A Milestone Worth Celebrating

A Milestone Worth Celebrating

As milestones go, five years isn’t much in the “big picture” of a cancer center. At Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), physicians, nurses, researchers, and other staff are a busy group of people with a mission to understand cancer, improve patient care, and provide education to the community about cancer risk and prevention. Taking time to celebrate isn’t what we do. But I feel the need to hit the pause button and reflect. Stopping to recognize the progress we’ve made, and the challenges we continue to face, can be inspiring and motivating to those of us on the front lines....

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cancer care,

HI-AYA Patient and Family Board Eligibility

HI-AYA Patient and Family Board Eligibility

The Huntsman-Intermountain Adolescent and Young Adult (HI-AYA) program is recruiting members for its Patient and Family Board. The board supports the mission of the HI-AYA Cancer Care Program by advising the program team and advocating for patient and survivor needs. AYAs are people diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 39....

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aya cancer, hi-aya, caregivers,

HCI Cancer Care Is Available in Farmington

HCI Cancer Care Is Available in Farmington

Residents of Davis County now have a closer option for the excellent cancer care Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) provides. The HCI clinic at University of Utah Health Care’s Farmington Health Center, opened in Sept. 2016, offers several cancer treatments:...

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cancer care,

The Crucial Role of Environmental Services

The Crucial Role of Environmental Services

You may think of the department in charge of cleaning the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) cancer hospital as “Housekeeping.” But the name has changed in recent years to Environmental Services (EVS) in order to reflect the department’s many responsibilities. The 55 EVS employees at HCI’s cancer hospital play a crucial role in keeping patients, visitors, and staff safe....

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cancer care, blood and marrow transplant,

New Report Says Having a Healthy Weight Lowers the Risk of More Cancers

New Report Says Having a Healthy Weight Lowers the Risk of More Cancers

People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk for more cancers than previously thought, says a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine August 25, 2016. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) brought together a group of 21 researchers from around the world to look at more than 1,000 studies linking excess body fat and cancer. Neli Ulrich, PhD, senior director of Population Sciences at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), was a member of the group. Ulrich is a cancer researcher who studies lifestyle and biologic factors in cancer prevention and cancer prognosis....

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cancer prevention, cancer research,

Improving the Lives of Sarcoma Patients

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 Disease-Oriented Research Team at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), led by R. Lor Randall, MD, and Jeffrey T. Yap, PhD, is dedicated to finding better treatments and a cure for these cancers of the body’s connective tissues, bone, and muscles....

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HCI Physician Receives Award from National Cancer Institute

HCI Physician Receives Award from National Cancer Institute

Congratulations to Theresa Werner, MD, Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) investigator and University of Utah assistant professor of medicine, who received a 2016 Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Dr. Werner serves as medical director of the HCI Clinical Trials Office and manages an extensive portfolio of cancer clinical studies....

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clinical trials, cancer research, gynecologic cancer,

HCI Convenes Cancer Moonshot Summit

HCI Convenes Cancer Moonshot Summit

Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah participated in a national summit on the Cancer Moonshot initiative on June 29, 2016. The Cancer Moonshot Summits were organized at the request of Vice President Joe Biden, and more than 270 organizations hosted summits that brought together patients and survivors, researchers, physicians, advocates, philanthropists, and data and technology experts to brainstorm ways of speeding up progress in cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care over the next five years—and to ultimately end cancer as we know it....

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cancer moonshot, genetics, cancer research, health equity

HCI Plays Important Role in Cancer Moonshot Initiative

HCI Plays Important Role in Cancer Moonshot Initiative

The Cancer Moonshot Initiative, launched during President Barack Obama’s 2016 State of the Union address and headed by Vice President Joe Biden, is generating excitement and hope in the world of cancer research and care. Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah is playing an important role in these efforts. In addition to hosting a visit by Vice President Biden in February of this year, HCI researchers have continued to accelerate cancer research progress. ...

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cancer moonshot, cancer research,

Letter of Hope from the Varley Lab

Letter of Hope from the Varley Lab

You might not see us during your visit to Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), 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....

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cancer research, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, letter of hope

Nurses Week: A Final Thank You

Nurses Week: A Final Thank You

It is hard to imagine a world without the care of nurses. Thanks to one dedicated woman in particular, we don’t have to. Florence Nightingale is broadly acknowledged and revered as the pioneer of modern nursing. Although most people know her as the “Lady with the Lamp,” she is much more than that....

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nursing, cancer care,

From Special Forces to Oncology Nursing

From Special Forces to Oncology Nursing

Today is Florence Nightingale’s birthday. Born May 12, 1820, she is broadly acknowledged and revered as the pioneer of modern nursing. She is remembered for her organizational skills and addressing sanitation conditions in hospitals and on the battle field....

