Dec 23, 2021

Huntsman Cancer Institute Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the National Cancer Act

December 23, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the National Cancer Act. From Huntsman Cancer Institute’s founding, to its growth into a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center, to its rapidly growing outreach projects of today, this legislation had, and continues to have, a profound impact.

Dec 21, 2021

Scientists Research New Device to Diagnose Skin Cancer

Detection of skin cancer relies on visual examination, making it hard to reliably determine the skin cancer subtype and its extent of invasion into the skin. Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute have developed a potential new device to diagnose skin cancer using an electrical current.

Dec 20, 2021

New Research Highlights Potential Role of Gas Plasma in Leukemia Treatment

A unique collection of tissue samples donated by people with chronic myeloid leukemia was the driving force behind the discovery of a potentially major new treatment approach for drug-resistant leukemia. The tissue samples were provided by cancer patients at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Dec 15, 2021

New Research Highlights Impact of Cancer Treatment on Fertility in Women

In a new study, Utah researchers report that cancer treatment is linked to a decrease in births. They share their findings and talk about oncofertility, the area of medicine that supports cancer patients who want to have children someday.

Dec 08, 2021

Nicola Camp, PhD, Named Director of the Utah Population Database

Huntsman Cancer Institute genetic epidemiologist Nicola Camp, PhD, has been appointed director of the Utah Population Database. This database contains medical records and other information from 11 million individuals and helps researchers identify genetic patterns of disease, including cancer.

Dec 02, 2021

Scientist in Training Awarded Grant from the Lung Cancer Research Foundation

Aria Vaishnavi, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Huntsman Cancer Institute is an awardee of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation 2021 Scientific Grant Program. Vaishnavi will be using this grant to better understand lung cancer caused by inhaled radon gas.

Dec 01, 2021

Sequencing of Bone Marrow DNA May Predict Leukemia Relapse After CAR-T Therapy With Sufficient Time to Intervene

In pediatric and young adult patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) treated with tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah), DNA sequencing-based detection accurately identified all patients who would eventually relapse, while other methods were less predictive, according to a study published in Blood Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Nov 23, 2021

Researchers Uncover Insights into How Moles Change into Melanoma

Melanoma researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute published a study that gives a new explanation of what causes moles to change into melanoma. These findings pave the way for more research into how to reduce the risk of melanoma, delay development, and detect melanoma early.

Nov 17, 2021

A Glass-Half-Full Approach to Lung Cancer in the McMahon Lab

Martin McMahon, PhD, and his research group study the genetic mutations that contribute to lung cancer. About 30% of lung cancers can now be treated based on the disease’s specific genetics. McMahon is hopeful that each subset of lung cancer will soon have its own precision treatment.

Nov 08, 2021

Talks With Docs: Trudy Oliver, Lung Cancer Researcher

Trudy Oliver, PhD, discusses her decision to become a cancer researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute, why researching lung cancer in so challenging and what the future holds in terms of treatments in the latest Talks with Docs.

Nov 03, 2021

Risk of Age-Related Diseases May Be Higher in Younger B-Cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Survivors than in Their Older Counterparts

Younger B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) survivors had a higher relative risk of developing age-related diseases than older B-NHL survivors five years of more after cancer diagnosis, according to results published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Oct 27, 2021

Letter of Hope from Matt Covington, MD, from the Center for Quantitative Cancer Imaging

“We want to help individuals with cancer receive the best imaging possible,” says Matt Covington, MD. Dr. Covington is a radiologist at Huntsman Cancer Institute who specializes in cancer imaging. In this letter of hope, he explains why he is passionate about his research and how advances in cancer imaging can help patients today and in the future.

Oct 27, 2021

Tee It Up Foundation Raises $1 Million for Cancer Research at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Tee It Up Foundation has reached an incredible milestone—$1 million in funds raised for cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute. A longtime community partner of Huntsman Cancer Foundation, Tee It Up Foundation was established with the goal of “changing the outcome from hope to cure.”

Oct 18, 2021

How the Breast Cancer Family Registry Is Making an Impact on Future Generations

The Breast Cancer Family Registry provides people with a glimpse into their medical past and future. Through testing, doctors can discover if a person carries a BRCA gene mutation, which increases the risk of breast cancer. Learn about the impact the registry has had on two people, Elise Grant and Chrissy Walker.

Oct 13, 2021

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researcher Receives Grant to Study Pediatric Proton Therapy

Huntsman Cancer Institute physician and researcher Matthew Poppe, MD, received a National Cancer Institute grant to study side effects of different types of radiation—proton therapy and traditional radiation therapy—in the treatment of pediatric patients.

Oct 08, 2021

A Cause Worth Supporting: Richard and Moonyeen Anderson Commit to Cancer Research

Richard and Moonyeen Anderson believe in the powers of research. Through their experiences with cancer, the Andersons have seen the positive impact of technology. Now, through their gracious giving, they hope to provide better support at HCI.

Sep 14, 2021

Trainee Receives National Cancer Institute Award

Huntsman Cancer Institute predoctoral fellow Prasoona Karra, MS, was selected to receive the National Cancer Institute Predoctoral Fellow Transition Award to support her in her late stages of PhD training through transition to postdoctoral position. It will provide up to six years of funding to support Karra’s research.

Sep 10, 2021

2021 PathMaker Programs for Cancer Research

This summer, Huntsman Cancer Institute welcomed back its PathMaker Programs for Cancer Research. Sixteen students and four secondary school science teachers learned valuable lessons while sharing amazing experiences together.

Sep 08, 2021

Lab Finding May Broaden Understanding of How Some Cancers Begin

New research done by the Ullman and Sundquist Labs examines the important role of a quality control process—called an abscission checkpoint— in allowing cells to divide and replicate. Their findings may lead to better understanding of how cancers begin and become more aggressive.

Sep 02, 2021

New Insights about Melanocytes Could Lead to More Targeted Melanoma Treatments

Huntsman Cancer Institute melanoma researchers have generated the first “atlas” of where human melanocytes are located in the body. In analyzing the atlas data, the team discovered different types of melanocytes, including what looks to be the cell of origin for an understudied subtype called acral melanoma, which mostly affects people of color.

Aug 23, 2021

Ask an Expert: What is Amyloidosis?

Amyloidosis is a rare disease and researchers are trying to find new treatments for the disease. Huntsman Cancer Institute's Amandeep Godara, MBBS, tells you more about the disease, including its causes, symptoms and possible treatments.

Aug 19, 2021

New Research Identifies Genomic Markers of Aggressive Childhood Leukemias

New research published today in JAMA Oncology reports how two separate DNA changes appear to predict aggressive childhood leukemias when they occur in combination. This study illuminates genetic understanding of acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children with the worst outcomes, including relapse and/or death.

Aug 05, 2021

How Cyclotrons Play a Crucial Role in Cancer Treatment

A cyclotron manufactures radiopharmaceuticals for positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which help doctors see where cancer is located inside the body. Huntsman Cancer Institute director of cyclotron operations, Brandon Buckway, explains how the cyclotron is a crucial tool in treating people with cancer.

Jul 30, 2021

I Can Answer That: Heidi Hanson on Downwinders and Cancer Risk

The University of Utah and Utah Population Database are working to identify, and assist, those exposed to fallout from the Nevada Test Site during the 1950s and 1960s. Heidi Hanson, a researcher with the Utah Population Database, answers some frequently asked questions about these downwinders.

Jul 22, 2021

Huntsman Cancer Institute Study Shows Cancer Misinformation Common on Social Media Sites

Misinformation on social media continues to spread. In a new study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, HCI's Skyler Johnson details how harmful information in cancer treatment articles is a growing concern, and how communication between physicians and their patients is more vital than ever.

Jul 16, 2021

Talks with Docs: Adriana Coletta, Exercise and Cancer Researcher

Adriana Coletta, PhD, MS, RD, discusses the amazing new work being done for metastatic prostate cancer patients, what the future of exercise cancer research could look like, and her violin skills in the latest Talks with Docs.

Jul 01, 2021

Finding Better Treatments for Liver Cancer

Liver cancer often doesn’t show symptoms until it has progressed to a late stage, which means it’s harder to treat successfully. Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher and pathologist Kimberley Evason, MD, PhD, wants to find better treatments for advanced liver cancer.

