Aging and Cancer



Aging is the greatest risk factor for cancer incidence and mortality. The University of Colorado has begun developing the infrastructure to better understand the intersection of aging and cancer across our state.  This includes studying cancer biology, incidence, therapies, mental and physical health outcomes, and psychosocial aspects of cancer as it relates to the aging process.

Dr. James DeGregori is leading the working group which includes researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado Boulder, and Colorado State University.  The group meets regularly to share research, exchange information, propose cross-disciplinary collaborations, and provide funding opportunities for research teams working on learning more about the relationship aging has with cancer.  The goal is to build and enhance infrastructure that will allow long-term collaboration between basic scientists, clinicians, population and prevention-focused researchers and geriatricians across the state, including rural clinical practices.

Latest in Aging and Cancer from the CU Cancer Center

In 2021, the inaugural year of this formal effort, three projects were awarded $50,000 each for the Cancer Center Aging and Cancer Grants, Check out the links below to stay connected with updates from our working group members.  Explore the list of members here.

Aging and Cancer Focus Groups

In an effort to better understand the intersection of aging and cancer across our state, we are hosting a virtual focus group. The purpose of the focus group is to understand what types of brief geriatric assessments may be practical and helpful within both oncology and primary care practices.

The ultimate goal is to help build a collaborative infrastructure within the state of Colorado to continue to improve cancer care for geriatric cancer patients. If you are interested, please sign up below.

Who is eligible?: 
Any oncology or primary care provider


Virtual, via Zoom (register to receive Zoom link)


Primary Care:

Friday, 4/9 12:15 - 1:00 PM

Monday, 3/29 7:30-8:30 AM



Aging is the greatest risk factor for cancer incidence and mortality. Currently, the rapid expansion of the aged population is directly fueling the increases in a broad spectrum of cancer diagnoses and deaths.  Older adult cancer patients may experience new or worsening functional limitations that impact their cancer-specific outcomes and overall wellbeing. Yet, our preclinical and clinical evidence bases typically include younger “subjects” and are biased toward healthier participants and those without comorbid conditions - leaving large gaps in our understanding of how cancers affect older Populations.


  • Develop and cultivate an interdisciplinary, state-wide collaboration on cancer and aging research homebased at the University of Colorado Cancer Center (UCCC)
  • Develop partnerships with community and rural practices throughout the state to improve the Cancer care in Colorado. 


  • Build infrastructure to promote idea exchange
  • Identify and develop a unified approach to geriatric assessment across academic and community-based oncology and rural primary care practices
  • Identify geriatric assessment and frailty scoring tools that are helpful in varying practice environments statewide 
  • Determine acceptability and feasibility of geriatric assessment tools in community cancer prevention
  • Develop the capacity for patient-centered data collection to learn how we can improve cancer care for older adults in Colorado
pyramid graphic showing the research plan
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