roswellness connections(March 2010)

Audio Spotlight:
Video Spotlight:
Roswell Round-Up:
Events and Giving Opportunities:
Patient Voice:
Donor Impact:
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 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.



Treat Your Family to Better Health with Tasty Meatless Meals
Man eating appleResearch suggests that a diet high in fat and red meat can increase your risk of colorectal cancer, so changing your eating habits is an important first step toward a healthier lifestyle. “A healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of cancer and many other diseases, including cardiovascular disease,” advises Judy Smith, MD, Medical Director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute.


Get off to a good start by adding a few meatless meals to your menus in March, which marks both Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and Nutrition Awareness Month. If you’re having a hard time imagining your dinner plate without meat at the center, look for inspiration on the Centers for Disease Control website Fruitsandveggiesmatter, where you’ll find delicious, healthy recipes—try the Mexibean Mock Lasagna!—as well as serving sizes, nutrition information, and easy ways to add more fruits and veggies to your family’s meals.


Early Detection for High-Risk Populations
People who are lesbian, gay, or bisexual are at higher risk than the general population for some types of cancer, such as lung, skin, gynecological, prostate, colon and anal. What accounts for the disparity? There are several reasons, including a higher prevalence of smoking and HIV infection, as well as reduced access to regular medical care, the reluctance of some people in these populations to tell healthcare providers about their sexual orientation, and less-frequent medical exams and screenings such as mammograms, Pap tests, PSA tests and colonoscopies. Gay men in particular have a higher risk for anal cancer because of both a greater exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV) and higher smoking rates. Other risk factors include age—most cases occur between ages 50 and 80—and such physical problems as anal fistulas.


The best defense against anal cancer includes prevention—using condoms and quitting smoking—and early detection. If you’re at higher risk for anal cancer, it’s recommended that you have a yearly digital rectal exam (DRE) starting at age 50 and an “anal Pap smear.” Similar to the Pap test used to detect early cervical cancer in women, the anal Pap test involves swabbing cells from the anal lining for examination under a microscope. “The same virus, HPV, that causes cervical dysplasia, also causes anal dysplasia,” says Kelli Bullard Dunn, MD, surgical oncologist at Roswell Park Cancer Institute “The anal Pap is extremely easy, painless, and no more invasive than a digital rectal exam. It’s even easier to perform and tolerate than a woman’s cervical Pap test.”


Study: Age, Gender Affect How Lung Cancer Develops
Not all lung cancers begin the same way, and researchers are finding more and more frequently that different biological pathways trigger the cell mutations that cause them. In a recent study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer, researchers from Duke University found that age and gender accounted for differences that strongly influenced patients’ prognoses.


The findings of the study highlight the importance of learning more about how lung cancer develops—a principal goal of the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry at Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Fifteen cancer institutions provide the registry with data and biologic samples from patients who are undergoing spiral CT scans and AB (autofluorescence bronchoscopy) examinations.


“Lung cancer kills more people than all the major cancers combined,” says Mary Reid, PhD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Director of the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry. “The prognosis is poor—an 85 percent mortality rate in five years—but still we know very little about it. With the data from the registry, we hope to learn how lung cancer starts, how it develops, how it progresses from an early lesion into a tumor, and what factors affect that progression and the timeline of the progression.”


By learning more about the natural biologic history of lung tumors, researchers aim to identify early risk factors and treatments. “We have drugs that can target some of the pathways found in the Duke study,” says Dr. Reid. “Now if we can learn to apply this knowledge to early lesions, we may slow or halt the progression to lung cancer.”


The Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry is funded by generous donor support to Roswell Park Cancer Institute.


Audio Spotlight

It’s Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: Why You Should Care
Learn from Dr. Marwan Fakih about who’s at risk, ways to decrease your risks, plus the latest screening recommendations.


Video Spotlight

Dr. Trump goes baldFundraising Starts at the Top as Dr. Trump Goes Bald for Bucks!
On March 3, Dr. Donald L. Trump, President and CEO of Roswell Park, made good on his promise to shave his mustache and head with more than 20 other members of Team Roswell for Goin’ Bald for Bucks. Thanks to the support of the community, who seemed intent on seeing a bald Dr. Trump, over $40,000 was raised! The Team Roswell event even featured a special message from a very unique supporter—that other Donald Trump! Watch video from the event including a messsage from “The Donald,” and see the newly shaven members of Team Roswell.


Roswell RoundUp

RoSSIntroducing a “Flight Simulator” for Robotic Surgery
Leadership from the Center for Robotic Surgery at Roswell Park and the University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences recently unveiled one of the world’s first simulators that closely approximates the “touch and feel” of the da Vinci™ robotic surgical system. Simulated Surgicals, a new company, has been formed to manufacture the simulator and is the latest spin-off to come out of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.


Like an aircraft, a surgical system “is only as good as the pilot,” said Khurshid A. Guru, MD, Director of the Center for Robotic Surgery and Attending Surgeon in the Department of Urology, RPCI (pictured).  The RoSS (Robotic Surgical Simulator) gives surgeons the opportunity to expand their knowledge and skill with the system before using it on a live patient. Read more about this landmark advancement.