Jun 02, 2021

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Yield New Insights into the Origins of Synovial Sarcoma

A new study published today in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, reports findings that may change the understanding of how synovial sarcoma develops and spreads. The study was led by Kevin B. Jones, MD and Bradley R. Cairns, PhD from Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Jun 02, 2021

Recipients of the 2021 Susan Cooper Jones Endowed Fellowship in Cancer Research

Huntsman Cancer Institute has announced this year’s recipients of the Susan Cooper Jones Endowed Fellowship in Cancer Research – Helen Lillie, Helong Zhao and Peng Zhang.

May 28, 2021

Six New Cancer Research Fellows Announced by 5 For The Fight

Six new cancer researchers will receive funding through the 5 For The Fight Cancer Research Fellowship, which aims to bring innovative ideas and new ways of thinking to eradicate cancer.

May 21, 2021

Innovative National Clinical Trials in Breast Cancer and Hematologic Cancers Open at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Huntsman Cancer Institute highlights two examples of clinical trials at HCI exploring new innovations in cancer, including the I-SPY2 trial, studying new approaches for breast cancer treatment, and the SWOG CLL Study S1925, or EVOLVE CLL, an international study evaluating a new approach to chronic lymphocytic leukemia or small lymphocytic lymphoma.

May 18, 2021

Study of Utah Cancer Care-at-Home Model Demonstrates Lower Costs, Better Outcomes

A study published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology expands on evidence of lower health care costs and fewer unplanned health care visits in an acute care model of Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Huntsman at Home program, which brings cancer care to patients in their homes.

May 11, 2021

New Research Outlines a Critical Driver in an Immune Cell’s Defense against Melanoma

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute have found critical new insights into how cells defend against melanoma. In a report published in Nature Communications, the team describes how an enzyme called nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase, or NAMPT, initiates antitumor activity. The researchers suggest that new therapies strengthening this pathway in immune cells could be the foundation for more effective treatments against melanoma.

Apr 12, 2021

Ovarian Cancer Patients Face Increased Risk of Mental Illness

Siqi Hu, PhD, is a member of the Hashibe Lab at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Hu presented results at the 2021 virtual American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting that women diagnosed with ovarian cancer were more than three times more likely to be diagnosed with mental illness such as anxiety, depression, and adjustment disorder than the general public.

Apr 08, 2021

Huntsman Cancer Institute Research Shows Melanoma Incidence and Mortality Higher in Utah Compared to Rest of U.S.

Utah had more melanoma deaths than any other state from 1975 to 2013, says a letter published today by HCI researchers in the New England Journal of Medicine. In contrast to the rest of the United States, melanoma mortality in Utah increased by 0.8% per year over that period. The researchers say this data emphasizes the need to stay vigilant about preventing melanoma.

Apr 01, 2021

Working to Eradicate Cancer Through Research Innovation

Every five to seven years, HCI goes through a rigorous application process to maintain status as a National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and prove we meet the highest national standards for cancer care and research. In 2020, the NCI granted renewed status and awarded HCI its best score yet. And despite the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, HCI submitted more research grants than the year before and kept clinical trials open for 1,800 patients.

Apr 01, 2021

Bridging the Gap for Promising New Drugs

The Accelerator at the University of Utah, headed by Dr. David Bearss, is working in conjunction with the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the College of Pharmacy, and the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach and Technology Center to break down the barriers investigators and researchers face in bringing new drugs and technologies to the public.

Apr 01, 2021

Reimagining Research in a Remote World

In March 2020, COVID-19 led to restrictions in on-site activities at HCI, at the University of Utah, across the state, and throughout the nation. HCI researchers were determined to keep labs functioning while also keeping employees safe. Learn how they overcame challenges and kept cancer research moving ahead.

Apr 01, 2021

Bringing Hope Closer to Cancer Patients

Clinical trials bring hope to patients in the form of innovative treatments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, despite strict hospital safety protocols and staff switching to remote work, HCI clinical research teams found a way to make sure patients could safely enroll and stay on clinical trials—remaining steadfast in our commitment to bring promising research advances to patients.

Apr 01, 2021

Banding Together to Advance Scientific Progress

When cancer researchers from different disciplines work together, they gain new insights into how cancer begins and how it can be treated. HCI is committed to providing an atmosphere where ideas can be created, cultivated, and shared. Here are some examples of how HCI scientists are collaborating to accelerate progress in cancer research.

Apr 01, 2021

Improving Cancer Care and Outcomes in Our Communities

At its core, Huntsman Cancer Institute is dedicated to creating an environment that not only promotes—but insists upon—equity, diversity, and inclusion. Read highlights of noteworthy programs and research from the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program that advance HCI’s quest to create a cancer-free frontier for all communities, no matter their location, income, or insurance status.

Mar 23, 2021

New Guidance for Clinical Trial Participation by Cancer Patients Receiving a COVID-19 Vaccination

An international group of cancer clinical research experts reported new recommendations that receiving a COVID-19 vaccination should not preclude a cancer patient from participating on a clinical trial. Huntsman Cancer Institute physician-scientist and professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah, Neeraj Agarwal, MD, was part of this newly formed group who reviewed the data and provided recommendations to patients, doctors, research centers, and the pharmaceutical research industry on this critical, emerging issue.

Mar 03, 2021

Utah Researchers Illuminate Potential Precursors of Blood Cancers

Utah researchers report significant new insights into the development of blood cancers. Comparing DNA data in people with and without blood disorders, the researchers discovered genetic mutations in about 2% of the presumably healthy participants that were identical to those frequently observed in the cancer patients. These findings provide new clues about mutations that may initiate cancer development and those that may help cancer progress.

Jan 20, 2021

American Society of Hematology Selects Ami Patel to Receive a 2021 ASH Scholar Award

HCI physician-scientist Ami Patel, MD, has been selected by the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to receive a Scholar Award for her research in leukemia. ASH Scholar Awards are one of ASH’s most prestigious research award programs. They provide financial support to fellows and junior faculty who have dedicated their careers to advancing the field of hematology research as they transition from training programs to careers as independent investigators.

Jan 13, 2021

Talks with Docs: Robert Judson-Torres, Melanoma Researcher

“Any human disease is so complicated that in order to really have the best care for patients, as well as sort of pushing the envelope on research, you need experts in all of it,” says melanoma researcher Robert Judson-Torres, PhD. In this Talks with Docs video, he explains why he wanted to become a cancer researcher, what he hopes his melanoma research will accomplish, and why Indiana Jones is his inspiration.

Dec 18, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Appoints Gertz and Oliver as Cancer Center Research Program Leaders

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah announced Jay Gertz, PhD, and Trudy G. Oliver, PhD, have accepted invitations to serve as co-leaders of Huntsman Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center research programs. Gertz will serve alongside Jared Rutter, PhD, as co-leader of the Nuclear Control of Cell Growth and Differentiation Program. Oliver will serve alongside Sheri Holmen, PhD, as co-leader of the Cell Response and Regulation Program.

Dec 04, 2020

Fighting to Improve Outcomes in Gastrointestinal Cancers by Understanding Risk Factors and Related Chronic Diseases

Sheetal Hardikar, MBBS, PhD, MPH studies multiple aspects of gastrointestinal cancers, particularly cancers of the esophagus and colon. Over the last few years, she has focused her work on understanding the complex relationship between diabetes and cancer. The 5 For The Fight Fellowship will provide her a whole new set of resources to help accelerate her progress in improving outcomes for people with cancer.

Dec 03, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Identify Promising Drug Combination for Melanoma

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have identified a potential drug combination to treat uveal melanoma, a type of eye cancer. Lead author Amanda Truong, trainee in the McMahon Lab at HCI, explains uveal melanoma patients frequently have changes in genes called GNAQ and GNA11, which are key targets for these drugs. This study was published in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Nov 27, 2020

Fighting Melanoma and Other Cancers Using Immunotherapy

For Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, MD, PhD, it was the promise of immunotherapy—that is, harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer—that inspired her to get into cancer research. Training under one of the pioneers of immunotherapy, she witnessed amazing survival stories of patients. The project Hu-Lieskovan proposed for the 5 For The Fight grant is to tackle the immune-related adverse events when adding different immunotherapies.

