roswellness connections(April 2011)

Video Spotlight:
Audio Podcast:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Patient Voice:
Donor Impact:
Business Partner of the Month
Thank 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 The Ride For Roswell, Goin' Bald for Bucks, Team Cure Challenge, Carly's Club activities, The Paint Box Project and more! Feedback? Please email or call 716-845-1038.


Five Years of Tamoxifen Better for Thwarting Breast Cancer Recurrence
Many women who've had breast cancer are prescribed tamoxifen, a drug that blocks the effect of estrogen, a hormone that fuels the most common type of breast cancer. Taking the drug for a full five years offers better protection against recurrence compared to a shorter treatment course, and appears to protect the heart, too, according to a report in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Researchers tracked cancer recurrences, new tumors, death and cardiovascular events in nearly 3,500 women taking tamoxifen, following the women for 15 years after beginning the treatment. Women who took tamoxifen for five years reduced their risk for developing breast cancer in the opposite breast by 30 percent compared to those who stopped tamoxifen after two years. A significant reduction in cardiovascular events (35 percent) and deaths (59 percent) was also seen in women age 50 to 59 taking tamoxifen, but not necessarily in older women.

“Many women stop taking tamoxifen before completing the recommended 5 years,” says Shicha Kumar, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Surgical Oncology. “This study directly compares 2 versus 5 years of treatment and finds that 5 years does improve outcomes. Healthcare providers should encourage women to complete the 5 year course.”

Do you have questions about your breast cancer treatment, or are you interested in receiving care for your breast cancer at Roswell Park? Call 1-800-ROSWELL or fill out the online “Become a Patient” form.
Can You Prevent Cancer? Yes, You Can!
We've all heard it before, but it bears repeating. "Avoiding direct and secondhand smoke exposure are the first steps," says James Marshall, PhD, Senior Vice President for Cancer Prevention and Population Science and the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation Chair in Cancer Prevention at RPCI. "For those who do not smoke, or who are not exposed to the smoke of others, adopting a healthier lifestyle--exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet and limiting alcohol-reduces cancer risk, and significantly so. These healthy habits could prevent as many as 340,000 cancers in the United States each year and lead to considerable reductions in common cancers such as breast (38 percent fewer cases), stomach (47 percent) and colon (45 percent), according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

Other factors that reduce cancer risk include shunning excessive sun exposure, and preventing cancer-causing infections like human papillomaviruses. After prevention, the WCRF says another one-third of cancers can be cured through early detection and treatment. "Screening for premalignant conditions is an increasingly effective approach," says. Dr. Marshall. "The healthy lifestyle steps outlined above could cut cancer risk and death in the US by as much as 50 percent."

Video Spotlight

Are We Winning the War on Cancer?
On April 6, experts from Roswell Park hosted an open panel discussion for the community to provide updates on the topic “Cancer: Will We See a Cure in Our Lifetime?” RPCI physicians and scientists shared information about promising new therapies helping to battle various cancers and improve quality of life for patients. Check out this video recap of the event.

Audio Podcast

Lung Cancer: What Nonsmokers Should Know
Lung cancer survivors Sue Sullivan and Susan Roney join Mary Reid, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of Collaborative Research at RPCI, for a Roswellness podcast about lung cancer in nonsmokers and in women.

If you have been recently diagnosed with lung cancer and wish to know more about your treatment options at Roswell Park, call 1-800-ROSWELL or fill out the online “Become a Patient” form.

Roswell RoundUp

RPCI Joins NCI-Funded Immunotherapy Research Network
Roswell Park is one of 27 North American research institutions that have been selected to be part of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), a new immunotherapy initiative funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, FRCOG, FACOG, Director of the Center for Immunotherapy and Chair of Gynecologic Oncology at RPCI (pictured right), will serve as Principal Investigator of the Institute’s role in this collaborative investigative effort. The CITN is a network of top academic immunologists conducting multicenter research on agents that boost patients’ own immune systems to fight their cancer.

