On June 24, hundreds of runners and walkers (wearing their “undies”) lined up at City Park in Denver to show their support of colorectal cancer research at the 2017 Undy 5K run/walk.

The UNDY in Denver helps support the University of Colorado Cancer Center’s Colorado Colorectal Cancer Screening Program (CCSP). CCSP provides underserved Coloradans with resources to determine their colon cancer risk and obtain proper screening procedures. Thanks in part to this event over 25,000 Coloradans have had access to colonoscopies and prevented 700 cancers from occurring.  It also supports colorectal cancer research at CU Cancer Center.

This year the University of Colorado Cancer Center team boasted 40 participants and was led by Christopher Lieu, MD, CU Cancer Center member and medical oncologist at UCHealth.

“This event is one I look forward to each year.  It’s gratifying to see so many people come together to support colorectal cancer awareness. It’s a serious subject but the event is uplifting and a way for all of us to show support for people with this cancer and their families,” says Lieu. “The race raises support for colorectal cancer prevention for patients who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford screening.  It also supports colorectal cancer research here in Colorado, where we are investigating new and better ways to prevent and treat colorectal cancer.”

Lieu’s research and clinical practice focus on young people with colon cancer and their genetically distinct form of the disease. These patients may need specialized multidisciplinary care to improve their outcomes and to prevent potential side-effects of treatment.