Sharon Evans, PhDStudy of Inflammatory Response May Yield Clues to Cancer Vaccines
Sharon Evans, PhD, of Roswell Park’s Immunology department, has been awarded a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study inflammation in relation to lymphocytes.


Lymphocytes are cells found in the blood, lymph and lymphoid tissues. The study aims to identify the cellular source that regulates the entry of white blood cells into tissues across blood vessels during a productive immune response.


According to Dr. Evans, knowledge gained from the study may provide insight into vaccine approaches for the treatment of cancer.


Events and Giving Opportunities

Let's Get Ready to RideLet’s Get Ready to Ride
Hey riders: it’s that time of year! If you haven’t already registered for The Ride For Roswell’s 15th anniversary event, now is the perfect time to start training and fundraising. This landmark year for The Ride offers all your favorite routes, including the 12-mile Extra Mile Club Peloton, plus an exciting new challenge: the 100-mile Century Ride!

Visit to see what else we have on tap for The Ride For Roswell 2010. Start growing your team, your cycling skills and your donations today!


Viva Las Vegas!
Feeling lucky? Take on Team Cure Challenge’s latest marathon event! Registration is now open for the Las Vegas half- and full-marathon, set for December 4, 2010. Start training and fundraising now for this exciting chance to see Sin City from the runner’s point of view!


Take the Las Vegas Team Cure Challenge!Or, sign up today for the May 30 Buffalo Marathon – it’s not too late to fundraise and train for this beloved Western New York event! First time runners are always welcome, so visit to register today for one of the most memorable journeys of your life.


There's Still Time to Double the Impact of Your Gift
Double your Gift today!Now through March 31, make a gift to a special matching gift campaign for a guaranteed way to double your charitable giving to Roswell Park Cancer Institute and do twice as much to help in the fight against cancer. Your donations to Roswell Park will be matched up to $100,000 through a generous matching grant from donors Dick and Pat Fors.


Visit today to make your gift, or call 716-845-4444 and mention the Matching Gift Challenge. This matching gift opportunity applies only to gifts made toward this campaign and not toward other events or campaigns such as The Ride For Roswell or Goin’ Bald for Bucks.


Patient Voice

Kathleen Hogan, Leukemia Survivor
Kathleen HoganExactly a year ago I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.  My life was turned upside down. I was scared, terrified in fact, and had no idea what to expect.  I was taken from the Emergency Room at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital directly to Roswell by ambulance because of my dangerously low platelet count.  It was at Roswell, or 'The Roz' as I have nicknamed it, that I found hope.  Hope for a cure, hope that with each passing day my body would heal, physically and emotionally. I was ready to fight this with everything I had and I had so much hope that all the patients battling alongside me would be given a second chance at life and truly being able to LIVE!


After spending the entire month of February at 'The Roz' going through an intense round of chemotherapy, I was discharged on March 3rd after the results of my bone marrow biopsy concluded that I was in remission!  I am still undergoing therapy in the 5th and last course of treatment, the Maintenance Phase.


Thank you for supporting Roswell, a place that will always be near and dear to my heart.  
In life, whatever challenges you are faced with, I encourage you to fight for your life, fight for what you believe in and never, ever give up HOPE!  


Donor Impact

Putting the World’s Leading Surgeons to Work for Brain Cancer Patients
Dheerendra Prasad, MDA powerful algorithm that interprets brain tumor images with the skill of a surgeon may soon dramatically enhance the speed and precision of radiation therapy. Led by Dheerendra Prasad, MD, a team at Roswell Park is fine-tuning software that will examine MRI data and, in seconds, map the boundaries that separate cancerous and healthy tissues.


This development—backed by your donations—will automate a time consuming task known as “segmentation,” when a surgeon examines a digital model of a patient’s brain and manually delineates the tumor’s irregular contours. Once done, the surgeon uses the Gamma Knife Perfexion device to deliver narrow beams of radiation with pinpoint accuracy.


“We hope to make image processing and decision making as robust as [Gamma Knife] delivery,” he says. “Without eliminating the human operator, automated segmentation will combine the computer’s attention to detail with the captured experience of the world’s leading surgeons.”


Business Partner of the Month

First Niagara Financial GroupFirst Niagara Financial Group
First Niagara Financial Group continues to demonstrate their dedication to supporting cancer research and patient care at Roswell Park through a number of events and giving opportunities. The company’s philanthropic efforts can be seen at events like The Ride For Roswell, where First Niagara provides critical support as a “Big Wheel” sponsor. Plus, employees at First Niagara demonstrate their own enthusiasm for the cause by pitching in and forming a company team at The Ride each year.


First Niagara has also provided leadership support as a sponsor for All Star Night and Denim and Diamonds; as a chocolate product sponsor for The Paint Box Project and through support of the Horizons of Hope capital campaign. Their generosity makes a difference for Carly’s Club pediatric patients by helping to provide the Cancer in the Classroom program and fun diversionary activities like the annual holiday party. Thank you to our friends at First Niagara for making generosity and philanthropy a company tradition!