University of Colorado Cancer Center by the numbers

  • ‚Äč$75.6M (direct) in annual cancer research funding
  • $17.7M (direct) in annual NCI research funding
  • 229 full members and 40 mentored members
  • Includes nearly all academic NCI-funded researchers in Colorado
  • 679 publications in FY19
  • 17% of patients diagnosed at the Center are enrolled in treatment trials
  • scientific programs and 11 shared resources


Our History

Since its inception in 1985, University of Colorado Cancer Center has become the hub of cancer research in the state of Colorado and the Rocky Mountain region. CU Cancer Center focuses on interdisciplinary research conducted in four programs: Cancer Prevention and Control, Molecular and Cellular Oncology, Developmental Therapeutics, and Tumor Host Interactions.

CU Cancer Center has grown to a comprehensive cancer center with a consortium designation from the National Cancer Institute. We received our first five-year NCI cancer center support grant in 1987 as a clinical cancer center and our comprehensive designation in 1997. NCI awarded a formal consortium designation in 2005. Our consortium members include three state universities and three cancer care and research institutions located throughout Colorado.

Our physician-scientists are a national resource for the development and delivery of new and personalized cancer treatments. We are home to an NCI Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in lung cancer which is designed to fast-track new drugs for molecularly targeted subtypes of lung cancer. CU Cancer Center is the coordinating center for the only lung cancer project in the NCI’s Strategic Partnership Evaluating Cancer Signatures (SPECS) program to evaluate and develop tests to predict which early stage squamous lung cancer patients may need additional treatment after surgery. Our melanoma team has been instrumental in clinical trials leading to FDA approval of new classes of drugs targeting the disease; and our specialty clinics, including our Young Women's Breast Cancer Translational Program and oncofertility clinic, are applying new understanding to populations that haven’t been part of the traditional landscape of cancer care.

University of Colorado Hospital, where the majority of our adult cancer patients receive treatment, has climbed in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings from #44 in 2010 to #15 in 2015. Our pediatric cancer patients receive treatment primarily at Children's Hospital Colorado, which U.S. News ranks #9 in pediatric cancer care.

The CU Cancer Center is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network®, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers working to establish and deliver the gold standard in cancer clinical guidelines. CU Cancer Center also is a member of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN), a unique research partnership among North America’s top cancer centers leveraging multiple data sources and matching patients to targeted treatments.