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CU Cancer Center News and Stories

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Research    Gynecologic Cancer    Magazine    Ovarian Cancer

Innovations in Ovarian Cancer Research

Ovarian cancer is a growing area of research at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. A newly formed Ovarian Cancer Innovations Group, envisioned by Saketh Guntupalli, MD, and led by Kian Behbakht, MD, MBA, is taking a multipronged approach to studying the disease.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 27, 2023
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Research    Community    Magazine

Part of the Plan

With an eye on outcomes that range from better patient care and improved early detection to equity in research and increased use of new technologies like big data, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) recently rolled out a National Cancer Plan.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 17, 2023
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Research    Community    Breast Cancer    Magazine

To Trust or Not to Trust Your Breast Cancer Risk Calculation

Why are some women skeptical when given their personalized risk for developing breast cancer? The inquiring mind of Laura Scherer, PhD, wants to know.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 14, 2023
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Research    Philanthropy    Breast Cancer    Magazine    Surgical Oncology

Breast Cancer Experience Leads to Donation for Lymph Node Research

At age 47, Wendy Johnson finally started jumping horses. 

Though she had long been interested in the activity — watching her daughters take part in it on the competition field and at the family’s home in Conifer, Colorado — the thought of actually being the one on the back of the graceful beast, guiding it through midair and over a series of obstacles, had always scared her.  

A struggle with breast cancer, however, changed her perspective completely.  


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 05, 2023
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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
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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
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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    Cancer    Magazine    Equity Diversity and Inclusion    ColoradoSPH at CU Anschutz    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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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    Community    Support    Magazine    Multiple Myeloma

A Woman Who Lived in the Light Inspires Research of the Cancer She Wouldn’t Let Defeat Her

Michael Joseph Roark – Mike to his friends – met Mary Jo Dougherty in a ski fitness class taught by Anne Kashiwa at the former International Athletic Club in downtown Denver.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 05, 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    Community    Magazine    Child & Adolescent

Addressing the International Childhood Cancer Crisis

Sandra Luna-Fineman, MD, treats children and adolescents with cancer from around the U.S. in her role as a pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, but she knows that children in low- and middle-income countries around the world need her help the most.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 01, 2021
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Patient Care    Community    Lung Cancer    Magazine    CU Medicine Today

“We Want to Give People the Opportunity to Grow Older”

At her lowest point, after hearing there wasn’t much more that medicine or science could do for her, Connie Walters asked her best friend and ex-husband, Abel, to stay with her overnight. She wasn’t sure she would wake up and she didn’t want to die alone.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 30, 2021
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Research    Patient Care    Magazine   

Driving Revolutionary Advances in Cancer Treatment

“When you lose hope, you lose everything,” says Ron Randolph. “It’s like you’re in the bottom of a hole and you see this light at the top of the hole. It’s a very small light, but there’s no way to escape.”


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 11, 2021
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Community    Magazine

Wellness Program Challenges Cancer Patients to Remain Active

Janice Woodward was already a member of the club nobody wants to join — the cancer club, membership involuntary — when she got an irregular mammogram result in May 2019.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date November 08, 2021
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Research    Community    Lung Cancer    Magazine

Improving Survivorship for Individuals Diagnosed With Lung Cancer

There are two things most people believe about lung cancer, says Jamie Studts, PhD, co-leader of the Cancer Prevention & Control Program at the CU Cancer Center: Those who suffer from it most likely caused it by using tobacco, and the prognosis for surviving the disease is poor.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 02, 2021
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Research    Community    Breast Cancer    Magazine    Surgical Oncology

Breast Cancer Research Gathers Data to Help Women Understand Well-Being Outcomes After Surgery

When a woman receives a breast cancer diagnosis, she may have many questions about her immediate future – the stage of the disease, what treatment she’ll receive, where it will happen.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 22, 2021
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Research    Education    Magazine

Educational Pipelines Ensure Future Interest in Cancer Research

When you ask a classroom full of middle schoolers what they want to be when they grow up, you’re likely to get a range of answers, from “pro athletes” and “astronauts” to “musicians” and “movie stars.”


