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CU Cancer Center News and Stories

Surgical Oncology

Research    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

CU Study Finds Advantage in Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Even in Resectable Pancreatic Cancer Tumors

Chemotherapy is a useful treatment to try to get systemic control in pancreatic cancer. Currently, however, chemotherapy is mostly administered in patients whose tumors are more difficult to remove surgically because of where they are in the anatomy.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 30, 2023
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Pancreatic Cancer    Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Whipple procedure

CU Cancer Center Was the Right Destination for a Lifelong Outdoorsman with Pancreatic Cysts

It’s been just over four years since Jim Page entrusted his fate to a University of Colorado Cancer Center surgical oncologist after being diagnosed with precancerous cysts in his pancreas. Four years since he underwent the surgery that he credits with saving his life.


Author Mark Harden | Publish Date November 22, 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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Research    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Transplant Surgery

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

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


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date May 10, 2023
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Research    Surgical Oncology    Awards

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

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


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 24, 2023
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Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Multidisciplinary Clinic   

Enjoying the Gift of Time After a Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

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


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date March 23, 2023
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Community    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

FDA Issues New Mammography Guidelines for Women With Dense Breasts 

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


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

Dutch Surgeons Visit University of Colorado to Learn Pancreatic Cancer Procedure

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


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 09, 2023
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Research    Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Most People Diagnosed with Cancer Seek Information Even Before Their Appointments

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


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date February 13, 2023
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Patient Care    Awareness    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Pancreatic Cancer Survivor is Eternally Grateful for her Surgery With Schulick

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


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date November 08, 2022
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Patient Care    Awareness    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Breast Cancer Survivor Emphasizes Self Exams and Self-Advocacy

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


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date October 20, 2022
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Research    Melanoma    Surgical Oncology   

Changing the Standard of Care for Stage III Melanoma Surgery 

For years, surgery for patients with stage III melanoma — melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes — involved removing those lymph nodes along with the primary tumor. Known as completion lymph node dissection (CLND), the surgery was meant to ensure that no cancer remained after surgery.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 04, 2022
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Research    Melanoma    Surgical Oncology

AB Nexus Funds Intercampus Research on Sepsis

Looking to improve methods to treat patients with sepsis, Richard Tobin, PhD, an assistant research professor of surgical oncology in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and Laurel Hind, PhD, an assistant professor in the biomedical engineering program at the University of Colorado Boulder, are teaming up to study the role of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in sepsis.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date November 29, 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    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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Patient Care    Colorectal Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Erica’s Colon Cancer Didn’t Stand a Chance With Procedure That Kills Microscopic Cancer Cells

Erica Ramsthaler was only given three years to live when she was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer, but after transferring her care to the University of Colorado Cancer Center, she is thriving more than four years later.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date October 08, 2021
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Patient Care    Awareness    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology    Plastic Surgery

Young Mom’s Breast Cancer Journey Highlights Importance of Breast Cancer Screening in Younger Women

Kirsten Stewart was just putting on lotion, like she does every morning after her shower. That particular morning, though, she noticed something different: a lump that hadn’t been there before and that definitely wasn’t normal. She was only 30 years old.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date October 07, 2021
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Community    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

“Sex and the City” Actor’s Death Raises Awareness of Pancreatic Cancer

Actor Willie Garson was probably best known for his role as Stanford Blatch on “Sex and the City,” playing one of Carrie Bradshaw’s New York-savvy best friends.


Author Rachel Sauer | Publish Date September 27, 2021
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Innovation    Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Robotic Whipple Procedure Offers Pancreatitis Patient Relief

After suffering from painful bouts of pancreatitis for more than a decade, Christina Gonzalez felt resigned to a seemingly endless cycle of procedures.


Author Valerie Gleaton | Publish Date August 31, 2021
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Patient Care    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

The Pancreatic Cancer Battle That Bonded a Patient and His Physician

Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, becomes close with all of his patients, but he has a special bond with Gerry Turner, one of Schulick’s surgical patients for pancreatic cancer.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date August 18, 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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Research    Surgical Oncology

Tackling Unconscious Bias in Surgical Oncology

Over the past few years, Camille Stewart, MD, assistant professor of surgery in the Division of Surgical Oncology, has conducted research for the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) to examine unconscious bias within the organization. In her studies, Stewart examines unconscious bias and microaggressions by focusing on the subtle differences in introductions of speakers at professional meetings and conferences.


Author Siyab Khan | Publish Date April 15, 2021
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Research    Breast Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Improving Quality of Life for Breast Cancer Patients

Though breast cancer patients are now living longer than ever before, treatments for the disease can have wide-ranging effects on their long-term quality of life. Physical, social, and sexual wellbeing all can be impacted by radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, antiendocrine therapy and other challenges that go along with a breast cancer battle.


Author Greg Glasgow | Publish Date March 23, 2021
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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    Publications    Pancreatic Cancer    Surgical Oncology

Simple blood test may help identify patients most likely to benefit from surgery for pancreatic cancer

In the 1860s, French physician Armand Trousseau noticed that patients with a certain form of abnormal blood clotting often went on to be diagnosed with pancreas or gastric cancers. Unfortunately, at age 66 he noticed these same symptoms in himself and died of gastric cancer only a few months later.


Author Cancer Center | Publish Date October 20, 2020
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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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CU Cancer Center In the News

The Conversation

Lung cancer is the deadliest of all cancers, and screening could save many lives − if more people could access it

news outletThe Conversation
Publish DateMay 13, 2024

Despite being the leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide, Nina Thomas, MD, shares that lung cancer has a significantly lower screening rate compared to other common cancers. Various barriers, including lack of awareness, misconceptions, geographic and socioeconomic disparities, and stigma surrounding smoking, contribute to this low rate. Lung cancer screening, recommended for high-risk individuals, involves a low-dose CT scan that is quick, non-invasive, and effective in detecting early-stage cancer. Efforts to improve screening rates focus on public education, reducing disparities, and destigmatizing lung cancer and smoking.

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OncLive

Bradley Corr, MD, on the Rationale for Investigating Rucaparib Maintenance in Endometrial Cancer

news outletOncLive
Publish DateMay 10, 2024

Bradley R. Corr, MD, explores the rationale and results of a phase 2 trial comparing rucaparib to placebo as maintenance therapy for metastatic and recurrent endometrial cancer. Discover the significant progression-free survival improvements and implications for patients in this insightful discussion.

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The Colorado Sun

The lucky ones: Former world champion’s life was saved by a clinical trial. Now she wants others to get the chance.

news outletThe Colorado Sun
Publish DateApril 26, 2024

Siri Lindley, a former world champion triathlete, faced her toughest challenge when diagnosed with a rare, aggressive leukemia. Visualizing her favorite mountain trail helped her endure the grueling treatment. She approached cancer like a triathlon, with determination and hope, eventually lobbying for improved access to medical trials. Thanks to a groundbreaking trial at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, she's now cancer-free, living a new life filled with gratitude and a renewed love for sports.

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Medical Xpress

Writing to wellness: New therapy helps cancer patients face biggest fears

news outletMedical Xpress
Publish DateApril 22, 2024

CU Cancer Center Member Joanna Arch developed EASE therapy for late-stage cancer patients, based on written exposure therapy, to address their unique fears and anxieties. Participants write about their greatest cancer-related fears and explore coping strategies. Results show significant improvements in mental health and well-being.

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