The Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was one of the first three National Cancer Institute-diagnosed Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the nation. Located in Buffalo, New York, Roswell Park was the first institution in the world to focus exclusively on cancer research, though in recent years its mission has expanded to include patient care, cancer prevention, and education. It is the only comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute in Upstate New York and one of only four in the entire state.
With more than 45,000 adult patients seeking advanced treatments at Roswell Park and cancer-stricken children benefiting from its research at the John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, Roswell Park offers compassionate care and innovations that are not available anywhere else, as well as access to clinical trials. Patients at Roswell Park consistently give it high satisfaction scores, which is a reflection of its multidisciplinary approach and commitment to improving patient outcomes.
Facts about the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Roswell Park was one of the first facilities in the country to be recognized by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center.
The facility first opened its doors in 1898 and was named a comprehensive cancer center in 1974, shortly after the National Cancer Institute first began designating facilities that combine research treatment and educational programs that meet rigorous standards and make fundamental contributions to reducing the nation’s cancer burden.
Roswell Park has a staff of over 4,000, including 364 faculty members and 855 nurses.
Last year, the facility reported over 5,000 inpatient admissions and provided outpatient care to nearly 300,000 patients. They currently have over 49,000 patients in active care.
Roswell Park Cancer Institute has 480 funded research projects underway and received $108.5 million in grants and contracts.
In 1950, a Roswell Park physician published one of the first reports linking smoking and lung cancer. Dr. Morton Levin began collecting data about Roswell Park patients’ smoking habits in 1938.
The facility is also a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to collaborating to improve the effectiveness of cancer care delivery through ongoing collection and analysis of data.
Roswell Park conducted the first clinical trial of photodynamic therapy (PDT), a treatment combining laser light and a light-sensitive drug to cause a reaction that kills cancer cells.
Roswell Park has numerous active collaborations with cancer research and training programs around the world, working with labs in Cuba, Australia, Hungary, China, Russia, and more.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center was the vision of Dr. Roswell Park: He wanted to bring pathologists, chemists, biologists, surgeons, and other experts together to try to eradicate the disease. In 1898, he lobbied the New York State Legislature to provide funding for a Pathological Laboratory at the University of Buffalo (UB). That original location was just three rooms in the UB medical school building, but it was notable for being the first laboratory in the world to focus exclusively on cancer research. The original funding for the program was $10,000.
By 1904, one of the center’s scientists had created new methods for testing chemotherapy chemicals. By 1913, Roswell Park opened its first hospital, and in 1920 it began offering radiation as a cancer treatment. It installed a 200,000-volt X-ray machine so that its researchers could compare the effectiveness of radium therapy and radiation therapy, and in the 1950s, Roswell Park introduced combination chemotherapy to leukemia patients, marking an innovative use of the protocol and demonstrating that the disease could be cured.
In 1958, Roswell Park combined forces with the National Cancer Institute and the Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in publishing the results of the nation’s first multi-center oncology trial. The collaboration, which saw all three facilities conducting the same study and sharing data, marked a major change in how research was done in the United States and the world.
In 1972, Roswell Park was named a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute along with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and MD Anderson Cancer Center. The designation recognized the three facilities’ strong basic science programs and innovative clinical research. The center continues to play a major role in cancer innovation, playing a critical role in sequencing the human genome, raising the bar for robot-assisted surgery, speeding the discovery of new immunotherapies, and breaking new ground in T-cell engineering.
Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer Care at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Roswell Park Cancer Center has a highly respected team of specialists who are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of both malignant pleural mesothelioma and malignant peritoneal mesothelioma. Patients treated at the facility will be offered surgery including extrapleural pneumonectomy and the less invasive lung-sparing surgery known as pleurectomy decortication. They may also be treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy, photodynamic therapy, and other innovations.
Patients diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma have access to cytoreduction surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion, a treatment first established at Roswell Park by Dr. John Kane III. Roswell Park is now at the forefront of investigating the effect of a similar procedure that sprays heated chemotherapy drugs directly into the thoracic cavities of patients with pleural mesothelioma before their surgical incisions are closed up.
Beyond providing care, Roswell Park physicians are frequently asked to consult with doctors at other facilities about the best treatment approach for their patients diagnosed with the rare, asbestos-related disease, and the center recently received a subcontract award to contribute to the National Mesothelioma Virtual Bank, providing archival mesothelioma biospecimens to help expand understanding of mesothelioma. Another grant awarded to a Roswell Park researcher will compile information about the impact of photodynamic therapy on mesothelioma tumors.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Care Center has led the way in groundbreaking discoveries for the treatment of malignant mesothelioma, and its efforts continue with ongoing clinical research available to patients with all stages and types of mesothelioma, including mesothelioma that has returned after earlier treatment.
Notable Staff and Mesothelioma Specialists
Roswell Park’s dedicated mesothelioma team is made up of thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and anatomic pathologists who work together to diagnose and assess patients and create the most effective personalized treatment plan. Notable staff includes Dr. John Kane III, who started the world’s first cytoreduction/hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemoperfusion at Roswell Park in 2002. The surgical team includes Dr. Todd Demmy, Dr. Eliabeth Dexter, Dr. Mark Hennon, and Dr. Chukwumere Nwogu, and Dr. Grace Dy is a medical oncologist and Professor of Oncology who is also the Director of Translational Research for Thoracic Medicine at Roswell Park.
As an internationally respected center of innovation for cancer treatment, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center offers state-of-the-art mesothelioma care.Get Your FREE Mesothelioma Packet
Written by Terri Oppenheimer
Terri Oppenheimer has been writing about mesothelioma and asbestos topics for over ten years. She has a degree in English from the College of William and Mary. Terri’s experience as the head writer of our Mesothelioma.net news blog gives her a wealth of knowledge which she brings to all Mesothelioma.net articles she authors.
Page Edited by Patient Advocate Dave Foster
Dave has been a mesothelioma Patient Advocate for over 10 years. He consistently attends all major national and international mesothelioma meetings. In doing so, he is able to stay on top of the latest treatments, clinical trials, and research results. He also personally meets with mesothelioma patients and their families and connects them with the best medical specialists and legal representatives available.