Nov 20, 2020

Fighting to Improve Cancer Outcomes with Diet and Exercise

Adriana Coletta was gearing up for a career in sports dietetics until she completed her dietetic internship. As part of a medical team, she fell in love with patient care but knew her passion was in exercise. She decided to dedicate her life to integrating the principles of nutrition and exercise to those she felt could really benefit and who might be unaware or not focused on those two elements at that time—cancer patients.

Nov 19, 2020

University of Utah to Speed Process of Bringing New Therapeutics to Patients

A new initiative aims to speed the process of bringing lifesaving medical discoveries made in University of Utah laboratories to new drugs and therapies for patients. The university’s Huntsman Cancer Institute, College of Pharmacy, and the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology Center have partnered to establish the University of Utah Therapeutics Accelerator Hub (U2TAH, or the Accelerator).

Nov 19, 2020

Scientists Discover Roles for a Cellular Motor in Cancer

Utah scientists have discovered new functions of a key cellular machine that regulates gene packaging and is mutated in 20% of human cancers. The study was published in print today in the journal Molecular Cell. Cairns and colleagues wanted to know how nucleosomes are moved along or removed from the DNA to unpackage and expose genes.

Nov 13, 2020

Fighting a Rare and Understudied Melanoma Subtype

Robert Judson-Torres has always been fascinated by science. He chose to focus on cancer research, and specifically melanoma, as a way to study how cells work in our body and have his work be meaningful and life changing. Due to the economic effects of COVID-19, many cancer laboratories have had to enact hiring freezes. So receiving the 5 For The Fight Fellowship allows Judson-Torres to hire the necessary team to further high-risk, high-reward projects investigating rare subtypes of melanoma.

Nov 12, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researcher Receives National Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award

Siwen Hu-Lieskovan, PhD, MD, physician scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Utah, has received the National Cancer Institute 2020 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. The award recognizes outstanding clinical investigators at NCI-designated Cancer Centers who participate extensively in NCI-funded clinical trials, and whose leadership and activities promote a successful culture of collaborative clinical research.

Nov 10, 2020

HCI Researcher Receives Two Awards for Community Contributions and Neuroendocrine Tumor Research

Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD, a gastrointestinal and neuroendocrine tumor medical oncologist and researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute and assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Utah, received two awards from external organizations honoring her contributions to the field of cancer. Soares was named an Advocacy Champion by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Soares also received the 2020 North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society Theranostics Investigator Grant.

Nov 06, 2020

Fighting for the Next Generation of Drugs to Improve Cancer Outcomes

Ben Myers never expected to be a cancer researcher. He started out his career in neuroscience but changed to cancer research when he realized that a lot of what he had learned by studying proteins in the nervous system could also apply to cancer biology. Myers works on a key issue in treating cancer patients—when certain medications stop being effective—known in the field as drug resistance. The 5 For The Fight Fellowship will allow his lab to take key steps toward innovation.

Oct 30, 2020

Fighting Bench to Bedside for New Lung Cancer Treatments

Sonam Puri gets up every day to care for patients with lung cancer. Then, she carves out time to work with other researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute to tackle why and how cancer develops in small cell and non-small cell lung cancer patients. She was attracted to apply to the 5 For The Fight Fellowship is the concept behind the organization. “People are donating $5 for somebody who has either been touched by or is battling cancer, and knowing that these single $5 donations ultimately add up to a sizeable amount just reflects how many lives are affected by cancer at large.”

Oct 27, 2020

Letter of Hope: Breast and Ovarian Cancer Research in the Varley Lab

You might not see us during your visit to Huntsman Cancer Institute, but we want to let you know that we are working hard in the Varley Lab in the HCI research building next door. We conduct research that improves the treatment and care of patients like you. We are a small group of dedicated young men and women who are developing new strategies to diagnose and treat breast and ovarian cancer.

Oct 23, 2020

Fighting Adrenal Cancer through Less Toxic Treatments

In high school, Katie Basham received some news that would change her life—her mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Basham headed down the only path she knew to make a difference for cancer patients, which was becoming a doctor. But she soon became intrigued by another path- developing better treatments for cancer. She transitioned her training to laboratory science, studying at the University of Utah and University of Michigan. The 5 For The Fight Fellowship is a “welcome home” present of sorts. She receives the fellowship as she returns to HCI to set up her own laboratory studying adrenal cancers.

Oct 22, 2020

Letter of Hope: Breast Cancer Research in the Welm Labs

Dear patients, please know this as you go through your breast cancer treatment journey. The dedicated technical staff, PhD students, and postdoctoral fellows in the Welm Labs continue to work hard every day (and night!) to bring new hope to people with metastatic breast cancer through innovative research, always with patients in mind.

Oct 16, 2020

Fighting Brain Tumors in Kids

When Samuel Cheshier was 13 years old, his favorite cousin died of colon cancer. “I always think of him when I do cancer research,” Cheshier says. As a pediatric neurosurgeon, he witnesses firsthand the devastation that malignant brain tumors cause patients and their families. The desire to help them motivates his basic science research, with the goal of translating experiments into therapies. The 5 for the Fight Fellowship will help speed up the pace of his research, allowing him to start a new project.

Oct 15, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Leadership Announcement: Cairns Named Chief Academic Officer, Welm Named Senior Director of Basic Science

Today, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah announced new leadership appointments for two long-standing cancer center members. Brad Cairns, PhD, has accepted an appointment as chief academic officer at HCI. Alana Welm, PhD, has accepted an appointment as senior director of basic science, a role previously held by Cairns. The new leadership appointments of Cairns and Welm are effective immediately.

Oct 09, 2020

Fighting Cancer Disparities among the Medically Underserved through Prevention and Advocacy

Charles R. Rogers hails from rural North Carolina. After growing up and witnessing health disparities in his own community, he chose to become the type of research doctor who focuses on prevention. Rogers is motivated to fight cancer through his work in unexpected places such as state fairs, barbershops, churches, and now the Vivint Smart Home Arena, thanks to the 5 For The Fight’s partnership with the Utah Jazz.

Sep 29, 2020

5 For The Fight Announces Inaugural Class of Cancer Research Fellows at Huntsman Cancer Institute

5 For The Fight, a global movement inviting everyone to give $5 for the fight against cancer, today announced the inaugural recipients of the 5 For The Fight Cancer Research Fellowship in partnership with Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

Sep 22, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Joins Nationwide Effort to Address COVID-19’s Impact on Cancer Prevention and Treatment

A group of 17 cancer centers around the country have banded together in a major new initiative to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting cancer care and prevention.

Sep 18, 2020

Committed to a Positive and Lasting Impact: The Engelstad Foundation

Samuel Cheshier, MD, PhD, and the Neurologic Cancers Center team at Huntsman Cancer Institute are working to find better treatments for brain cancer, particularly pediatric brain cancer. Many primary brain tumors are incurable from the start, and currently, none are curable once they recur. The need for novel, effective therapies is critical. In 2020, the Engelstad Foundation funded a $100,000 grant at HCI to study a potential immunotherapy treatment for pediatric brain tumors.

Sep 16, 2020

To Reduce Colorectal Cancer Disparities among African American Men, More Intervention Research Is Urgently Needed

Out of any other racial group, African American men have the lowest five-year survival rate for colorectal cancer. Published research on effective strategies to increase screening for this group specifically are minimal. These findings were published today in a special health inequities and disparities issue of the journal PLOS ONE.

Sep 10, 2020

Novel Discovery Challenges a Current Kidney Cancer Paradigm

Newly published research has reversed our understanding of an aspect of kidney tumor growth. Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah discovered that two key proteins have opposite roles than what was previously believed.

Aug 21, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Receive Grants from St. Baldrick’s Foundation Amid Pandemic

Two researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah received awards from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund innovative childhood cancer research.

Aug 06, 2020

Tracy Onega Named Senior Director of Population Sciences at Huntsman Cancer Institute

Tracy Onega, PhD, has been appointed senior director of population sciences at Huntsman Cancer Institute and professor of population sciences at the University of Utah. Onega began her service at HCI on August 1.

Aug 04, 2020

Scientists Develop New Models to Accelerate Progress in Preventing Drug Resistance in Lung and Pancreas Cancers

Scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah report today the development of new models to study molecular characteristics of tumors of the lung and pancreas that are driven by mutations in a gene named NTRK1. The findings were published today in the journal Cell Reports.

