Published: May 8, 2024

From developing new therapies to help patients cope with anxiety to discovering new ways to treat resistant breast cancer and new environmentally friendly methods for producing chemotherapy drugs, CU Boulder researchers are pushing boundaries in cancer research. In recognition of National Cancer Research Month, here’s a sampling of recent projects.

Geologists, biologists unearth the atomic fingerprints of cancer

Earth scientists have long turned to minute differences in hydrogen atoms to explore the ancient history of our planet. A new study suggests that these same tiny atoms could one day lead to new ways to track the growth of cancer.

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

With new medications extending the lives of advanced cancer patients, many live for years in the face of radical uncertainty. A new CU Boulder-born therapy has been shown to reduce trauma, depression, anxiety and fear.

How silencing a gene-silencer could lead to new cancer drugs

CU Boulder research reveals how a molecular machine known as PRC2 helps determine which cells become heart cells, versus brain or muscle or skin cells. The findings shed light on how development occurs and could pave the way for novel cancer treatments.

Why breast cancer survivors don’t take their meds, and what can be done about it

Hormone-blocking drugs can be life-saving for breast cancer survivors, reducing risk of recurrence by as much as 50%. Yet many patients stop taking them early or don’t take them as directed. CU Boulder research explores why, and what can be done about it.

When it comes to treating resistant breast cancer, 2 drugs may be better than 1

CU Boulder research shows that cancer cells can adapt in as little as one to two hours to new drugs called CDK2 inhibitors. The good news: Adding a second, widely available drug disables this workaround, squelching tumor growth.

New ‘magic beans’ produce ingredients for cancer treatments, vaccines, more

Tens of thousands of sharks are killed each year to harvest a key ingredient for vaccines, while old growth trees are slashed to obtain chemotherapy ingredients. Soybean farmer-turned molecular biologist Brian DeDecker has a better idea.

Researchers identify promising new target for drug-resistant breast and ovarian cancers

By inhibiting a protein that helps cancer cells repair themselves, scientists hope to develop new drugs that treat resistant tumors with fewer side effects.