roswellness connections(August 2010)

Video Spotlight:
Roswellness Radio:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Donor Impact:
Patient Voice:
Business Partner of the Month

Many thanks to you, our generous supporters and friends, for your continued dedication to our ongoing efforts in the fight against cancer. We appreciate your support through your donations and participation in fundraisers like Carly's Crossing, The Ride For Roswell, Goin' Bald for Bucks, Team Cure Challenge, The Paint Box Project and more! Feedback? Please email or call 716-845-1038.



HPV Vaccine Most Beneficial When Given to Younger Women and Girls
HPV VaccineAlthough cervical cancer is more common in older women, the vaccine to prevent the cancer-causing human papillomavirus (HPV) is unlikely to offer as much benefit when given to older women. The problem is that cervical cancer develops decades after initial infection with HPV and according to a recent study of more than 9,000 women, the incidence of new HPV infection drops sharply after age 42. Among women age 18 to 25, the infection rate was 35 percent, but it dropped to 13.5 percent for women age 42 and older.
The study, published in the online edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, bolsters the evidence for immunizing younger women and girls against HPV—before they come in contact with the virus, which causes most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends girls begin the 3-dose series at age 11 or 12. "The HPV vaccine equals cancer prevention," says Martin Mahoney, MD, medical oncologist and chair of clinical prevention at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. "There continues to be many missed opportunities for this vaccine. Clinicians should systematically identify both males and females ages 9 to 26, clearly recommend the vaccine and ensure they receive all three doses."
Black Patients Face Higher Mortality From Cancer
Not only are African Americans at increased risk for developing certain cancers, but according to a recent survey from the University of Michigan, black cancer patients are nearly twice as likely to die from their cancer compared to other races. The survey found racial disparities for nearly all common cancer types, but the racial gap was largest for those that benefit most from treatment, suggesting black patients may not be getting the treatments other patients receive. For example: The five-year survival rates for colorectal cancer differed by 10 percent between black and white patients. For uterine cancer, the gap was 25 percent.
 Why the disparity? There's no simple answer, but researchers cited several possible factors such as: blacks are more likely to have their cancer diagnosed at a later stage and suffer from underlying health problems; and are less likely to receive cancer screening information and undergo surgery or chemotherapy. In addition, hospitals that treat mostly black patients tend to have fewer resources. "Addressing these disparities," says Deborah O. Erwin, PhD, Director, Office of Cancer Health Disparities Research at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo New York, "requires multilevel, collaborative approaches and research between communities at risk and the cancer centers serving them." The National Cancer Institute offers more information on health disparities.

Video Spotlight

Skin Cancer: Can You Recognize the Signs?
Summertime is here, and you're probably spending more time outside. What should you know about your risk of skin cancer? WIVB's Dr. Peter Ostrow talks to Dr. Allan Izikson of the Department of Dermatology at RPCI about looking for signs of the disease—and what you can do to help prevent it.

Roswellness Radio

Photodynamic Therapy in Focus
Learn about how a revolutionary technology that originated out of RPCI is now being used to treat a variety of cancers. This episode features Richard Matner, PhD, MBA, Director of Technology and Commercial Development, and Ravindra Pandey, Professor and Distinguished Member, Department of Cellular Stress Biology.

