What experts and notable citizens say about us
University of Colorado Cancer Center Impact
Richard D. Schulick, MD, MBA, FACS
Professor & Chair of the University of Colorado, Department of Surgery
Director of the University of Colorado Cancer Center
The Aragón/Gonzalez-Gíustí Chair
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Cancer League of Colorado’s partnership has been vital to the University of Colorado Cancer Center. We are humbled by your continued support. As we reflected on all we have accomplished together, we wanted to find a way to show the significant impact you have had on our ability to grow and lead as a cancer center. This report represents our longstanding relationship and highlights that what you have done for this campus has played a key role in our upward trajectory. We were hoping to be able to share this report with you in person, but are sending via email until we can get together once again. Without a doubt, the work of the League has directly translated into improving lives, and saving lives.
With kind regards,
Thanks to the vision of Cancer League of Colorado, we are improving the lives of patients throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
Since our partnership began in 1985, you have given us the resources to make significant strides in understanding and treating cancer. By helping us build a foundation of success, you are enabling decades of future research and clinical care at the University of Colorado Cancer Center. As we look forward to the opportunities ahead, we are most excited about providing the best possible care to our patients— care that is informed by the latest research and delivered by world-class health care professionals. By combining basic science, translational research and clinical care on one campus, we are transforming cancer care and rapidly changing the therapies available to patients.
Your investments in our research are investments in our future. Your partnership is where cures begin. Thanks to your support, we are able to create opportunities for our faculty, and fuel innovation and discovery. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
With warm regards,
CHRISTOPHER LIEU, MD
Division of Medical Oncology
In 2011, Dr. Lieu joined the CU Cancer Center following a fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He was attracted to CU Anschutz because of the outstanding faculty and collaborative culture. Today, his work is focused on drug discovery and novel therapeutics for cancer specific to detection and treatment of young-onset colorectal cancer. His team is bringing findings from the lab to clinical trials as quickly as possible. Private support is helping Dr. Lieu accomplish his ambitious research goals. He also leads the allocation of funding from Cancer League of Colorado to faculty with promising research.
“Without private support, research doesn’t happen! With your partnership, we can fund research that otherwise would not be possible. Our researchers and patients are indebted to our community for pushing the field forward and creating an atmosphere of innovation.”
BREELYN WILKY, MD
Division of Medical Oncology
Dr. Wilky was recently recruited to the CU Cancer Center in 2018 from the University of Miami. She is an expert in sarcomas, rare cancers of bone and soft tissue that affect all ages of patients, who desperately need new therapies. In addition to seeing patients, she oversees laboratory research and designs and runs clinical trials to find treatments that improve the immune system’s ability to kill sarcomas. Dr. Wilky also works with Dr. Lieu to allocate funding from Cancer League of Colorado to the most promising research ideas.
“In cancer research, the distance between new discoveries in the laboratory and the patients waiting for early clinical trials is the smallest of any field in medicine. Particularly when we are studying immune therapies, it’s critical that we learn something from every single patient who is treated with these new drugs. With investigator initiated trials, and the additional support from Cancer League of Colorado, we have the critical resources to do exactly this. We study our patients’ immune systems in blood and tumors before and after therapy, identify the barriers, and try therapies in the lab that can improve the next generation of clinical trials for our patients. It’s bench to bedside and back again!”
SANA KARAM, MD, PHD
Division of Radiation Oncology
Dr. Karam joined the CU Cancer Center in 2013 following her residency training in radiation oncology at Georgetown University. At CU Anschutz, she treats head and neck
cancer patients, and manages a research lab. Dr. Karam uses experiences in the clinic to inform her research. When treatments fail or she sees opportunities to improve the
patient experience, she uses resources in her lab to create new cancer treatments. Being in the clinic also gives her the opportunity to see treatments in action to ensure a positive
quality of life for her patients. Dr. Karam’s specific research focus is on developing novel therapeutics for radiosensitization of head and neck cancers, and improving patient lives.
“I most enjoy successfully treating cancer. But even when an aggressive cancer has spread throughout a patient’s body and no treatment is available, I feel I can serve an important role by helping them understand and decide among their options. In the lab, I am also fortunate to help develop next-generation therapies for our patients.”
Recipients of Research Funds
PAUL MARONI, MD
Associate Professor, Surgery-Urology
“Thanks to support from Cancer League of Colorado, I have been able to jump start a clinical trial using grape seed extract in patients with non-metastatic prostate cancer. This is just one way that private funding is accelerating progress and hopefully changing lives.”
