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CU Cancer Center News and Stories

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Research    Community    Faculty   

First In-Person Nuclear Receptors IMPACT Meeting Focuses on Support and Collaboration

For many researchers, the end of a post-doctoral fellowship and entry into a junior faculty position can be a time without a map.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date August 12, 2022
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Community    Faculty

CU Cancer Center Welcomes New Associate Director of Translational Research 

Bringing with him more than 20 years of experience in gene therapy and personalized medicine, Hatim Sabaawy, MD, PhD, will step into the role of associate director of translational research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center on July 1.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 08, 2022
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Education    Community    Faculty   

'Learn About Cancer Day' Inspires Local High School Students to Pursue Careers in Science and Research 

The future of cancer research and care got a little brighter on April 22 as more than 50 biomedical science students from Denver-area high schools came to the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus for Learn About Cancer Day.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 26, 2022
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Research    Community    Faculty   

Rising Star Position Will Support Health Disparities and Shared Decision-Making Research

While conducting research for her doctoral dissertation, Channing Tate, PhD, MPH, spoke with 144 older Black adults about hospice care – what they knew about it, whether they’d consider it, what their experiences with hospice had been.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 25, 2022
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Research    Faculty    Magazine    Oncology

Wells Messersmith, MD, Named CMO of Oncology Services at UCHealth

University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center leader Wells Messersmith, MD, has been named chief medical officer of oncology services at UCHealth. In this new role, Messersmith will oversee cancer care at all UCHealth locations with a focus on expanding advanced treatments and the clinical trials UCHealth offers in partnership with the CU Cancer Center.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date January 27, 2022
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Research    Faculty    Pilot Award

Five CU Cancer Center Members Receive Grants From Golfers Against Cancer

Three research teams at the University of Colorado Cancer Center have received $50,000 grants from the Denver Chapter of Golfers Against Cancer to support their research in fighting the disease.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date January 13, 2022
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Research    Faculty    Pancreatic Cancer    Funding

Cancer Immunotherapy Research Receives Significant Support from R01 Grant

Some battles begin before a shot is even fired, with an army building bridges and grading roads, clearing and smoothing the path to make the invading force stronger and more effective.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date December 14, 2021
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Research    Community    Faculty    Cancer

New Program Leadership at the CU Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is pleased to announce several leadership transitions that will support the center in its mission to overcome cancer through innovation, discovery, prevention, early detection, multidisciplinary care, and education.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date December 10, 2021
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Research    Faculty    Cancer

Research Demonstrates that Cells with Cancer-Associated Mutations Overtake Human Tissue with Age

It’s worth noting, in light of recently published research, that a majority of people won’t be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 40% of people will, which means 60% won’t.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date December 03, 2021
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Research    Faculty    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Two CU Cancer Center Members Recognized as World Experts in Pancreatic Neoplasms

Two University of Colorado Cancer Center physicians have been recognized as world experts in in pancreatic neoplasms by the 2021 Expertscape rankings.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 19, 2021
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Research    Faculty    Lung Cancer

LUNGevity Award Supports Ongoing Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Research

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


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 30, 2021
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Patient Care    Community    Faculty    Magazine

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

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


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 03, 2021
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Patient Care    Faculty    Breast Cancer

Treatment Guidelines for Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)

The use of textured breast implants during augmentation or reconstructive surgery can slightly increase a patient’s risk of developing Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), a form of cancer that is distinct from other breast cancers. Now an article recently published in Aesthetic Surgery Journal formalizes the treatment strategy for this diagnosis, offering clear guidelines for plastic and oncologic surgeons. The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and World Health Organization all recommend the surgical technique known as stepwise en bloc resection, which includes total capsulectomy (removing scar tissue  around the implant),  explantation (removal) of the implant, complete removal of any associated masses, and removal of any involved (proven by biopsy) or suspicious lymph nodes.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date March 12, 2019
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Research    Faculty    Lung Cancer    Funding

AACR, Johnson & Johnson Fund Colorado Search for Lung Conditions that Allow Growth of Cancer

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) announced today that in partnership with the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson, it will fund a major grant led by University of Colorado Cancer Center investigators to pinpoint the lung tissue characteristics that allow cancer cells to grow, potentially leading to new strategies to prevent and treat the disease.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date March 06, 2019
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Community    Faculty    Oncology

Molecular and Cellular Oncology Retreat 2019: Brrrrr!

In the field of Molecular and Cellular Oncology (MCO), cells often arrive frozen to the lab and must be thawed quickly by diluting with culture medium. And so it’s fitting that, on a macro level, molecular oncology researchers themselves arrived frozen to the 2019 MCO Retreat, held Monday at 9:00am and 4 degrees Fahrenheit on the CU Boulder campus, where they were immediately thawed with coffee.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date March 05, 2019
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Research    Faculty

Changes in Lung Cells Seen Almost Immediately After Contact with Low-Molecular Weight PAHs

It is well known that exposure to high-molecular weight polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) increases cancer risk, leading to regulation of compounds like benzo(a)pyrene (BAP). However, less is known about the health effects of low molecular weight PAHs. Now, a University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows cancer-promoting changes in lung cells as soon as 30 minutes after exposure to low-molecular weight PAHs, adding further evidence that regulators may be underestimating the risk of these compounds commonly found in secondhand cigarette and marijuana smoke, as well as other environmental and occupational exposures.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date February 11, 2019
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Patient Care    Faculty    Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal Cancer Care Crosses State Lines

When Tom Donahue came to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital (UCH), University of Colorado Cancer Center’s clinical partner, he thought he had a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s Esophagus. But Donahue had a diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus with high-grade dysplasia (precancerous cells) and an oncologist in Scottsbluff, Nebraska referred to him to UCH because he needed to see a specialist.  


