Affiliated with the State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNYB), the Roswell Cancer Institute (RPCI) occupies 27 acres on the 100 acre Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC). The RPCI is the nation’s first cancer center, and it is the only upstate New York institution to hold the National Cancer Institute (NCI) accreditation of ‘Comprehensive Cancer Center’ (CCC). The RPCI provides area residents and the cancer community at large with advanced treatment for all forms of adult and pediatric cancer, as well as cancer education and research facilities in 15 separate buildings that occupy approximately one million square feet of floor space.
In addition to the cancer services at the BNMC, the Cancer Center extends its services to individuals through close associations and affiliations with: the Amherst Center, in Williamsville, NY; Bradford Regional Medical Center in Bradford, PA; Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, NY; King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan; Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, NY; University of Puerto Rico, at the Rio Peidras Campus; WCA Hospital in Jamestown, NY, and Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China.
A National Network of Cancer Education, Treatment, and Research Centers
Cancer awareness has grown steadily in the United States over the years, and much of the credit for this fact is due to the NCI. Established in 1937, the NCI was designated as the chief cancer research agency in the nation, and in the early 1960s, the agency was responsible for the passage of the National Cancer Act (NCA), which was signed into law in 1971. The NCA provided the foundation for a national network of university affiliated Cancer Centers that now exists in all regions of the country. Of the 63 National Cancer Centers, only 41 have received the NCI accreditation of ‘Comprehensive Cancer Center’ (CCC), a rank that is only given to institutions that meet or exceed strict NCI guidelines that govern the delivery of critical cancer services.
Cancer Research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute
The RPCI is nationally recognized as a cancer research pioneer that currently sponsors 522 research projects that are funded by $89.1 million in grants and contracts. The Buffalo institution was the first in the nation to offer cancer patients chemotherapy, and the Cancer Center is responsible for the development of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test that is considered to be the gold standard for early detection of prostate cancer. The RPCI was also one of the first Cancer Centers to establish a link between smoking and lung cancer. Cancer research is a core element of all Cancer Centers, and the RPCI currently maintains eight separate programs that are briefly outlined below:
- Biostatistics: An important component of any research program, data analysis is critical to bench and clinical researchers who rely on the biomathematics, biostatistics, and bioinformatics of this department when it comes to identifying and quantifying the result of a particular field of scientific investigation.
- Cancer Biology: This program concentrates on a number of disciplines, such as gaining increased knowledge of the myriad biological processes of individual cells, pharmaceutics, innovative drug delivery systems, in vivo (live tissue) imaging, and the early detection of cancer.
- Cancer Genetics: The focus here is on the investigation of normal cell behaviors and growth while identifying the anomalies in cell mechanisms and systems that lead to malignant disease. Additionally, genetically inherited predispositions to cancer amongst specific populations is studied in order to discover better methods of cancer diagnostics, prevention, and early detection of cancer.
- Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences: An interdisciplinary area of research that links its works closely with a variety of cancer studies while investigating the occurrence of cancer and associated mortality rates in specific populations. Personal behaviors, genetic markers, etc., are examined to establish clearly defined links to the disease while improving on methods of cancer prevention and treatment through education, pharmaceutics, and other therapies.
- Cell Stress Biology: Another interdisciplinary area of research, cell stress biology focuses on cellular stress and other anomalous mechanisms that present opportunities to develop counteracting chemical or pharmaceutical agents for use in cancer fighting therapies.
- Immunology: Researchers here study the complex interactions between tumors and naturally occurring antibodies within the human immune system. These investigations are designed to lead to the development of innovative antibody therapies for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
- Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB): Scientists at the RPCI are engaged in an area of MCB study that seeks to better understand the differentiation (specialization) of cells in mammals. Differentiated and undifferentiated cancer cells proliferate at different rates, and a clearer understanding of all cellular mechanisms and systems will lead to new cancer fighting therapies.
- Pharmacology and Therapeutics: Again, a multi-departmental, interdisciplinary translational field of scientific investigation that seeks to ‘translate’ the findings of others bench and clinical researchers into the discovery of new drug and other therapies to control cancer while improving the quality of life for those who have the disease.
Patient Care at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute
The RPCI currently has over 26,000 adult and pediatric patients under its care, with approximately 7,200 new patients diagnosed with cancer at the center each year-the Cancer Center had close to 169,000 outpatient visits in the year 2007. Outpatient and inpatient cancer care is offered at various clinics and the RPCI 112 bed hospital facility located on the SUNYB campus. Staffed by 256 physicians and scientists, as well as over 500 nurses, the RPCI offers advanced treatment for all forms of cancer to patients of all ages.
The RPCI offers a wide variety of clinical trials at the Buffalo medical complex, and approximately 50% of its patients will typically qualify for participation in one of these trials that are designed to test the safety and efficacy of new cancer fighting therapies. Cancer care and education is also delivered to individuals in the region through a variety of community outreach programs.
The RPCI offers all cancer patients a wide range of support services that include: nutrition information and counseling; emotional, psychological, and grief counseling; specialized pediatric counseling services; pastoral/clerical services; hospice information; information on lodging, dining, and other logistical resources; ethics counseling; breast and other cancer counseling services; genetics counseling; financial and insurance information services and more.
Contact the Roswell Park Cancer Institute
The main toll-free phone number is (877) 275-7724, and for a more complete phone listing directory or to learn more about the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, please visit their website at www.roswellpark.org/
Roswell Park Cancer Institute
Elm and Carlton Streets
Buffalo, NY 14263
Google map for Roswell Park Cancer Institute