Roswellness Connections offers you helpful health tips, while keeping you connected to the latest Roswell Park news and advances. Each issue also features news about the important impact of your generosity to RPCI and its patients. Feedback? Please email Giving@roswellpark.org or call 716-845-1038. Thank you for your continued support through your gifts and participation in fundraisers like The Ride For Roswell, Goin' Bald for Bucks, Team Cure Challenge, Carly's Club activities, The Paint Box Project and more!
Soy Supplements? Not Advisable, Says Cancer Researcher
While including whole soy foods in your diet can be a good way to get your protein, some experts have expressed concern that soy’s isoflavones (estrogen-like plant compounds) could lead to denser breast tissue, which has been associated with increased risk of breast cancer. Now a study published in the May 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition suggests that taking soy supplements does not affect breast tissue density—but don't rush to stock up on the tablets.
Susan McCann, PhD, RD, Associate Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, cautions that the study provides "no information about how the supplements affected other risk factors, such as hormones. Consuming whole soy foods such as tofu or maybe even soy milk as part of a varied diet is probably not dangerous, even for women with high risk of breast cancer. But it is probably not a good idea to consume isoflavone supplements, because it is not clear how their effects are changed when the compounds are taken out of food."
The Cancer-Depression Connection
It’s not surprising that people with cancer often suffer from depression, but a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that it may be partly the tumor itself that leads to depression, rather than the emotional distress of the disease or side effects from treatments. Investigators put about 100 rats—some of whom had cancerous tumors—through a series of exercises commonly used when testing antidepressants. The rats that had tumors were less motivated to escape during a swimming test, a condition similar to depression in humans, and they were less eager to drink sugar water, a substance that healthy subjects usually enjoy. The authors say malignant tumors produce substances associated with depression, which are transmitted to the brain. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 15 percent to 20 percent of people with cancer experience depression.
In keeping with its mission of providing comprehensive care, Roswell Park Cancer Institute helps patients cope with the stress, anxiety and depression they may experience as the result of a cancer diagnosis. Roswell Park's Psychosocial Oncology Department—often with funding support from community donations made to Roswell Park—offers a range of services to address their spiritual, psychological, emotional, and social needs.
Earlier PSA Tests for Men Recommended
The American Urological Association has issued new guidelines for the age at which men should begin the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test to detect prostate cancer. The new guidelines suggest that men have a "baseline" PSA test at age 40 rather than 50, but also suggest that yearly PSA testing may be too often for many men, such as those found to have very low PSA levels who presumably do not have cancer, or men who are older or in poor health.
James Mohler, MD, Chair of the Department of Urology and founder of the Prostate Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, says the new guidelines “are a step in the right direction, but PSA and digital rectal exam may not be initiated soon enough for men in the high-risk group—African-American men or those with a family history, especially if they have a brother or father who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 65.” Mohler, Chair of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Prostate Cancer Treatment Panel and member of the NCCN Early Detection Guidelines Panel, recommends that all men get a baseline PSA at age 45 and that men in the high-risk category get the baseline at age 35.
Talk with your doctor about the PSA test and learn how your PSA status should be considered along with other risk factors, such as family history and ethnicity, to guide diagnosis and treatment.
Can New Drug Combination Overcome Resistance to Colorectal Cancer Therapy?
Roswell Park scientists are exploring a new method of improving the effectiveness of certain treatments for colorectal patients. Some patients become intolerant or resistant to standard therapies, but the first phase of a recent clinical trial, led by Marwan Fakih, MD, Department of Medicine, shows promise for a new combination of drugs to overcome this resistance.
Patients who were initially resistant to treatments and received the drug combination of 5- fluorouracil (5-FU) and vorinostat showed improvement in length of survival and slowed disease progression.
Colorectal cancer is the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US. Learn more about the study.
Survivors—Share Your Story
Roswell Park is offering cancer survivors an innovative new way to share their personal stories of survivorship with the world: MyRoswellPark.org allows patients, their families and friends to easily share stories, photos, videos and more.
This new online community offers current patients and survivors the chance to share the unique insights and experiences that come with living with cancer. Roswell Park provides care for a large number of cancer survivors, especially those patients who continue to receive follow-up supportive care after they complete active cancer therapy. Explore even more survivorship resources offered by Roswell Park or make a gift to our Survivors campaign.
Roswell Park Honors Prostate Cancer Patients
Roswell Park held a celebration of survivorship for prostate cancer patients and survivors on June 13, 2009. The "Celebrating You" event featured guest speaker Lindy Ruff and a panel discussion with five of Roswell Park's prostate cancer experts, moderated by Mike Robitaille.
Coach Ruff, who knows the importance of teamwork on the ice, shared how it also takes a team to be victorious in the fight against prostate cancer.