Jul 31, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Research Illuminates Potential New Treatment Approach in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

In a study published in the journal Leukemia, lead author Ami Patel, MD, showed that factors produced by bone marrow support cells allowed leukemia cells to survive treatment with quizartinib, a type of TKI.

Jul 29, 2020

Researchers Outline Need for Further Evaluation of Gene Expression Profiling in Melanoma Patients

A consensus statement published today in JAMA Dermatology by an international group of melanoma researchers evaluates the use of prognostic genetic expression profile (GEP) testing to guide clinical management of patients with melanoma. The group cautioned against routine use of currently available GEP tests for patients with cutaneous melanoma.

Jul 29, 2020

Letter of Hope: Sarcoma Research in the KB Jones Lab

You may not see us during a visit to Huntsman Cancer Institute. But rest assured, we are working hard to learn more about sarcoma in the research building next door. We are committed to learning the most we can in order to do the best we can for every patient. Read this Letter of Hope to sarcoma patients and their loved ones, from the KB Jones Lab.

Jul 21, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Receives Renewal of Prestigious Designation from the National Cancer Institute

The National Cancer Institute has renewed the designation of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, the highest federal rank possible for a cancer research organization. This grant awards HCI more than $29 million over seven years, an increase of 84% in annual funding from the previous award cycle.

Jul 17, 2020

Talks with Docs: Heloisa Soares, GI Oncologist

Heloisa Soares, MD, PhD, is not simply a GI oncologist or neuroendocrine tumor expert. She is also a passionate patient advocate and had the opportunity to meet members of Congress about improved patient care. Learn about her advocacy work, Brazilian upbringing, and more.

Jul 08, 2020

New Clues from Fruit Flies about the Critical Role of Sex Hormones in Stem Cell Control

In one of the first studies addressing the role of sex hormones’ impact on stem cells in the gut, scientists outline new insights showing how a steroidal sex hormone, that is structurally and functionally similar to human steroid hormones, drastically alters the way intestinal stem cells behave, ultimately affecting the overarching structure and function of this critical organ.

Jun 26, 2020

A Study of Early-Onset Colorectal Cancer in Young Adult Men Reveals “Hotspots” of Death in the United States

Over the last three decades, colorectal cancer survival in the United States has improved significantly. But in young people incidence and mortality due to colorectal cancer are on the rise. Even among patients with early-stage colorectal cancer, racial disparities have grown more pronounced, with survival after colorectal cancer diagnosis poorer among African Americans compared with whites. Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, is working to better understand these factors in young people with colorectal cancer in order to help improve outcomes and reduce related disparities from this preventable disease.

Jun 02, 2020

Researchers Identify a Moving Target in Small Cell Lung Tumors

About 15 percent of lung cancers are classified as small cell lung cancer. Recent studies have indicated that four major subtypes of small cell lung cancer exist, yet approaches to tailor treatment of these subtypes have not yet become standard of care. Today in the journal Cancer Cell, scientists outline new findings about the origins of these lung cancer subtypes, paving the way for a new foundation to study this disease.

May 29, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Demonstrate Better Outcomes, Lower Cost in First-Ever Oncology Hospital-at-Home Evaluation

Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah presented the first outcomes evaluation of an adult oncology hospital-at-home program today at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. The study evaluated patients participating in HCI’s Huntsman at HomeTM. The data demonstrate strong evidence for this care model, showing improved patient outcomes, including reduced hospitalizations and decreased visits to the emergency department.

May 27, 2020

Utah Researcher Awarded Prestigious Grant to Study New Ways to Detect Brain Tumors

Hunter Underhill, MD, PhD, a Huntsman Cancer Institute brain cancer researcher and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Utah, was awarded a special National Cancer Institute grant to advance his research in brain tumor detection. Underhill will pursue new ways to detect glioblastoma, a type of aggressive and deadly brain tumor.

May 26, 2020

Melanoma Research Innovations

At Huntsman Cancer Institute, we're committed to delivering a cancer-free frontier. Our cancer researchers are on the cutting-edge of discovery and innovation, and we're excited by what these advancements mean for melanoma prevention and treatment. Together, we're building the future we want.

May 08, 2020

2020 State of Huntsman Cancer Institute Address

On May 6, 2020, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) CEO Mary Beckerle, PhD, gave her State of HCI address. This event is an annual tradition at HCI, where the CEO reports on progress of the past year and plans for the future. Less ordinary during this global coronavirus pandemic, however, was the format. Dr. Beckerle spoke to faculty and staff safely via live video stream.

Apr 29, 2020

Researchers Find New Insights Linking Cell Division to Cancer

Scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah and collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco published research in the journal Nature extending our understanding of the process of cell division. They discovered the protein LEM2 has two important functions during cell division.

Apr 24, 2020

Research Advancing Individualized Treatment for Metastatic Prostate Cancers

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer for men in the United States. About one man in nine will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in his life. A study recently published in The Lancet’s EBioMedicine Journal describes new insights into how unique genetic traits of metastatic prostate tumors that are shed into the blood of cancer patients can be used for applying to the care of and potential molecularly targeted treatments in individual patients.

Apr 23, 2020

Working to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities in the Mountain West

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Geographic Management of Cancer Health Disparities program (GMaP) is an initiative of HCI’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and is part of a nationwide program by the National Cancer Institute. Organizations from seven hubs across the country work to reduce cancer health disparities and support career development for researchers and trainees who work on cancer health disparities.

Mar 09, 2020

Talks with Docs: Don Ayer, Cancer Researcher

Don Ayer, PhD, is a leader in the study of gene regulation and its role in normal and cancer cell growth. He believes the best scientists are the ones who are most creative and can think outside the box. Join the conversation in this clip with Dr. Ayer about diversity in the cancer research workforce and why representation matters.

Mar 09, 2020

HCI Post-Doctoral Fellow Receives Award from the National Cancer Institute

Aria Vaishnavi, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has received the first annual National Cancer Institute Pathway to Independence Award for Outstanding Early Stage Postdoctoral Researchers. The “Early K99” grant supports researchers who need only a short period of training and mentorship after their doctoral degrees and before they’re hired into a faculty position.

Mar 04, 2020

Paving the Way for Indigenous Scholars

The PathMaker Program definitely had a significant impact on my career path. It was what opened the door to the research world and provided me with the support I needed even after completing the program. I learned that even though my internship ended, the relationships and contacts I gained in the program did not. PathMaker has helped me in every step of my career, and I will be forever grateful.

Mar 03, 2020

HCI Researcher Finds Possible Reason for Lung Cancer Driver

About one-third of lung cancer patients who have never smoked have a small portion of DNA missing in the gene called EGFR. This missing portion is a mutation that drives cancer and causes tumors. In a recent study, Lyska Emerson, MD, looked at the patterns of four non-mutated EGFR genes. She was in search of a “destabilizing DNA sequence.” This sequence could explain why that portion of the DNA—called the exon 19 deletion—goes missing in some people.

Mar 01, 2020

Saving More Than Time: Shortened Radiation Therapy

Traditionally, breast cancer patients who receive radiation get small doses almost daily over a six- to seven-week period. Radiation oncologists are now seeking to shorten that time through clinical trials.

Mar 01, 2020

Message from Neli Ulrich

Every day at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), members of our more than 200 cancer research teams enter the doors with a strong sense of responsibility to make a difference in the cancer challenges we face. They bring expertise from all over the world and are recognized for their exceptional collaboration.

Mar 01, 2020

To Understand Cancer from Its Beginnings

By better understanding cancer in its earliest stages—and a deeper knowledge of healthy cell behavior—we shed light on the precursors of cancer and what allows a cancer to grow. Read just a few highlights of noteworthy recent studies at HCI that advance our quest to understand cancer from its beginnings and to use that information in the creation and improvement of new cancer treatments.

Mar 01, 2020

The Air Apparent: Pollution, Cancer, and Health

For all of its breathtaking mountainous beauty, Salt Lake City comes with the tradeoff of periodic poor air. In the 2019 “Health of the Air” report by the American Thoracic Society, Salt Lake ranked 23rd among U.S. cities with the highest health impacts due to air quality. Among those most vulnerable are the elderly and children.

