Above: Anschutz Cancer Pavilion
The University of Colorado Cancer Center is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated consortium comprehensive cancer center. CU Cancer Center’s vision is to transform cancer research and practice in the state of Colorado by creating an integrated interdisciplinary nexus of clinicians and scientists across our statewide consortium that can leverage, synergize, marshal and focus resources and expertise to discover new ways to prevent and treat cancer.
Basic research at the CU Cancer Center is led by a strong group of senior investigators with international reputations and extensive federal grant support. Our basic scientists strive to better understand the fundamental cell activity that leads to cancer. They work closely with our clinical researchers to translate laboratory findings into drugs, therapies and techniques that can be applied to people.
Our clinical researchers then enroll patients in clinical trials to test these new treatments in cancer research studies. The result of this collaboration is a host of promising new techniques to diagnose, treat and prevent cancer.
Learn more at CU Cancer Center.
Stories from the CU Cancer Center
At 29 years old Courtney Livingston wasn’t thinking about breast cancer. She was thinking about doing the things she loves most: spending time with her boyfriend (now fiancé), playing with her labs and being outside in the Rockies. However, in August of 2013 when her mother was found to carry the BRCA2 gene, a major breast cancer risk factor, the thought of developing the disease became very real.
“There’s a fifty percent chance that a carrier passes it on to their children,” explains Courtney. “I immediately knew I wanted to be tested because I wanted the opportunity to be proactive, if it came back positive.”
During years of mountain biking, Jon Wilmot has toiled up the Waterton Canyon Trail when he feels the world close in a bit. The seven-and-a-half mile ride ends at Lenny’s Rest, a memorial bench that Wilmot calls “a place of peace and rejuvenation—a place to calm down.”
Wilmot, 47, still makes the ride to Lenny’s Rest today, but completing the climb and taking time to look back on his journey brings an extra measure of satisfaction. “It’s a little bit harder to get to now,” he says with a smile.
That’s because Wilmot is a stage IV lung cancer survivor. The March 2011 diagnosis blindsided him. He was a nonsmoker and avid mountain biker who jogged regularly and was in good overall health. He’d had no symptoms until a slight but persistent wheeze sent him to his physician for a check-up. A chest scan eventually found three spots on his left lung, but they were diagnosed as pneumonia.
At 24, Bri Pasko hadn’t thought much about children, besides assuming she’d have them one day. Then on Feb 10, 2012, Bri jumped in the shower to begin her usual morning routine and for some reason, gave herself a breast self-examination.
“I hadn’t been good about regularly preforming self-breast exams and assumed the exams my doctor performed at my physical once a year would suffice,” says Bri. “I figured since breast cancer ran in my family, I needed to start doing them.”