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date July 26, 2021
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Research    Honors    Magazine

Director of CU Cancer Center’s Animal Imaging Shared Resource Honored for Contributions to the Field

As director of the Animal Imaging Shared Resource at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, Natalie Serkova, PhD, has played an integral part in many groundbreaking projects on the Anschutz Medical Campus.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date July 07, 2021
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Research    Magazine

Metabolism is a Key Research Area at the CU Cancer Center

All cells use the process of metabolism to turn nutrients into energy — including cancer cells. Metabolism is a fundamental function whose role in cancer is being explored by researchers across the CU Cancer Center.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 30, 2021
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Research    Honors    Head and Neck Cancer    Magazine    Funding

CU Cancer Center Receives Highly Competitive SPORE Grant for Head and Neck Cancer

Research and treatment of head and neck cancers at the University of Colorado Cancer Center reached a new level this month with a highly competitive Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The SPORE was approved by NCI Scientific Program leadership for FY2021 funding; the projected starting date is July 1.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date June 07, 2021
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Research    Pediatric Cancer    Magazine

CU Cancer Members Recognized for Contributions to Immunotherapy in Pediatric Cancer

Three members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center and a longstanding supporter of the campus are part of a group of more than 200 researchers nationwide who were recognized in April with the Team Science Award from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 28, 2021
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Colorectal Cancer    Magazine

Recommended Colorectal Cancer Screening Age Lowered to 45 for People at Average Risk

In a move that has the potential to save thousands of lives, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) this week lowered the recommended screening age for colorectal cancer from 50 to 45 for asymptomatic patients with no family history of colorectal cancer. Considered the leading source of medical guidance in the U.S., the USPSTF is an independent, volunteer organization made up of national experts in internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, nursing, behavioral health, and more.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date May 21, 2021
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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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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    Pediatric Cancer    Magazine

CU Cancer Center Technology Gives Kids a Welcome Distraction During Radiation Treatment

Thirty days of radiation treatments — five days a week, with Saturdays and Sundays off — are difficult for even the toughest of adults. But for a child, they’re even harder to bear. They involve fasting, waking up early, and lying in a dark room alone, without even your parents there for support.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 21, 2021
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Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer    Magazine

Helping Low-Income Patients Navigate the Cancer Screening Process

Pablo Garcia started to worry when he began experiencing unusual stomach symptoms. He worried even more when his doctor at the Salud Family Health Center in Longmont, Colorado, ordered a colonoscopy to check for signs of colon cancer. Pablo was unfamiliar with the procedure, the preparation, and the hospital where the test was to take place. 


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date April 14, 2021
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Research    Pediatric Cancer    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine

CU Cancer Center Researcher and Physician Poses Double Threat to Pediatric Cancer

M. Eric Kohler’s commitment to both cancer research — particularly CAR T-cell therapy — and clinical care make him a double threat when it comes to battling pediatric blood cancer.   


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 26, 2021
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Research    Magazine

CU Cancer Researcher Wins Two Awards to Study Drug-Resistant Cancer Cells

Sabrina L. Spencer, PhD, is a CU Boulder researcher and a CU Cancer Center member. Spencer recently won two awards: the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award (from the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation) and the Emerging Leader Award (from The Mark Foundation for Cancer Research). The preliminary research she used to apply for the grants, "Melanoma subpopulations that rapidly escape MAPK pathway inhibition incur DNA damage and rely on stress signalling," was published in Nature Communications on March 19, 2021.

We spoke to Spencer about the awards and how she plans to use them to further her research.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 22, 2021
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Patient Care    Philanthropy    Prostate Cancer    Magazine

An Engineer Tackles the Problem of Prostate Cancer as a Patient and Financial Donor

Ashton Villars has always been a problem solver. As a competitive athlete in basketball, waterskiing, and tennis and an actual rocket scientist, Villars has tackled every challenge in life head on — including his prostate cancer diagnosis. Now, he’s bringing that same problem-solving spirit to supporting cancer research. 