During the panel discussion, guests were encouraged to engage Roswell Park experts on the specific quality of life issues men face throughout the journey with prostate cancer. Guests were also welcome to browse a variety of information tables, including the Us TOO Support Group, the newly formed Wives Club and Roswell's own Community Cancer Resource Center. Check out video from our panel discussion to learn more about care options for prostate cancer.
Late-Stage Patient Rides for Others
On Saturday, June 27, thousands of cyclists, volunteers and supporters helped raise more than $2.2 million at The Ride For Roswell 2009, presented by Wegmans and Wellness Sponsor Praxair.
Bill McLaughlin, a cyclist in this year’s Ride and prostate cancer patient whose life was extended by fourteen years thanks to the care at Roswell Park, raised more than $15,000 and rode in the Peloton with his doctor, Dr. Donald Trump, President and CEO of Roswell Park. Bill shared his story with WGRZ’S Adam Benigni in this touching report.
To see more videos and photos from The Ride, visit www.RideConnect.org, and be sure to upload your own!
Donations Help RPCI Researchers Secure $2.8 Million to Study Ovarian Cancer
The National Cancer Institute has awarded a five-year, $2.8-million-dollar Research Project grant to Roswell Park researchers to investigate the role of certain components of the immune system, known as regulatory T cells, in the development of ovarian cancer.
Kirsten Moysich, PhD, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences; Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Department of Gynecologic Oncology; and Lara Sucheston, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, University at Buffalo, are leading the research.
Unlike so-called effector T cells that attack foreign substances in the body, regulatory T cells actually suppress an immune reaction. Roswell Park scientists will, for the first time, conduct a comprehensive investigation of the role of regulatory T cells in ovarian cancer development and prognosis.
"These data will be useful in the development of novel treatment options for ovarian cancer," said Dr. Moysich. "Additionally, physicians may find information concerning regulatory T-cell levels a useful tool as they evaluate the best treatments for their patients." Preliminary research funded by your donations helped Roswell Park researchers secure this important grant.
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecological malignancies and the second most common gynecological cancer in the US.
Events and Giving Opportunities
Suit Up for Carly’s Crossing!
The seventh annual Carly’s Crossing, presented by Creditors Interchange, will be held on Sunday, August 16 at Gallagher Beach on Buffalo’s waterfront. This beloved annual swim in support of pediatric cancer research and care offers swimmers both non-competitive and timed courses—not to mention a great party on the Buffalo waterfront! To register or learn more today, visit www.CarlysCrossing.org.
Don’t forget to join the Carly’s Club cause on Facebook, and keep up-to-date on events like Carly’s Crossing and much more!
Explore Lake Tahoe or Buffalo with Team Cure Challenge
This summer, make the commitment to support Roswell Park and get into shape with Team Cure Challenge. A number of Team Cure Challenge events will be taking place over the coming months, including the Lake Tahoe Marathon.
- Cruise along tree-lined trails amidst majestic rock formations and spectacular views of Emerald Bay, Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe. This event offers more choices than ever: select from a 20-mile, half-marathon, 10K or 5K walk or run; cycle for 35 or 72 miles; or swim one mile in Lake Tahoe. For the most challenging, try a three-day triathlon!
- Or, stay close to home and run in the Tops Markets 5K run on August 29. This USA Track & Field-certified course takes participants on a fun, simple route through Williamsville—the perfect option for runners or walkers of all experience levels who want to have a good time and support a great cause! To learn more or register today, visit www.TeamCureChallenge.com.
Do Your Part for Breast Cancer Patients
This September, you can help support breast cancer patients at the following events by raising funds in support of the WNY Breast Resource Center at Roswell Park:
- Join us on September 19, 2009 for the 15th annual Bosom Buddies. Choose from 1.5-, 3-, or 5-mile routes through historic East Aurora. Register today at www.BosomBuddiesWalk.org!
- ViVA for Life, an Evening of Celebration, will be held on Friday, September 25, at Romanello’s South in Hamburg. This glamorous black-tie event features dinner, dancing and fabulous auction items. Visit www.ViVAforLife.org or call 716-662-6600.
The WNY Breast Resource Center, established in 1997, provides support for breast cancer patients and their families as they experience diagnosis and treatment.
Business Partner of the Month: New Era Cap Co.
New Era New Hope Caps—Available Now!
Roswell Park is proud to partner with New Era Cap Company on the New Era New Hope campaign. If you didn’t have a chance to purchase a New Era New Hope cap at The Ride For Roswell, there’s still time. These hats, personally designed by three cancer patients at Roswell Park and created and produced by New Era Cap Co., are now available at the Roswell Park Gift Shop and at www.PaintBoxProject.com.
Choose from the unique designs created by 10-year-old Mykel, who is battling a Wilms’ tumor; 13-year-old Meghan, fighting a rare form of ovarian cancer, and breast cancer patient Dawn. Celebrate those in your life affected by cancer, or your own survivorship, with these special caps. 100% of proceeds support cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park.