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nursing, cancer care

A Culture of Safety: Nurses Week, Day 3

A Culture of Safety: Nurses Week, Day 3

The National Nurses Week theme this year is “Culture of Safety.” Huntsman Cancer Institute nurses work hard to maintain a safe environment for our patients. Cancer patients are some of the most vulnerable patients in health care. Due to their treatment or disease, they have compromised immune systems. This means there is a decreased number of white blood cells making it difficult to fight infection. HCI has a nurse dedicated to Infection Prevention. Jamie Fendler assists with monitoring our infection rates, provides training, and assists with policies and processes. Hand hygiene is the #1 method we use along with keeping a clean environment. Other examples of how nurses keep patients safe include fall risk assessment, patient identification, early recognition of concerning vital signs, and communicating information between departments. Nurses are in the hospital 24/7 to provide care and treatments and maintain a safe environment....

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nursing, cancer care, radiation oncology

Finding a Little Fun: Nurses Week, Day 2

Finding a Little Fun: Nurses Week, Day 2

Here at Huntsman Cancer Institute, it’s Day 2 of Nurses Week. For a group of professionals who take their work very seriously, HCI nurses also find time to fit a little “fun” into their lives at work. Many times this involves food or theme events, such as wearing crazy socks. They always find creative ways to bring a smile to a patient as well. Besides being competent at what they do, kind and compassionate to patients and families, they are also a huge support to each other. The work of a nurse is not easy. There are days when they are asked to accomplish more than seems humanly possible. Our HCI motto is “Patient first, United effort, Excellence in all we do.” HCI nurses live this 24/7....

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nursing, cancer care,

Celebrating Our Nurses

Celebrating Our Nurses

Here at Huntsman Cancer Institute, we have an extraordinary team of nurses and support professionals who contribute to our patient care at every step—from clinic visits to infusion to surgery to wellness to family support. I am extremely proud of the high quality of care our nurses deliver to our patients and families who are dealing with the enormous physical and emotional stress of a cancer diagnosis....

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nursing, cancer care,

A Sense of Pride: Our Director of Nursing

A Sense of Pride: Our Director of Nursing

I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to be the Director of Nursing Services at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Officially, Nurses Week starts May 6 and ends May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday. She was an amazing woman. Here are a few things you may not know about nurses:...

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nursing, cancer care

Empowering Thousands with Cancer Information

Empowering Thousands with Cancer Information

My first job out of college was with the Cancer Information Service of Utah and Idaho as a Cancer Information Specialist. We operated out of the Utah Regional Cancer Center in the University of Utah School of Medicine—an office of six people. We were part of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service network. My intention was to work long enough to get my husband through graduate school and then I was going to go to law school. I ended up loving my job because I could help people and make a difference in their lives. I have also loved all my co-workers and colleagues over the years....

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health education, cancer learning center

Providing the Last, Best Hope

Providing the Last, Best Hope

Clinical trials for some cancer patients may be the last, best hope for survival. A phase I trial is the first time a treatment is studied in people—usually a select number of patients who have not had success with other treatments. A rigorous process of approval takes place before doctors test these new therapies on patients for the first time....

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clinical trials, cancer research,

New Treatment Reduces Precancerous Polyps in Hereditary Cancer Patient

New Treatment Reduces Precancerous Polyps in Hereditary Cancer Patient

Inheriting a mutation in the APC gene leads to a nearly 100% lifetime risk of colorectal cancer. While colon cancer can be kept at bay by removing the large intestine, these patients also have up to a 15% risk of getting cancer in the small intestine, which is the leading cause of cancer death in this patient group. A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has identified the first prevention treatment for these patients, a two-drug combination that significantly reduces the number and size of precancerous polyps in the small intestine....

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genetics, colorectal cancer, cancer research, clinical trials

The Huntsman 140: 140 Miles for a Cure

The Huntsman 140: 140 Miles for a Cure

This June, hundreds of cyclists will hit the road between Delta and Salt Lake City, Utah. Many will ride 25 miles, a few will ride the full 140. All will ride to find a cure for cancer. Now in its sixth year, the Huntsman 140 event is a fundraiser to support cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI). This year’s goal is $525,000....

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fundraising events, giving,

NCI-designated Cancer Centers Urge HPV Vaccination for the Prevention of Cancer

NCI-designated Cancer Centers Urge HPV Vaccination for the Prevention of Cancer

Approximately 79 million people in the U.S. are currently infected with a human papillomavirus (HPV), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 14 million new infections occur each year. HPV is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers. HPV is also associated with cancers of the anus, mouth/throat, vagina, and penis. The CDC reports that each year in the U.S., 27,000 men and women are diagnosed with an HPV-related cancer. Even though many of these HPV-related cancers are preventable with a safe and effective vaccine, HPV vaccination rates across the United States remain low....

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cancer prevention, cervical cancer, HPV vaccine, oral cancer, public health