At this time of thanksgiving, we wish to thank you, our dedicated donors and friends of Roswell Park, for your generous gifts. Thank you for your continued support through your donations 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! Feedback? Please email Giving@roswellpark.org or call 716-845-1038.
Ovarian Cancer Vaccine Offers Hope Against the "Silent Killer"
Most cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed after the disease has spread beyond the ovaries and is more difficult to treat. But now there’s hope: a vaccine developed at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) that has already shown promising results in patients is being produced for clinical testing. The vaccine's developer, Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Professor and Research Program Director in Gynecologic Oncology, is Principal Investigator of an open Phase I clinical trial of the vaccine at RPCI that will test its safety and effectiveness.
The vaccine is designed to trigger an immune response in the significant number of ovarian cancer patients whose tumors test positive for the antigen NY-ESO-1. Christine Sable (pictured) of Lancaster, PA, enrolled on an early Phase I trial of the vaccine in February 2004 after undergoing surgery and chemotherapy elsewhere for ovarian cancer that had spread to other areas of the abdomen. The vaccine induced a strong immune response, and Christine recently reached the sixth anniversary of her diagnosis cancer-free.
“To have had this many years cancer-free is really amazing," said Sable. "Roswell Park is such an incredible place, and it has given so many people hope, and given them their lives back."
For more information about the ovarian cancer trial at Roswell Park, click here.
Your Donations at Work
Gifts to Roswell Park were instrumental in helping Dr. Odunsi develop his vaccine in earlier studies so that it could successfully move forward to the clinical research phase.
Marketing Death: Installation Exposes Tobacco Companies' Tactics
Celebrate Lung Cancer Awareness Month with a visit to "Your Cancer and Drug Store," a special installation at the Buffalo Museum of Science highlighting the tobacco companies' multi-billion-dollar efforts to recruit new smokers. On display: advertising signs and a slew of promotional giveaways—lighters, shirts, hats, and sports bags, among other items—aimed at luring teens and young adults to adopt the tobacco habit. The exhibit puts the spotlight on pharmacies that portray themselves as partners in the healthcare system while selling cigarettes—the cause of one-third of all cancer deaths.
K. Michael Cummings, PhD, Chair of the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, hopes the installation will focus attention on "thousands of stores in our region that sell tobacco products. Virtually all have colorful displays that make smoking look glamorous, sexy and cool. However, the tobacco companies fail to say that their products are more likely to make the users poor, sick and dead."
Roswell Park, the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and the American Legacy Foundation are co-sponsors of the installation, which runs November 19-29.
Celebrating a Landmark Occasion for Robot-Assisted Surgery
On October 20, Roswell Park announced that it had reached a clinical care milestone: over 1,000 robot-assisted procedures have been performed here at America's first cancer center. RPCI is classified as a Center of Excellence for robot-assisted surgery, and has one of the strongest robotics training programs in the country.
James Mohler, MD, Senior Vice-President for Translational Research and Chair of the Urology Department (pictured), and Khurshid Guru, MD, Director of Robotic Surgery, shared information on the benefits of and new directions in robot-assisted surgery. Robot-assisted surgery and other minimally invasive techniques are now used to perform a large majority of surgeries for bladder and prostate cancer at Roswell Park. Read more about this important milestone for the program.
Your Donations at Work
Individuals across WNY are now contributing to the WNY Robotic Surgical Center at Roswell Park to help expand use of the technology for many cancers. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org/robotics.
It's Open Enrollment! Have You Considered a Cancer Care Plan?
During this time of year, you may be considering a number of options for health insurance based on your well-being and plans for the future. As you consider the benefits covered by your insurance policy, you might want to know that at Roswell Park multidisciplinary teams of experts devote their lives to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and management of cancer.
These disease-specific teams work in concert to develop a comprehensive, individualized care program for each patient – from diagnosis, through treatment and rehabilitation, to discharge and follow-up care.
Read our Is the Best Cancer Treatment in Your Plan? Open Enrollment Publication to learn more. If you would like to request a copy, please call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724).
There is no one "best insurance" or "best insurance provider." Keep in mind that decisions made during open enrollment will be binding for an entire year. As you make these important decisions, read more here to review some topics for consideration.
Roswell Researchers Awarded NIH Grant for Breast Cancer Study
Two Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) researchers have been awarded a two-year, $650,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to study a novel approach to treating breast cancer with tamoxifen. Gokul Das, PhD, and Swati Kulkarni, MD, are co-lead investigators.
The study should provide screening guidelines to identify patients who are likely to be responsive to tamoxifen therapy. In addition, it will help avoid unnecessary exposure of patients with tumors unresponsive to tamoxifen. Dr. Das remarked, "This study will be a major step towards personalized breast cancer medicine."
Read more about the study.