Mar 01, 2020

From Notion to Knowledge: Cancer Research Saves Lives

Clinical trials at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) help find better ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancer by testing the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and treatments. On average, there are between 150–200 clinical trials open to HCI patients at any given time.

Mar 01, 2020

El poder de la cooperación: juntos más fuertes

A través de una colaboración con la Asociación de Salud Comunitarios de Utah (AUCH por sus siglas en inglés) y el programa de prevención y control de tabaco del Departamento de Salud de Utah, los investigadores de Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI por sus siglas en inglés) están colaborando con más de 30 centros de salud comunitarios en todo Utah en un nuevo estudio dirigido a mejorar el compromiso con el tratamiento para el cese del tabaco basado en la evidencia para reducir la muerte y la enfermedad causada por el tabaco.

Mar 01, 2020

The Power of Partnership: Stronger Together

Through a collaboration with the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH) and the Utah Department of Health Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) researchers are collaborating with more than 30 community health centers across Utah on a new study aimed at improving engagement with evidence-based tobacco cessation treatment to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco.

Mar 01, 2020

Mensaje de Neli Ulrich

Todos los días en Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI, por sus siglas en inglés), los miembros de nuestros más de 200 equipos de investigación del cáncer entran por la puerta con un fuerte sentido de responsabilidad para marcar la diferencia en los desafíos que enfrentamos respecto al cáncer. Traen experiencia de todo el mundo y son reconocidos por su colaboración excepcional.

Mar 01, 2020

Entender el Cáncer desde sus Inicios

Mediante una mejor comprensión del cáncer en sus etapas más tempranas—y un conocimiento más profundo del comportamiento de las células saludables—esclarecemos los precursores del cáncer y lo que permite que un cáncer crezca. Lea algunos puntos destacados de estudios notables recientes en HCI que impulsan nuestro empeño por entender el cáncer desde sus inicios y usar dicha información en la creación y las mejoras de nuevos tratamientos contra el cáncer.

Mar 01, 2020

El aire aparente: contaminación, cáncer y salud

A pesar de su impresionante belleza montañosa, Salt Lake City viene con la compensación de un aire pobre periódico. En el informe "Salud del aire" de 2019 del American Thoracic Society, Salt Lake se clasificó en el puesto 23 entre las ciudades estadounidenses con mayor impacto en la salud debido a la calidad del aire. Entre los más vulnerables están los ancianos y los niños.

Mar 01, 2020

De la noción al conocimiento: la investigación oncológica salva vidas

Las pruebas clínicas en Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI por sus siglas en inglés) ayudan a encontrar mejores formas de prevenir, diagnosticar y tratar el cáncer, al poner a prueba la seguridad y efectividad de nuevos fármacos y tratamientos. En promedio, existen 150-200 ensayos clínicos abiertos a pacientes de HCI en cualquier momento dado.

Mar 01, 2020

Ahorrando mucho más que el tiempo: la radioterapia acortada

Traditionally, breast cancer patients who receive radiation get small doses almost daily over a six- to seven-week period. Radiation oncologists are now seeking to shorten that time through clinical trials.

Feb 25, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Translational Scholars: Courtney Scaife, MD

Huntsman Cancer Institute has established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars, an initiative that recognizes excellence in the discipline of translational science. Courtney Scaife, MD, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award.

Feb 24, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Translational Scholars: Benjamin L. Maughan, MD, PharmD

Huntsman Cancer Institute has established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars, an initiative that recognizes excellence in the discipline of translational science. Benjamin L. Maughan, MD, PharmD, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award.

Feb 21, 2020

Chasing—and Catching—His Dreams

To say that the PathMaker Program made an impact on my life would be a huge understatement. I learned so much from my PathMaker experience, I honestly could write a book about it. Because of the skills I learned, the connections I made, and the amazing mentorship I received, the program instilled in me a drive to continue to chase my dreams.

Feb 20, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute to Host 7th Annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference

The 7th annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Research Conference will be hosted by Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine and Theresa’s Research Foundation on September 10 and 11, 2020. Participants from around the world are invited to discuss metastatic breast cancer including ongoing research and new ideas from early career scientists.

Feb 18, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Launches New Cancer Genetics Center

A new research initiative at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah builds upon Utah’s history of genetic discovery to inform strategies that help affected families reduce their cancer risk. Called the Center for Cancer Genetics at HCI, its initial work includes two statewide projects designed to advance understanding of genetic predisposition of cancer and other disease.

Feb 11, 2020

Researchers Discover a Key Protein in Endometrial Cancer Growth

The hormone estrogen plays many critical roles in men and women, in both healthy tissues and in cancer. In breast and gynecologic cancers, estrogen sends signals to tumors instructing the cancer cells to grow out of control. . In endometrial cancer, which arises in the lining of the uterus, estrogen is known to play a critical role in tumor development, yet many insights from how it affects breast cancer do not apply to endometrial cancer. New research from HCI Researchers outlines findings scientists hope will advance our understanding of endometrial cancer and lead to more effective treatments.

Feb 07, 2020

New CAR-T Target Yields Promising Results for Multiple Myeloma

Too many patients with cancers like multiple myeloma relapse after treatment. This grim reality motivated researchers at HCI to try to improve the depth and durability of treatment response in multiple myeloma through a new cancer cell targeting mechanism. In research published in the journal Nature Communications, HCI scientists describe a novel way to treat cancers using chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy.

Feb 07, 2020

HCI Researcher Receives Award to Study Skin Cancer Prevention Behaviors in Children and Families

Yelena Wu, PhD, has been awarded a multi-year Research Scholar Grant totaling nearly $800,000. This award, given by the American Cancer Society, will expand Dr. Wu’s work to rigorously test new behavioral interventions to promote implementation of skin cancer prevention behaviors among Utah children and their parents.

Jan 24, 2020

Two HCI Researchers Receive Prestigious Grant to Study Liver Cancer

Kimberley Evason, MD, PhD, and Gregory Ducker, PhD, were two of only twelve scientists nationwide to receive a Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award. This award is given by the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation annually to help “exceptionally creative thinkers” who pursue “high-risk, high-reward” research concepts.

Jan 16, 2020

Talks with Docs: Sheri Holmen, Cancer Researcher

Sheri Holmen, PhD, wished to make an impact on the lives of people experiencing cancer and found that becoming a researcher would allow her that and more. When she's not in her lab, Dr. Holmen will often spend time with her children in their many athletic activities, which led her to become nationally certified to officiate swim competitions. Learn this and more in this edition of Talks with Docs.

Jan 13, 2020

Huntsman Cancer Institute Translational Scholars: Randy Jensen, MD, PhD

Huntsman Cancer Institute has established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars, an initiative that recognizes excellence in the discipline of translational science. Randy Jensen, MD, PhD, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award.

Jan 09, 2020

First-Ever Genomic Study of Puberty Yields Insights into Development, Cancer, and Infertility

In the first-ever genome-scale analysis of the puberty process in humans, researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah outline distinct and critical changes to stem cells in males during adolescence. They further outline how testosterone, and the cells that produce testosterone, impact stem cells in male reproductive organs.

Nov 25, 2019

Holmen Receives Prestigious Melanoma Research Award

The Society for Melanoma Research recently presented Sheri Holmen, PhD, with the prestigious Estela Medrano Memorial Award. Holmen is a melanoma researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute and a professor of surgery at the University of Utah. This award was created in honor of the late Estela Medrano, a leader in melanoma research. The Estela Medrano Award is given annually to a woman who has made major contributions in the fight against melanoma.

Nov 20, 2019

Letter of Hope: Lung Cancer Research in the Oliver Lab

We know how cancer impacts your lives. It has touched our lives too. We want you to know we are working hard every day to uncover clues and new strategies for treating lung cancer. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death in the United States and in Utah. Unfortunately, funding for lung cancer research is relatively low. Yet we know that people of all ages can develop lung cancer, including non-smokers, and our discoveries in lung cancer can affect the treatment of many types of cancer.

Oct 31, 2019

Complex Cellular Machine Visualized to Yield New Insights in Cancer

Cellular machines that control chromosome structure, such as the RSC complex, are mutated in about one-fifth of all human cancers. Now, for the first time, scientists have developed a high-resolution visual map of this multi-protein machine, elucidating how the RSC complex works and what role it has in healthy and cancer cells.

