives entrectinib edge over crizotinib against ROS1+ non-small cell lung cancer

Crizotinib and entrectinib are both active against ROS1+ non-small cell lung cancer. But which is best? The answer seems easy: Just compare the drugs’ clinical trial results. However, not all trials are created equal, and these differences in trial designs can lead to irrelevant comparisons – like comparing athletes’ running times without noting that one ran a kilometer while the other ran a mile. Now results from an innovative, “virtual” clinical trial presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2019 attempt to place crizotinib and entrectinib on an equal playing field. In this analysis, patients taking entrectinib were able to stay on treatment longer and had about almost 6 months longer progression-free survival than patients treated with crizotinib.

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date May 30, 2019
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Patient Care    Leukemia    Clinical Trials

91 Percent Response Rate for Venetoclax Against Newly Diagnosed AML in Older Adults

Clinical trial results published in the journal Nature Medicine show 91 percent response rate to the combination of venetoclax with azacitidine in older adults newly diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Of 33 patients given combination venetoclax and azacitidine, 20 experienced a complete response (aka complete remission) and eight experienced a complete response but with continued low blood counts. Of the three patients who did not respond to treatment, two discontinued the study before the first week due to personal reasons unrelated to treatment or side-effects.

Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date November 29, 2018
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Patient Care    Brain and Spinal Cancer    Clinical Trials

Drummer Finds New Rhythm after CU Cancer Center Clinical Trial

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

Author Erika Matich | Publish Date January 31, 2018
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials 101

If you have a complex condition, you might have heard the phrase “clinical trial” at some point in your medical journey – if not in a doctor’s office, then perhaps in a news segment or a commercial. Clinical trials are a major part of medical care, treatment, and helping science move forward. So what is a clinical trial?

Author Cancer Center | Publish Date October 18, 2017
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CU Cancer Center In the News


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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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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