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 05, 2019
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Research    Faculty    Colorectal Cancer

Leaders Meet in Colorado to Set Research Agenda for Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer

While the overall incidence of colorectal cancer has fallen about 2 percent annually over the previous two decades, the incidence of early-onset colorectal cancer has risen. In adults ages 20-49, the incidence of colorectal cancer rose 1.5 percent annually over this period. For the youngest end of this age range, those aged 20-29, the annual percentage increase in colorectal cancer incidence was 5.2 percent in men and 5.6 percent in women.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date February 01, 2019
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Research    Faculty    Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Up to 5 Times More Likely to Metastasize Even 10 Years After Childbirth

study by researchers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Oregon Health & Science University published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association Network shows that breast cancers diagnosed in young women within 10 years of giving birth are more likely to metastasize, and thus more likely to cause death, than breast cancers in young women who gave birth less recently or not at all.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date January 15, 2019
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Research    Faculty

New Immune System Understanding May Lead to Safer Nanomedicines

Doctors would like to use all sorts of nanoparticles in the body, for example to construct detailed images of anatomy and disease, and to deliver cancer-fighting drugs deep within tumor tissue. However, millions of years of evolution have equipped the body to identify and reject foreign particles, even nanoparticles. And so one major challenge in the use of nanomedicine has been the immune system’s unfortunate efficiency in responding to what it sees as infection, at best clearing nanoparticles before they can accomplish their goals, and at worst, leading to dangerous immune overreaction that creates side effects and serious risks.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date January 14, 2019
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Faculty    Awareness    Lung Cancer

Hope for a Cure

At 32 years old and 33 weeks pregnant, Emily Daniels lived the kind of life that many of us strive to achieve. With a baby boy on the way, a loving husband, a healthy and happy 3-year-old daughter, family and friends close by, a good job, and an active social life, there was much to be grateful for. By all accounts, her day-to-day was perfectly normal and just the right amount of hectic.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date January 03, 2019
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Research    Faculty    Colorectal Cancer

To Screen or Not to Screen? That Is the Question.

Nearly a decade ago, a lightbulb went on in Christopher Lieu’s head. At the time, Dr. Lieu was in the beginning of his fellowship and the lightbulb was his recognition of a disturbing trend: More and more young people were being diagnosed with colon cancer.


Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date January 03, 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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Patient Care    Community    Faculty    Leukemia

Getting to the Root of Leukemia

The day before Joel Rutstein planned to leave for a week-long trip to Hawaii with his wife, Barbara, and their grown children, an oncologist in Fort Collins gave Joel bad news.


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    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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Education    Faculty

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 Tumor Host Interaction program, will lead our efforts to understand the role of the immune system in the development and progression of cancer.

“This is an exciting time for the University of Colorado,” says Davila. “The camaraderie and the support from colleagues, both clinicians and basic researcher scientists, is just simply incredible.” The University of Colorado School of Medicine conducted a nationwide search for a scientist with expertise in cancer immunology and immunotherapy. “I find the immune system to be incredibly complex, but incredibly effective at keeping our bodies safe – safe from cancer, safe from infections and safe from autoimmunity,” says Davila.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date September 04, 2018
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Research    Faculty    Head and Neck Cancer

Improving Humanized Mouse Models for Head and Neck Cancer Research

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


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date August 23, 2018
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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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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    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    Skin Cancer    Melanoma

Will One Bad Sunburn Give You Skin Cancer?

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


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date July 27, 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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Patient Care    Faculty    Colorectal Cancer

Young Colon Cancer Patient Finds Hope at CU Cancer Center

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


Author Taylor Abarca | Publish Date March 02, 2015
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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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Research    Faculty    Pancreatic Cancer

Bitter Melon Juice Prevents Pancreatic Cancer in Mouse Models

A University of Colorado Cancer study published this week in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that bitter melon juice restricts the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metabolize glucose, thus cutting the cells’ energy source and eventually killing them.


Author Garth Sundem | Publish Date March 12, 2013
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CU Cancer Center In the News

Biospace

ODAC Votes Against Safety Profile of Secura Bio’s P13K Inhibitor

news outletBiospace
Publish DateSeptember 26, 2022

In an 8-4 vote, the FDA’s Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee Roster voted against the benefit-risk profile of Secura Bio’s P13K inhibitor Copiktra.

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Cancer Health

Abortion Ban Will Harm Women Diagnosed with Breast Cancer During Pregnancy

news outletCancer Health
Publish DateSeptember 22, 2022

Two CU Cancer Center members detail how the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will harm some patients.

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ET Healthworld

Researchers Discover New Imaging Information System May Provide Accurate Prognosis for Certain Cancers

news outletET Healthworld
Publish DateSeptember 20, 2022

A novel imaging information system developed by researchers at CU Anschutz may eventually provide a faster, more accurate prognosis for certain tumors.

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Cancer Health

Researchers Find Less Risky Way to Monitor Breast Cancer Progression

news outletCancer Health
Publish DateSeptember 20, 2022

CU Cancer Center researchers have discovered how to extract critical information about breast cancer tumors and disease progression by analyzing blood plasma.

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