Oct 23, 2019

Huntsman Cancer Institute Awarded $2.5 Million to Engage Underrepresented Utah Students and Their Teachers in Cancer Research

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) has been awarded $2.5 million from the National Cancer Institute’s Youth Enjoy Science Research Education Program to engage Utah high school students and their teachers in cancer research. The program will engage racial and ethnic minorities, economically disadvantaged students, and rural and frontier residents from across Utah in order to increase diversity in biomedical research. The grant, to be funded over five consecutive years, will enable HCI to train 60 students and 20 science teachers through hands-on research experiences.

Oct 01, 2019

Solving a Family Cancer Mystery: Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

When Kiera Jorgensen was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19, she fought not only sarcoma, but also a mystery that had loomed over her family for generations. Now years out of treatment, Kiera has answers and is conducting research to help families like hers better understand a rare genetic mutation.

Sep 30, 2019

International Lifetime Achievement Award in Leukemia Research Awarded to Michael Deininger, MD, PhD

The International Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Foundation (iCMLf) has awarded the prestigious Rowley Prize to Michael Deininger, MD, PhD. Deininger’s selection as the 2019 awardee was announced in February. Formal presentation of the prize occurred at an international scientific conference in Bordeaux, France, earlier this month.

Sep 13, 2019

HCI Researcher Deanna Kepka Receives YWCA Outstanding Achievement Award

YWCA Utah presented Deanna Kepka, PhD, MPH, with an Outstanding Achievement Award in Health and Medicine. Kepka is a Huntsman Cancer Institute investigator, assistant professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing, and adjunct assistant professor at the U of U Department of Population Health Sciences. Kepka studies effective strategies for vaccination uptake against human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers

Aug 15, 2019

Discovery of How Cells Override Genetic Changes Could Lead to New Approaches in Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. It is difficult to diagnose, is often not found until it has spread to other parts of the body, and is mostly untreatable. A discovery by scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah could lead researchers to a more effective way to treat pancreatic cancer.

Aug 01, 2019

BRIGHT Study Finds Genetic Testing Motivates Behavior Changes in Families at Risk for Melanoma

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and melanoma is the most severe type of skin cancer. Utah has a particularly high melanoma rate. A new study led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute collaborators at Northwestern University and Oregon Health and Science University investigated whether genetic testing would motivate people at risk of developing melanoma to alter their behavior in order to reduce their risk.

Jul 26, 2019

2019 State of Huntsman Cancer Institute Address

Huntsman Cancer Institute is celebrating its 20th year since it opened its first building, and has never been in better shape, according to CEO Mary Beckerle, PhD. Beckerle recently delivered her annual State of HCI address to faculty, physicians, staff, and students.

Jul 18, 2019

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Develop Potential New Treatment for MYC-driven Small Cell Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among men and women in Utah and the United States. Often, symptoms do not appear until the disease is advanced. Therefore, research studies toward better practices to prevent, find, and treat lung cancer are paramount. Research from scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute yielded new insights into understanding potential new treatment options for MYC-driven tumors, a distinct subtype of small cell lung cancer.

Jul 16, 2019

Talks with Docs: Yelena Wu, Melanoma Researcher

Dr. Wu is a pediatric and clinical child psychologist, assistant professor of dermatology, and a member of the Cancer Control and Population Sciences Program at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Dr. Wu is interested in improving adherence to medical recommendations among adolescents and young adults with cancer and children who are at elevated risk for melanoma.

Jul 09, 2019

Possible ‘Achilles Heel’ Discovered in Developing Better Drug Treatment in Cancers with Overactive Smoothened Protein

One of the most significant obstacles cancer patients face is resistance to drug treatment. Aggressive tumors often become adept at resisting the powerful drugs used to combat them. Therapeutic agents that were effective at one point may become ineffective as a patient’s tumor evolves and learns to fight the drug. A recent discovery could lead to a better understanding of how cancer patients develop drug resistance.

Jul 03, 2019

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Discover Melanoma Can Spread without Tumor Growth

Utah has the highest rate of melanoma in the United States. Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer that spreads quickly. Allie Grossmann, MD, PhD, focuses on identifying better ways to treat this lethal cancer. In a study recently published by the journal Cancer Research, Grossmann details one of the factors behind how and why melanoma metastasizes so quickly.

Jun 14, 2019

Father’s Day and Our Fight Against Cancer

When Ryan Smith's father was diagnosed with cancer, the two of them decided to dedicate themselves to cancer. They committed that if they ever made any more money or had any influence, they would use the platform and money to fight cancer. And they have and will continue to do so with 5 For The Fight, which invites everybody to give $5 for the fight against cancer.

Jun 06, 2019

Caring for Patients with a Family History of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare, but chances are likely you care for several patients with a family member who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. New data insights outline pancreas cancer screening strategies for certain patients with a family history of the disease.

May 30, 2019

Looking Ahead to New Discoveries during Cancer Research Month

Scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute work hard every day to understand cancer from its beginnings and to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments. To recognize National Cancer Research Month, we asked the leaders of our research programs what projects and goals they are focused on this year.

May 29, 2019

Art Meets Science

Bryan Welm, PhD, has found a unique way to merge his love for science and art.

May 03, 2019

Talks with Docs: Brad Cairns, Cancer Researcher

Brad Cairns, PhD, focuses on determining, at the mechanistic level, how a cell normally regulates processes important to cancer. He is not only a scientist, he also loves mountain biking and jazz music. Learn more about his many passions, including his work at Huntsman Cancer Institute, in this episode of Talks with Docs.

Apr 08, 2019

Cancer Registrars: Capturing the Picture of Cancer

Do you ever wonder how cancer statistics are collected? How doctors determine what cancer treatments are the most effective? Or how public health officials learn where clusters of cancer diagnoses are located? The work that we do as cancer registrars provides answers to these questions.

Apr 01, 2019

Huntsman Cancer Institute Contributes to Colorectal Cancer Research Studies

Huntsman Cancer Institute contributed to two research studies involving how microbes living in and on our body play a role in the development of colorectal cancer.

Mar 28, 2019

Letter of Hope from the Ulrich Group

We can only imagine how hard it must be for patients, along with their caregivers and loved ones, to hear they have cancer. Our shared purpose is to make it so no one has to experience these difficult emotions in the future by researching how to prevent cancer before it happens.

Mar 22, 2019

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Appointed to National Scientific Leadership Roles

Huntsman Cancer Institute's CEO, Mary Beckerle, PhD, and Senior Director of Pre-Clinical Translation, Martin McMahon, PhD, have been appointed to prominent national advisory boards within the National Institutes of Health to provide expert advice on national cancer research initiatives.

Mar 01, 2019

Pancreas Discovery Moves from Lab to Clinic

In less than three years, HCI researchers have taken an idea from concept to lab to clinical evaluation. Conan Kinsey, MD, PhD, and Martin McMahon, PhD, combined two drugs that had not been used in combination before to treat pancreatic tumors. The results were promising and they were able to move from the lab to clinical trial quickly. A clinical trial to test the safety and effect of this drug combination in pancreatic cancer is now underway at HCI and planned at other sites around the United States.

Mar 01, 2019

Together We Advance Research

Cornelia Ulrich, PhD, executive director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at HCI, explains how HCI's community of highly motivated and dedicated researchers, staff, and trainees is focused on one thing: eradicating suffering caused by cancer.

Mar 01, 2019

Exercise for Improved Outcomes

The Precision Exercise Prescription study is a unique collaboration between medical doctors, researchers, physical therapists, and patients. The study looks at how an exercise program tailored for each patient can improve long-term outcomes after lung cancer surgery.

Mar 01, 2019

Finding Familial Cancer Risk

In 2018, a team of researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute received a prestigious National Cancer Institute Cancer Moonshot grant. The grant will fund studies about ways to identify patients who may benefit from genetic counseling and services.

Mar 01, 2019

Meet Our Trainees

Faculty at Huntsman Cancer Institute cultivate the scientists who will carry our lifesaving work into the future. It’s part of our mission. We offer trainee programs for researchers, public health professionals, and care providers such as physicians and advanced practice clinicians. These are some of the more than 425 students training at HCI.

