The University of Colorado School of Medicine’s history dates back to 1883, when the university created its Department of Medicine and Surgery on its Boulder campus. For the next several decades, students shuffled between Boulder and Denver for their classes, but in 1911 the School of Medicine merged with the Denver and Gross Medical College, opening the doors for the school’s permanent move to Denver in 1925. That hospital site would later become the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.
The medical center continued to grow throughout the 20th century: In 1947, the hospital was allowed to take responsibility for patients referred from Denver General Hospital. In the 1990s, hospital officials asked the U.S. Department of Defense for permission to repurpose the closed Fitzsimons Army Medical Center as an academic health center. The defense department agreed, and the first university labs moved to the Fitzsimons research towers in 2004. Shortly thereafter, the Fitzsimons campus was renamed the Anschutz Medical Campus in recognition of donations from Philip and Nancy Anschutz.
The university’s board voted to rename the campus as the University of Colorado Denver in 2007, the same year it opened a new $644 million, 820,000-square-foot facility. Today the University of Colorado Hospital is affiliated with Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center, located on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, features a Peritoneal Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic. The clinic treats cancers of the peritoneal (abdominal) cavity, including mesothelioma. Operating as a clinic allows patients to receive care from multiple disciplines including surgery, medical oncology, pathology, radiology and nutritionists. Using the expertise from all these departments enables a patient’s care team to approach their cancer with a multimodal treatment plan using numerous therapies. The members of the care team meet all together in one day and create a treatment plan by the end of the visit. Such quick action improves patient outcomes by fast tracking treatment.
The experience of the facility, and the specialists employed there, further contribute to improved patient outcomes. The surgeons at the Peritoneal Cancer Multidisciplinary Clinic have performed more than 500 cytoreductive surgery/heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (CRS/HIPEC) procedures. They have found that this combination of treatment leads to an improved survival and greater quality of life for patients with peritoneal malignancies, like peritoneal mesothelioma.
Patients treated at the University of Colorado Cancer Center benefit from the center’s more than $75 million in annual cancer research funding and the wide variety of clinical trials offered. Almost 20% of patients diagnosed at the University of Colorado Cancer Center are enrolled in clinical trials. These trials, and the overall multimodal approach to cancer care, have helped the Cancer Center achieve the best 5-year survival rates of any center in the Rocky Mountain region.
- Cytoreductive surgery
- Heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC)
- Intraperitoneal chemotherapy
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
- Systemic chemotherapy
- Employs doctors that are on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network advisory panel
- Member of the Oncology Research Information Exchange Network (ORIEN)
- National Cancer Institute Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center (National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation)
- U.S. News & World Report’s Top Hospital in Colorado
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