S. LINDSEY DAVIS, MD
Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
“Because of your outstanding support, our patients are experiencing better outcomes. The clinical trials that you have funded are certain to push the field forward. I believe that the research we are doing today will have a tangible impact on lives tomorrow.”
ELISSA KOLVA, PHD
Assistant Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
“Thank you for your continued support for clinical trials at the CU Cancer Center. So often, clinical trials are not sustained because of a lack of funding. By providing these critical funds, we can complete clinical trials and bring new therapies to patients more quickly than ever before.”
CHRISTINE FISHER, MD, MPH
Vice Chair of Education, Associate Professor and Residency Program Director, Department of Radiation Oncology
“Our clinical trial specifically studies radiation and anti-PD-1 therapy in recurrent women’s cancers. Thanks to your support, we are ready to begin recruiting patients to participate and hope to start seeing patients soon.”
ROSS CAMIDGE, MD, PHD
Professor, Division of Medical Oncology
“Our study is exploring the potential differential need for anti-resorptive bone medication in patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer and bone metastases. Since we opened accrual in April, we have three subjects who have consented.
We hope to complete the clinical trial in 2022. You are helping make this research possible, and providing a valuable service to
current and future patients.”
University of Colorado Cancer Center has received more than $9.5 million in support since 1985
"We have accomplished so much over the years due to your support. The milestones we have reached as a Cancer Center would not have been possible without your longstanding partnership."
Dr. Rajeev Vibhakar, MD
Cancer and Blood Disorders Specialist
Clinical interest: treatment of Pediatric Oncology & Neuro-Oncology with an emphasis on medulloblastoma.
“I am honored to be the recipient of the Cancer League of Colorado Endowed Chair. Our group investigates the molecular mechanisms of brain tumors that occur primarily in children.
Identifying specific genes that are responsible for these tumors allows us to identify novel targets for therapy. The funds provided by the endowed chair are crucial in allowing us to pursue innovative high-risk, high-reward research avenues that would otherwise not be possible with traditional funding. For example, we were able perform a genome-wide analysis to identify specific genes in a tumor called medulloblastoma.
These experiments would not have been possible with the support of CLC. We are now examining how these genes regulate stem cells within the tumor. These studies will allow us to better understand how tumors relapse and how to target them for therapy.”
John Tentler, PhD
Associate Professor of Medical Oncology
Associate Director of Education
University of Colorado Cancer Center
“We are entering an exciting new era in cancer treatment and management. This is the result of years of intensive research and gradual but inexorable progress in our understanding of this disease.
The Cancer League of Colorado has been, and continues to be, a major contributor to this progress by providing critical support for cutting-edge research. Thank you for your tireless efforts—you are making a difference!”
Martha and Scott Jentz
Why am I Dedicated To The Ones I Love?
"Twenty two years ago, while trying to find a place to put my grief over the loss of my best friend to breast cancer, Fleta Johnsen (Cancer League past president and close friend) told me about Cancer League. 100% volunteer, no paid staff, no overhead, 100% of every dollar raised goes to services and research. I joined!
The first 10 years I spent doing small things – mailings, donating stamps – just finding my way! Then onto the Hope Ball committee and from there to the Board and then to President. While President-elect, I lost my college roommate to a rapidly moving sarcoma. How could I do this job (my grief was so intense)? Maybe I should dedicate my year as CLC President to her? Driving home, I heard the Mamas and the Papas’ recording of Dedicated to the One I Love…. Maybe I can do this…… talked to the board, changed our tag line from Commitment to Colorado to Dedicated to the Ones We Love.
Scott and I sat down and made a list. Not only had we lost his mom to ovarian cancer, two friends to breast cancer, two uncles to colon cancer, a roommate to sarcoma, now our son-in-law, Paul is fighting a rare form of Lymphoma. After much thinking we counted 57 dear friends, family and co-workers! We had to dedicate our time and talent to eradicating cancer.
We decided Cancer League would become ours and our Company’s “Philanthropy”, not just cancer, but Cancer League in particular. Both family and Gateway Services Group support Cancer League and its four major fundraisers – Golf Tournament, Race for Research, Over the Edge and the Hope Ball. We sit on a variety of Cancer League boards – Corporate Advisory, Executive and Foundation. We, as a team, chair the Hope Ball Raffle and are part of the Endowment of Hope. We help wherever we are needed.
In our small way we hope that we can be a part of making cancer a thing of the past.”
— Martha Jentz