Tracking the Clues to Lung Cancer's Mysteries
While the vast majority of lung cancer deaths are linked to smoking, about 10%—or 17,000 cases—are diagnosed each year in people who have never smoked. Why? When 38-year-old non-smoker Stacey Scott died of lung cancer in 2005, her husband, family and friends honored her memory by looking for a way to help answer questions about how and why the disease begins, in smokers and non-smokers alike. Their efforts led to the creation of the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry at Roswell Park Cancer Institute—the first registry of its kind in the world.
Today 14 of the world's leading cancer research institutions participate in the Registry, which collects medical and lifestyle information, biological samples, and medical images from thousands of people at high risk for lung cancer, including some who have had the disease in the past. By tracking the health of Registry donors over five years, scientists hope to identify ways of detecting the disease earlier, when treatment could be more effective.
Learn more about the Registry from some of the people involved in the project, including Stacey's husband, Bill, by visiting Roswell Park's Web page of video perspectives on the Registry. What better way to mark National Lung Cancer Awareness Month than with a glimpse of hope?
Lung Cancer: the Importance of Awareness and Early Detection
Dr. Mary Reid and patients enrolled in the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry discuss the impact of this program on the November 6 edition of Roswellness Radio.
Targeting Pancreatic Cancer with "See and Treat" Technology
A new cancer-seeking compound that can trace a pancreatic tumor’s outline with exceptional clarity, then attack cancer cells while leaving healthy tissues alone, is undergoing tests at Roswell Park's Photodynamic Therapy Center. And the research is funded by your generous gifts to Roswell Park.
The "see and treat" agent, I124-chlor, could present a minimally invasive alternative to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
"Not only does I124-chlor home in on cancer cells, it also can deliver physical damage," said Dr. Ma. Thanks to the drug's photosensitizing property, laser light applied to a tumor containing the drug causes cancer cells to overheat, killing them without affecting normal cells. A fiber-optic endoscope, introduced through a keyhole incision, carries laser light to the site. Read more about this promising new development...
Events and Giving Opportunities
Spread Holiday Cheer All Year with the Mug of Hope
On November 10, Dunkin' Donuts and The Paint Box Project partnered to unveil a special holiday gift perfect for coffee-lovers: the Dunkin' Donuts Mug of Hope. Purchase this sturdy travel mug, featuring artwork by our young patient-artists, and receive unlimited free refills of coffee or tea at local participating Dunkin' Donuts through December 31, 2010! Buy yours today, or search other cards and gifts at www.PaintBoxProject.com.
Last Chance for Your Shot at a Dream Car!
Buy your tickets today for the chance to win any car-lover's dream: a 1963 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport. This car—generously donated by Joseph Sahlen—will be raffled off on December 23, 2009, with all proceeds from the sale of raffle tickets supporting research and patient care at Roswell Park.
Only 2,500 tickets will be sold, so buy yours today! Raffle tickets are $10 or 3 for $25 and available at West Herr Automotive dealerships across Western New York. Or, contact Mary Rose McDermott at (716) 845-3417 or MaryRose.McDermott@roswellpark.org. Or, visit the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation at 901 Washington St., Third Floor, Buffalo, NY, 14203. Learn more, including official rules.
Get Your Jeans Ready for Denim and Diamonds 2010
Plan on a trip to France to beat the winter blues...without leaving Western New York! Join us for "An Evening in Paris" at the third annual Denim and Diamonds on Friday, January 29, 2010. Wear your favorite jeans and jewels to Ani DiFranco's Asbury Hall (located on Delaware Avenue and Tupper) and help raise funds for cancer research and patient care. The evening will include food, drinks, music, dancing, a fabulous silent auction and more.
Call or email today to reserve your tickets! For more information, contact Mary Rose McDermott at (716) 845-3517 or MaryRose.Mcdermott@roswellpark.org.
Save Lives and Inspire Hope this Holiday Season
The holidays are a time to spend with your family and friends, celebrating and giving thanks. But cancer doesn't take the holidays off—and this season, thousands of cancer patients in Western New York will continue their battles with the assistance of the care at Roswell Park. By making a generous gift to Roswell Park this holiday season, you can do your part for our patients and their families, and show you’re fighting with them.
Donors like you help Roswell Park researchers make important progress as they strive to understand, prevent and ultimately cure cancer. More than 1,000 doctors and scientists at Roswell Park are constantly moving forward with new research and clinical trials—even during the holidays.
To learn more or make a gift, visit http://www.roswellpark.org/snowflake or call 716-845-4444 today. With your help and support, some very grateful cancer patients may be spending the holidays with their families next year. After you make your gift, please share the link with others who may also wish to support our patients this season!
Business Partner of the Month
Thanks to the support of Azerty, the season is a little brighter for customers of The Paint Box Project! Azerty, a division of United Stationers Supply Co., has generously partnered to provide customers of The Paint Box Project free shipping on all purchases over $50 during this holiday shopping season.
Azerty, based out of Orchard Park, NY, provides distribution, marketing and e-commerce services for customers throughout North America. We thank them for their help to our fundraising efforts, while offering extra holiday cheer for supporters of The Paint Box Project!