Roswell RoundUp

Improving Blood/Marrow Transplant Survival Rates: $5.2 Million Grant from NCI
New BMT grantEven with the best donor match, patients who undergo a lifesaving transplant of blood or bone marrow from an unrelated donor face a one-in-three chance of transplant-related death within a year. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded a four-year, $5.18 million Research Project Grant (R01) to investigators at RPCI to support research aimed at improving the survival rate of those patients and making transplant a possibility for more patients. This is the largest R01 ever awarded to RPCI.
Blood or marrow transplantation (BMT) can often cure patients with leukemia or other life-threatening blood diseases. A patient with a sibling who is a compatible donor will have the best chance of success, "but only 30 percent of patients have a matched-sibling donor, so the majority need an unrelated donor," says Dr. Theresa Hahn of the Department of Medicine, a co-principal investigator of the project with Lara Sucheston, PhD, Department of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences. Read more.
U.S. News Best HospitalsRPCI Ranked Among Nation's Best Cancer Centers
RPCI is ranked among the top cancer hospitals in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2010-11 Best Hospitals, published online and featured in the August print issue of U.S. News, available on newsstands July 27. Best Hospitals 2010-11 includes rankings of 152 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties, including cancer. The rankings are driven by data such as mortality rates, discharges, balance of nurses to patients, and reputation.
"We're proud to be included on this list," said Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President and CEO of RPCI. "We've worked hard to consistently provide outstanding patient care, and this is one indicator of how effective our efforts have been. We continue to enhance our national prominence, and national reputation is a large part of the U.S. News methodology." Read more about what inclusion on this list means for RPCI and its patients.
Studying the Anticancer Effects of Vitamin D
Vitamin DTwo top faculty leaders at RPCI have received a five-year, $2,187,881 National Cancer Institute (NCI) grant to study the antitumor effects of vitamin D on bladder cancer. Co-Principal Investigators Candace Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director of RPCI, and President and CEO Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, will investigate the therapeutic benefits of administering high doses of the most active form of vitamin D with standard chemotherapy.
"It was discovered some years ago that tumor cells had receptors for vitamin D on them," explained Dr. Johnson, who is also Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics and the Robert Lew and Anne Wallace Chair for Translational Research. "And when vitamin D hits these receptors and binds to them, the cancer cells die or stop growing. This grant allows us to investigate the mechanism by which this occurs and how we can use vitamin D in conjunction with conventional chemotherapy to improve response to chemotherapy." Read more about this study and the impact it could have on future treatments for bladder cancer.
Dealing With The Unknown: New Clinic Helps Zero In On Cancer Diagnoses
Dealing with the UnknownWhat do you do when you or your doctor suspects cancer, but you have neither symptoms nor diagnostic test results that can confirm it? Recognizing an opportunity to improve the efficiency of diagnosis and care of cancer for people living in and around Western New York, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) has implemented a clinic for patients with suspected cancer, called the Undiagnosed Cancer Clinic. Launched just over a year ago, the clinic has become an important new resource for primary care providers and their patients.
"The clinic appropriately and effectively uses the resources we have here within the Institute to get these patients diagnosed and set on a treatment course as quickly as possible," added Alex Adjei, MD, PhD, FACP, Senior Vice President of Clinical Research at RPCI, Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine and Katherine Anne Gioia Chair in Cancer Medicine. Read more about how the clinic is helping improve the lives of patients.

Events and Giving Opportunities

Get Ready for Carly's CrossingTeam Cure Challenge Tops 5K/10K: There's Still Time to Sign Up!
Looking to jumpstart your fitness plan by the end of the summer? Sign up for the second annual Tops 5K/10K in support of Roswell Park. The August 28 event features the fun new option of a 10K. Plus, you won't want to miss the family-friendly after party! Learn more or sign up today at
Dive In at Carly's Crossing
Want to beat the heat? Join us at the eighth annual Carly's Crossing! Western New York's largest open-water swim event is set for Sunday, August 15, in Buffalo's Small Boat Harbor. Register today and start fundraising in support of pediatric cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park. Learn more, watch video and register at
Catch a Bills Game and Support Roswell Park!
Catch a bills game and support roswell parkLooking for a family-friendly activity this August? Buy your tickets today for the Buffalo Bills Kids Day preseason game on August 28, and you'll help support Roswell Park. Click this link to purchase a special Kids Day package that includes tickets and a special Bills yearbook. Or, learn more here!
You won't want to miss this game--not only will the Bills take on the Cincinnatti Bengals, but attendees will also enjoy great family-friendly activities! For every ticket package sold, the Bills will donate $5 to Roswell Park, so make sure to use this link and buy your tickets today! Thank you to our friends at the Buffalo Bills for this special show of support.
Want More Ride For Roswell?
The 15th Annual Ride For Roswell raised an astounding $2.6 million for cancer research and patient care programs on June 26. Help us keep the momentum going—register today for a brand-new ride in the Boston Hills on September 25. The Ride Boston Hills offers riders the choice of an 18-mile route, 38-mile route, and a 70-mile route. Register and learn more!
Honor the Exceptional Work of RPCI Nurses
Do you know a nurse at Roswell Park that has gone above and beyond to benefit you and your family? Nominate him or her for the Sandra C. Genco Excellence in Oncology Nursing Award by August 20. This annual award recognizes a Roswell Park nurse who has made a positive difference in the life of a patient or family by demonstrating compassion and respect for the patient's individual needs. Click here to submit your nomination.
Walk to Support Breast Cancer Patients
Walk to support breast cancer patientsJoin us on September 18, 2010 for the 16th annual Bosom Buddies walk to support the WNY Breast Resource Center at Roswell Park. Choose from 1.5-, 3-, or 5-mile routes through historic East Aurora. Register today at!
Founded in 1993 as a breast cancer support group, the Bosom Buddies event has raised more than $600,000 for the WNY Breast Resource Center since the first walk in 1995. The WNY Breast Resource Center, established in 1997, provides support for breast cancer patients and their families as they experience diagnosis and treatment.