Save the Date for Cancer Survivors Day!
Attention current and former RPCI patients: Get ready for a fun-filled day at the carnival! Step right up and be a part of the celebration of life at Cancer Survivors Day, to be held on Sunday, June 12 from 1- 4 p.m.
Reservations are required by June 1. Stay tuned for more information, or visit
Beads of Courage: New Support for Pediatric Patients
On March 29, 2011, pediatric patients and their families from Carly's Club took part in a Beads of Courage bead-stringing party at Roswell Park. Patients, loved ones and staff celebrated a new partnership with this national program by creating new bead strings together. Each bead represents a milestone on a patient's journey through cancer. View photos from the party on Roswell Park’s Flickr page.

RPCI Earns National Distinction for Bone Marrow Transplants
Roswell Park Cancer Institute has been named a Blue Distinction Center for Transplants® by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York for demonstrating better overall quality of care and patient results in bone marrow/stem cell (autologous and allogeneic) procedures.

Blue Distinction® is a national designation awarded by BlueCross BlueShield companies to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in delivering quality healthcare in the areas of bariatric surgery, cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacement, spine surgery or transplants.

To earn this designation, Roswell Park was evaluated based on objective, evidence-based selection criteria established with input from expert physicians and medical organizations. Read more about what this designation means for patients seeking care at RPCI.

Events and Giving Opportunities

Get Your Iced Coffee Fix for a Good Cause!
What better way to welcome spring than with an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts? On Thursday, May 5, or “Iced Coffee Day,” all participating Dunkin’ Donuts locations throughout the greater Buffalo area will offer guests a small (16 oz.) iced coffee for 50 cents, with all proceeds benefiting Roswell Park Cancer Institute. So mark your calendars for May 5—it’s your chance to get a great deal on a refreshing drink and do your part for Roswell Park!
Have you registered yet for The Ride For Roswell 2011? Upstate New York’s largest one-day cycling fundraiser promises to be bigger and better than ever, and we’ve got plenty of tools, tips and incentives to help you fundraise and train. So choose your route today!

Get into the Swim of Things at Carly’s Crossing

Time to start thinking about warm weather! Registration is now open for Carly’s Crossing, the August 14 open-water swim event supporting pediatric cancer research and patients. This year you’ve got the option to raise funds as a virtual swimmer! Or, just join us for the after-swim party on the beach. Whether you’re in the water or on the sand, you can do your part for kids with cancer. Start today at

Challenge Yourself This Summer
Don’t miss the summer’s most fun race! The fourth annual Tops 5K/10K Run/Walk is a family-friendly event set for August 24 in Williamsville. Whether you’re a new runner or an experienced athlete, register now for this entertainment-packed day in support of Roswell Park.

Patient Voice

Betty Green
“Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence. You can go on as I have. I knew I had to go to Roswell because I’d have the best doctors. I’m here today because of it.”
~Betty Green, Colorectal Cancer Survivor

If you would like to learn more about colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment options, call 1-800-ROSWELL or fill out the online “Become a Patient” form.

Donor Impact

Expanding Clinical Trials and Options for Prostate Cancer Patients
Clinical trials can be a researcher’s best tool in the search for new ways to treat cancer. For patients, these trials provide hope for survival when other treatment efforts aren’t working. That’s why Roswell Park’s Genitourinary Program is teaming up with prostate cancer researchers across the country to expand clinical trial efforts in the search for cures. Read more about how your donations made these expanded clinical trials possible.

Partners for a Cure

For more than two decades, HSBC Bank has demonstrated an ongoing and personal dedication to supporting cancer research and patient programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Throughout years of partnership, HSBC has stepped up to provide critical support. They continue to serve yearly as a naming sponsor of All Star Night, the annual gala held to raise funds for cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park. Historical examples of their dedication include supporting the Herd About Buffalo program in 2000, serving as a major sponsor of the Denim and Diamonds event, and making a leadership gift to the Horizons of Hope campaign in 2004. The bank also offers a generous matching gift program to encourage employees to raise money in support of Roswell Park, and they continually donate gifts and cash to support events and campaigns at Roswell Park throughout the year.

HSBC’s generosity has made a significant and meaningful difference for cancer patients and for the Roswell Park researchers who are searching for cures. We look forward to a continued partnership as we work together in support of Roswell Park’s mission to understand, prevent and cure cancer.