Mar 01, 2019

Clinical Trials: A Look at Recent Progress

Clinical trials test the safety and effectiveness of new cancer drugs and treatments. They help us find better ways to prevent, diagnose, or treat cancer. At any given time, Huntsman Cancer Institute has an average of 200 clinical trials open to cancer patients.

Mar 01, 2019

Advancing Hematologic Cancer Research and Care

The Center of Excellence in Hematologic Malignancies and Hematology at Huntsman Cancer Institute is a group of more than three dozen doctors and scientists dedicated to hematologic cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Integration and collaboration across disciplines will improve clinical care and advance research in these complicated diseases.

Feb 08, 2019

Last Year’s Biggest Advances in Cancer Research

The American Society of Clinical Oncology recently published Clinical Cancer Advances, their 2019 annual report on the progress against cancer. The report examines the most transformative research of the past year and looks ahead to future research priorities. Two physician-scientists from Huntsman Cancer Institute contributed to the report.

Jan 07, 2019

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Thomas Varghese Jr., MD, MS

HCI established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Thomas Varghese Jr, MD, MS, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award.

Nov 15, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Announces New Phase I Clinical Trial Director

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has appointed Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, MD, PhD, as director of its Phase I Clinical Trials unit. In this position, Garrido-Laguna will oversee all aspects of HCI’s Phase I clinical trials.

Nov 01, 2018

Lung Cancer Research Foundation Awards $1.95 Million in Research Grants

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) announced the awardees of its 2018 Scientific Grant Program today during the Thirteenth Annual Lung Cancer Awareness Luncheon, held at The Pierre in New York City. Through this program, LCRF awarded $1.95 million in research grants to 13 investigators for innovative research focused on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of lung cancer. LCRF received a record-breaking 201 grant applications, representing 116 institutions and 21 countries in 2018.

Oct 19, 2018

Letter of Hope from the Zangle Lab

Just a little way down the hill from Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Zangle Lab in the Department of Chemical Engineering is working on new technologies to choose the most effective therapies for each individual patient with breast cancer. We are excited about a project that takes a new approach to measure the growth of cancer cells and predict which drugs may be most beneficial to patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer.

Oct 18, 2018

Breaking The Link Between Obesity and Gastrointestinal Cancers

By unraveling the link between obesity and gastrointestinal cancers, researchers hope to develop effective treatments and strategies for lowering cancer risk. A team of scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute published a wide review of findings on the biological links between obesity and gastrointestinal cancers. They also examined studies on how diet, exercise, and other weight-related interventions may help reverse this connection.

Oct 17, 2018

Study Reveals Reasons Why African American Men Are Underrepresented in Prostate Cancer Research

African American men experience significant health disparities. They are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer as white men, yet they are underrepresented in prostate cancer research. A new study by Charles R. Rogers, PhD, MPH, MS, CHES®, uncovers attitudes toward prostate cancer research among African American men and suggests strategies to increase participation in research. The study is included in a new collection of research on health disparities impacting African American men.

Oct 15, 2018

Low-Dose Aspirin May Lower Risk of Ovarian Cancer

Women who reported recent, regular use of low-dose aspirin had a 23% lower risk of ovarian cancer when compared with women who did not regularly take aspirin, according to research led by Mollie Barnard, ScD, a postdoctoral fellow at Huntsman Cancer Institute.

Sep 19, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, MD, PhD

Huntsman Cancer Institute established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, MD, PhD, is a physician-scientist who treats patients with pancreatic cancer.

Aug 31, 2018

Our 2018 Community Open House

Every year, we open our doors to share our mission and educate our community about cancer prevention and research.

Aug 10, 2018

Nurturing Future Cancer Researchers in the PathMaker Program

The PathMaker program is a stepping stone for students interested in a career in health sciences or STEM with backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical workforce.

Aug 07, 2018

Research Identifies New Treatment Targets in Breast Cancer

Scientists at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, in collaboration with the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, have generated the first single cell resolution atlas of genes that control the formation of breast tissue. The atlas provides a comprehensive molecular map that will be used to help researchers understand how breast cancers form and to pinpoint new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disease.

Aug 01, 2018

Study of Utah Lung Cancer Patients Finds Those Who Never Smoked May Have Genetic Predisposition for Cancer

Despite Utah's low smoking rate, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death in Utah. In addition, lung cancer in people who have used tobacco and people who have never smoked behaves differently. Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute wanted to know why.

Jul 31, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Howard Colman, MD, PhD

Huntsman Cancer Institute established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Howard Colman, MD, PhD is a physician-scientist specializing in the treatment of brain tumors and the diagnosis and management of neurologic complications of cancer.

Jul 20, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Named Among Most Beautiful Hospitals in the US

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has been named among a list of the Top 20 Most Beautiful Hospitals in the US.

Jul 18, 2018

Beckerle Provides 2018 State of Huntsman Cancer Institute Address

The state of Huntsman Cancer Institute is strong and focused, according to CEO Mary Beckerle, PhD. The annual presentation to faculty, staff, and students is a chance for Dr. Beckerle to reflect on accomplishments of the prior year and outline priorities for the future.

Jul 13, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Names Cornelia Ulrich as Director of its Cancer Research Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah today announced the appointment of Cornelia Ulrich, PhD, MS, as director of its National Cancer Institute-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. She will oversee HCI’s academic consortium of nearly 200 cancer research teams. Ulrich will lead efforts to advance HCI’s research in laboratory, clinical and population science, with the goal of improving cancer prevention and treatment.

Jul 11, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researcher Receives Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute

Huntsman Cancer Institute physician-scientist Ahmad Halwani, MD, has been selected by the National Cancer Institute to receive a Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award. This award recognizes physician-scientists for their contributions to clinical cancer research. It also provides financial support for ongoing research and leadership development to enable recipients to further advance their clinical research careers.

Jul 09, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Adam Cohen, MD, MS

Huntsman Cancer Institute established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Adam Cohen, MD, MS, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award. He is a researcher and physician, specializing in neuro-oncology and breast oncology.

Jun 21, 2018

5 Questions about Clinical Trials

Are you thinking about taking part in a clinical trial? Read these five frequently asked questions about clinical trials.

Jun 14, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Physicians Attend and Share Expertise at National Cancer Meeting

“Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine,” was the theme of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2018 annual meeting held June 1-5, 2018 in Chicago. One of the largest scientific conferences in the world, the meeting brings together nearly 40,000 attendees and features thousands of studies about new ways to prevent, detect, and treat cancer.

Jun 11, 2018

Letter of Hope from the Gertz Lab

It is patients like you, your loved ones, and Dr. Gertz's parents who keep us motivated and excited to find ways to help in the fight against this terrible disease. We appreciate everything you do as patients—like donating samples and participating in clinical trials—and we want you to know that we are doing everything we can to help patients with breast and uterine cancer.

Jun 07, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Partners with Nation’s Top Cancer Centers to Endorse Goal of Eliminating HPV Related Cancers in the United States

Nearly 80 million Americans—one out of every four people—are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV). And of those millions, more than 31,000 will be diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer this year. Despite those staggering figures and the availability of a vaccine to prevent the infections that cause these cancers, HPV vaccination remains low in the United States.

May 30, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute and TGen receive $6.7 million grant to battle a hidden enemy

Often what kills cancer patients is not the cancer at its original or primary site, but its spread to secondary sites within the body, through a process called metastasis. In the case of breast cancer, the tumor often spreads to the bone, and it is this bone metastasis that results in intense pain and precedes spread to other organs.

May 23, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Deborah Stephens, DO

HCI established the Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Deborah Stephens, DO, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award. She is the physician leader of Hematology Clinical Trials at Huntsman Cancer Institute and is also an assistant professor in the Division of Hematology and Hematologic Malignancies at the University of Utah.

May 18, 2018

Space Could Be the New Frontier for Cancer Research

On May 16, 2018, HCI hosted a NASA astronaut and a team from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space to discuss the opportunity of researching cancer in space.

May 10, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute First Adult Cancer Hospital in Mountain West to Offer CAR T Cell Therapy to Patients

Huntsman Cancer Institute announced today that it has been certified to offer both chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The therapies are approved for types of aggressive blood cancers, including B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. HCI is one of a few locations nationwide, and the only in the Mountain West, approved to offer these new therapies to adult cancer patients.