Donor Impact

Educating Patients for the Best Outcomes
The diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming. When facing this life-threatening prognosis, the new cancer vocabulary is often difficult to understand. Complex treatment options and a doctor's instructions can be confusing and hard to remember, especially during a stressful time.
Thanks to your donations, patient education facilitators at Roswell Park have the tools they need to work with nurses and other clinical and support staff to equip patients with accessible, clear information about their disease and treatment.
Recently, staff members have created a series of short, easy-to-understand videos that provide critical knowledge for patients and their caregivers. These videos were made possible by grants funded by your gifts. Video topics have included: properly caring for the central line (a catheter or "port" used in many patients to administer medication or draw blood), and post-procedure care for those being treated for prostate or bladder cancer.
Most recently, your gifts are helping fund a video that provides helpful information to patients facing the effects of a hysterectomy due to gynecological cancers. Patients and their families will be shown the video during their time at RPCI to provide an opportunity for discussion. Plus, each patient will be given a copy of the video to take home, and the video will be available to view online.
"Patients who have undergone a hysterectomy may face long-term effects well after surgery," said Megan Battaglia, Senior Patient Education Facilitator, RPCI. "We hope these videos will offer patients and their caregivers important knowledge on these issues, as well as encourage them to ask questions and seek assistance as they deal with their disease, treatment and overall health."  

Patient Voice

Benjamin MatarreseBenjamin Matarrese
"You start off being confused and scared, and all of a sudden, you're at peace with yourself because [the staff at Roswell] are taking care of you. These are brilliant people. It's not only the doctors and the nurses—it's not the charts and the blood work and what they bring in. It's the gift of time they give you." – Benjamin Matarrese, lung cancer patient, discusses the care he receives at RPCI

Business Partner of the Month

Buffalo Bisons logo Buffalo Bisons
For the Buffalo Bisons, supporting the fight against cancer is a team effort. As a Ride For Roswell sponsor, the Bisons offer incentives for youth fundraisers to raise even more by providing once-in-a-lifetime baseball experiences for The Ride's top fundraisers, including throwing out the first pitch or acting as bat girl/boy for a game. In addition, the Bisons frequently invite Carly's Club pediatric patients and their families to enjoy a game in one of the Coca-Cola Field suites, thereby providing an evening of fun and relief for families as they face the stress associated with cancer treatment.
Next up at bat, the Bisons are showing their support of Roswell Park Cancer Institute with a new event. On August 14, the team will host "Bases Merlot-ed," a wine tasting event at Coca-Cola Field to benefit cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park.  In addition to tasting a variety of great wines from throughout the region, guests will also enjoy live music, tasty treats and a silent auction in Pettibones Grille restaurant. Tickets are just $25 presale or $30 at the door.  For more information, or to order your tickets, contact the Bisons at (716) 846-2032 or click HERE.
Thank you to our friends at the Buffalo Bisons for scoring a home run in support of cancer research and patient care!