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date March 05, 2021
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Research    Community    Magazine

The Impacts of Aging on Cancer

For more than a year, a working group at the University of Colorado Cancer Center has been studying the many ways the aging process impacts cancer — including incidence, progression, and prognosis of the disease, therapeutic options and outcomes, and the psychosocial aspects of living with cancer.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date February 18, 2021
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Community    Skin Cancer    Magazine    Melanoma

Prevent Cancer Foundation Grant Will Help Researcher in Fight Against Melanoma

CU Cancer Center member Neil Box, PhD, is on a quest to decrease the deadly effects of melanoma.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 09, 2021
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Education    Awareness    Magazine

Dustin Diamond’s Death Proves There is Still Much For Researchers to Learn About Cancer

Actor Dustin Diamond, best known for playing the nerdy character Screech on teen sitcom “Saved By the Bell,” died Monday at age 44. Diamond died just weeks after being diagnosed with stage 4 small cell carcinoma, a type of cancer that commonly occurs in the lungs but can also originate in the prostate or gastrointestinal tract.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date February 03, 2021
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Magazine

Increase in Cancer Deaths Predicted Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 is the most-talked-about health concern in 2020, but for many, it is not the deadliest disease. University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center leadership is bringing attention to the fact that more people will die from cancer than COVID this year.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 22, 2020
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Philanthropy    Magazine

Giving Beyond the Norm

Like most people, Arnette Schouten has been touched personally by cancer. One of her cousins is in hospice following a battle with melanoma; her sister-in-law had a long fight with breast cancer; and Arnette herself had early symptoms of ovarian cancer that were caught in time for effective treatment.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date December 10, 2020
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Diversity    Magazine

Director's Message: Our Commitment to Dismantling Racism

The past year has illuminated the need for change. In addition to the toll it has taken on lives, health and livelihood, COVID-19 has shed light on health disparities and inequities facing our communities of color.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date December 03, 2020
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Research    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine

CU Cancer Center Leukemia Researcher Receives NCI Outstanding Investigator Award

Craig Jordan, PhD, has spent more than 20 years developing better treatments for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rapidly progressing cancer of the blood and bone marrow that can spread to other parts of the body, including the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and central nervous system.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 23, 2020
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Research    Magazine

Reducing Cancer Disparities in Colorado

The CU Cancer Center has launched five studies that are focused on addressing disparities in care and outcomes for Black and Hispanic communities in Colorado.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 19, 2020
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Awareness    Pancreatic Cancer    Magazine    Surgical Oncology

Alex Trebek’s Death Raising Awareness and Questions About Pancreatic Cancer

Longtime “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek announced it to the world on March 6, 2019: Like 50,000 other Americans each year, he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 11, 2020
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Research    Blood Cancer    Leukemia    Magazine

CU Cancer Center study leads to FDA approval of new treatment for AML

Thanks in large part to early work by investigators at the CU Cancer Center, patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a new treatment option that has fewer side effects and has been shown to increase longevity.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 10, 2020
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Patient Care    Skin Cancer    Magazine    Melanoma

Melanoma Skin Cancer Clinical Trial Provides Hope When Options Looked Bleak

“For Christmas, we took a family photo with all the grandkids,” says Sam’s wife, Janet. She went on to explain, “The kids wanted to take this photo because they thought Sam would not be here next Christmas.”


Author Jessica Cordova | Publish Date May 26, 2020
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CU Cancer Center In the News

MHealthIntelligence

Leveraging RPM to Enable At-Home Care for High-Risk Cancer Patients

news outletMHealthIntelligence
Publish DateFebruary 05, 2024

Glen Peterson, DNP, ACNP, RN, from CU Cancer Center, discusses RPM & telehealth benefits for cancer patients on Healthcare Strategies podcast.

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9News

Sunday is World Cancer Day

news outlet9News
Publish DateFebruary 04, 2024

CU Anschutz oncologist and CU Cancer Center member Dr. Wells Messersmith shares insights: Colorado braces for over 29,000 cancer cases in the coming year.

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Cure Today

An Oncologist Explains How She Uses ctDNA in Gastric Cancer

news outletCure Today
Publish DateJanuary 24, 2024

CU Cancer Center member Sunnie Kim, MD, discussed how she uses ctDNA in treating patients with gastric or esophageal cancer.

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DocWire News

Toxicities and Duration of Treatment for Immunotherapy in Advanced Metastatic Hepatocellular Carcinoma

news outletDocWire News
Publish DateJanuary 23, 2024

CU Cancer Center member Christopher Lieu, MD, and Namrata Vijayvergia, MD, of the Fox Chase Cancer Center conclude their discussion with considerations for managing immunotherapy-related toxicities in patients with metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), along with a review of the available evidence regarding the duration of immunotherapy treatment.

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