May 09, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Theresa Werner, MD

HCI established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Theresa Werner, MD, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award. She is the medical director of Clinical Trials and treats patients with gynecologic cancers.

May 08, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Opens Center for HOPE and is Awarded $9.7 Million to Improve Health Among Underserved Populations

Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah today announced the opening of the Cancer Population Sciences and Huntsman Center for Health Outcomes and Population Equity (HOPE), a new research and clinical space dedicated to preventing cancer and improving health among underserved populations and improving outcomes in cancer patients. The center recently received $9.7 million from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to fund a clinical trial researching new and effective approaches to reduce tobacco use.

Apr 27, 2018

Huntsman Cancer Institute Researchers Attend and Share Expertise at National Cancer Meeting

“Driving Innovative Cancer Science to Patient Care” was the theme of the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, which took place April 14-18 in Chicago. Huntsman Cancer Institute faculty and staff joined almost 22,000 other scientists, physicians, and patient advocates from around the world to share the latest findings in translational, clinical, and prevention-focused cancer research.

Apr 26, 2018

Huntsman Translational Scholars: Robert Andtbacka, MD, CM

HCI established The Society of Huntsman Translational Scholars to recognize excellence in the discipline of translational science. Robert Andtbacka, MD, was recently honored with a Huntsman Translational Scholar award and will also lead the group for the coming year.

Mar 28, 2018

Two PathMaker Alumni Selected for Prestigious Research Program

The PathMaker Cancer Research Program is for high school and undergraduate students with backgrounds underrepresented in the biomedical workforce. Under the mentorship of an HCI scientist, PathMaker scholars conduct research and build a foundation for careers in health professions and biomedical research. 

Mar 13, 2018

Young Adults Needed for Social Media Study

The Young Adult Cancer Caregiver study is currently recruiting participants. The study will look at how social media may help or hinder young adults who take care of a cancer patient.

Feb 27, 2018

New understanding of enzyme’s role in development of certain brain and spinal cord tumors

In a study recently published in Acta Neuropathologica, L. Eric Huang, MD, PhD, Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher and associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Utah, and colleagues report on new findings in the function of an enzyme, IDH1, in the development of gliomas. Gliomas are life-threatening tumors of brain or spinal cord tissue, and this type of tumor affects approximately 25,000 people each year. As changes in IDH1 are found in the vast majority of gliomas, understanding the impact of IDH1 enzyme function is critical to advancing research in this disease.

Feb 15, 2018

Building onto a Dream: The Primary Children's and Families' Cancer Research Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute began in 1995 with an empty lot and a dream full of promise. Twenty-two years later, HCI opened a major expansion that doubled its research capacity.

Feb 15, 2018

Total Cancer Care: Coming Together to Find Cures

Christina Ratcliff enrolled in HCI's Total Cancer Care study, a partnership among patients, health care providers, and researchers to help accelerate cancer research and improve patient care.

Feb 15, 2018

Encouraging Lifelong Cancer Prevention in Youth

Through community partnerships, Huntsman Cancer Institute is reaching adolescent and young adult populations where they are—in schools, neighborhoods, and communities—with an educational plan for a lifetime of healthy living.

Feb 15, 2018

Bench to Bedside

Advancing discoveries made in the lab to medical treatments that can be used in patient care is complex and time-consuming. Commonly called clinical translation, this process can be thought of much like translating something from one language to another.

Feb 15, 2018

Developing Better Targeted Therapies

Targeted therapy in cancer treatment is often called personalized or precision medicine, according to the National Institutes of Health. Targeted therapies are designed to be more effective and less harmful than other approaches because the drugs are specially designed to meet the individual characteristics of each patient.

Feb 15, 2018

Training the Next Generation of Cancer Researchers

Over the years, there have been many landmark discoveries in the effort to eradicate cancer. Progress can only continue with well-trained and passionate researchers and physicians. Huntsman Cancer Institute faculty work with students of all ages to cultivate the next generation of scientists who will carry on this life-saving work.

Jan 30, 2018

Smartphone App Shows Promising Results in Helping Young Cancer Patients Take Medications on Time

Remembering to take medication can be a struggle for anyone, but it’s usually a tougher challenge for teens and young adults with cancer. A recent study shows using a smartphone reminder app helps patients in this age group take medication as prescribed.

Jan 26, 2018

Early Career Researcher Receives Merit Award for Colorectal Cancer Research

Post-doctoral fellow Andreana Holowatyj, PhD, received an award for her work studying colorectal cancer in young adults from the Conquer Cancer Foundation of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Dec 22, 2017

New Endowed Chair Holders at HCI

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) is pleased to announce the appointment of two of our colleagues as holders of prestigious endowed chairs at the University of Utah. Endowed chairs recognize academic distinction, promote excellence, and provide funds for cutting-edge research.

Nov 15, 2017

HCI Trainee Receives NCI Graduate Diversity Supplement

Kali Dale, a graduate research assistant at HCI, was selected to receive the National Cancer Institute Graduate Diversity Supplement.

Nov 14, 2017

Can Immunotherapy Help Patients with Pancreatic Cancer?

Immunotherapy has shown to be an effective treatment for several types of cancer. Is pancreatic cancer one of them? Ignacio Garrido-Laguna, MD, PhD, answers that question during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

Oct 06, 2017

HCI Trainee Wins NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award

Gurkan Mollaoglu, a graduate student in the Oliver Lab, received an F99 NCI Predoctoral to Postdoctoral Fellow Transition Award. This prestigious grant recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students who have demonstrated potential and interest in pursuing careers as independent cancer researchers.

Sep 19, 2017

Cancer Researchers in Training: Metabolism Is More Than Just Weight Loss

Your body's metabolism is different from a cancer cell's metabolism. Researchers like graduate student Zhizhou Ye are studying how cancer cells rewire their metabolism to survive and grow. Understanding these processes in depth could lead to therapies that stop cancer's growth.

Aug 14, 2017

Help Quitting Smoking

Volunteers are needed for a research study about quitting smoking. Participants will be compensated for their time and nicotine patches will be provided at no cost.

Jul 11, 2017

Cancer Researchers in Training: Studying What Makes Each Cell Unique

RNA modification is an area of cell biology few people have studied, and the idea of exploring the boundaries of the known world is what first attracted graduate student Archana Yerra to a career in science.

Jul 07, 2017

Cancer Summit Highlights Advances in Immunotherapy

Our bodies fight cancer more than we really know, says Dr. Kenneth Grossmann. And, he adds, advances in medicine can help the immune system fight cancer even better.

Jul 03, 2017

Improving the Lives of Sarcoma Patients

Although sarcomas make up a small percentage of adult cancers and about 15 percent of childhood cancers, they are anything but small to the families they affect. The sarcoma program at Huntsman Cancer Institute is dedicated to finding better treatments and a cure for these cancers of the body’s connective tissues, bone, and muscles.

Jun 20, 2017

Governor Gary Herbert Declares Cure Cancer Week in Utah

Governor Gary R. Herbert declared the week of June 19–24, 2017, as Cure Cancer Week in Utah. The proclamation comes during the week Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah dedicates its major research expansion, the Primary Children’s and Families’ Cancer Research Center.

May 15, 2017

Words of Hope for Brain Tumor Awareness Month

For Brain Tumor Awareness Month, Randy Jensen, MD, PhD, wants you to know something: “There is a lot of hope for patients with brain tumors.”

Mar 30, 2017

HCI CEO and Director Testifies before Congress on the Value of Federally-Funded Medical Research

Mary Beckerle, PhD, testified before the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the impact of federally-funded cancer research.

Feb 24, 2017

HCI Researcher Receives Merit Award for Prostate Cancer Research

Huntsman Cancer Institute researcher Andrew Hahn, MD, received the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO Merit Award. The award recognizes young researchers who have made a significant impact to their field of study and promotes clinical cancer research by giving recipients the chance to present their findings at conferences.

Jan 01, 2017

The Importance of Investing in Biomedical Research

Biomedical research helps develop safe and effective disease treatments for all citizens. The 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law in December 2016, includes $4.8 billion to fund research and drug development. The law includes funds for the “Cancer Moonshot,” which seeks to accelerate cancer research in the United States. Cancer researchers at HCI urge the community to continue to support biomedical research.