Most people are familiar with the notion of using vaccines to prevent illness. But they are usually surprised to learn that recent advancements in immunotherapy are creating promising new possibilities to use vaccines to boost the body’s own ability to fight disease and heal itself.
There are many different types of cancer, each as unique and varied as the patients they afflict. But one thing remains constant—cancer is always defined as the uncontrolled growth of the body’s own cells. New vaccines are being developed that allow our natural defenses to seek out and eradicate cancerous cells that previously evaded the body’s immune system.
Giving a patient his life back
After a vacation to Jamaica, Stephen Estrada knew something was wrong. Suffering from severe abdominal pain throughout his vacation and on the flight home, Stephen knew he needed to see a doctor. His doctor found multiple tumors.
Being 28 years old, he decided to have genetic testing. Because of this test, doctors were able to find a gene mutation and ultimately diagnose early stage colon cancer in Stephen’s mother.
Patient Care at the CU Cancer Center
As Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute designated consortium comprehensive cancer center and the only cancer center within 500 miles, patients from the entire Rocky Mountain region come to CU Anschutz in search of the latest treatment options and highly specialized and collaborative team of doctors. In FY15, the CU Cancer Center had over 68,000 oncology clinic visits that served thousands of unique patients. Our doctors are collaborating to come up with the best treatment options available and saving lives in the process.
Cancer Research at the University of Colorado
Not only do our physician-scientists treat thousands of patients, but they are also transforming the way cancer is treated. Researchers at CU Anschutz are revolutionizing the field of cancer research and understanding genomics and immunotherapy in an era of precision medicine. Tailoring treatments to the individual patient is transforming cancer treatments, and our researchers are leading the way.
To perform this life-changing work our researchers have access to:
- $79 million in annual cancer research funding
- $22 million in annual National Cancer Institute funding
- $178 million of institutional investment in cancer since 2005
With our six scientific programs and a number of shared resources, our researchers produced 560 publications in 2015.