2000 & 2001


In 2000, Myron C. Czuczman, MD, Department of Medicine, presents new research on the use of Rituxan (a monoclonal antibody) and Fludarabine (chemotherapy) in patients with advanced stage, indolent B-cell NHL. Dr. Czuzman's participation in the pioneering research on Rituxan led to its becoming the first monoclonal antibody approved by the Food & Drug Administration to treat malignant disease. He then initiated the first chemoimmunotherapy trial using Rituxan and CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, hydrocholoride, vincristine [Oncovin] and prednisone) in patients with NHL.

Cancer screening programs appear to be paying off in New York State, according to the results of an analysis of 24 types of cancer occurring in men and women in New York State between 1975-1994. Andrew Hyland, PhD, and his research team from the Department of Cancer Prevention, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Roswell Park, conducted the study in 2000 to accurately assess the burden of cancer in the Empire State.

Roswell Park offers an exciting treatment option for patients with inoperable tumors. Radio frequency ablation (RFA), which uses high-energy radio frequency sound waves to "vibrate" tumor cells, was approved by the FDA in June for treatment of cancerous lesions. Roswell Park is the only facility in Western New York to offer RFA, which may also be used in special cases to treat esophageal, gastrointestinal (including liver), testicular, ovarian, neuroendocrine and breast cancers.

Vertebroplasty—a new treatment for spinal compression fractures due to malignant and benign disease—is being offered in the Department of Diagnostic Imaging under the direction of Ronald A. Alberico, MD, Director of Neuroradiology, and Donald L. Klippenstein, MD, Director of Body Imaging.  Using fluoroscopically guided techniques, bone cement is injected into the vertebral body to prevent further spinal compression and to relieve pain.

The "not so good news" from a recent study conducted at Roswell Park is that the incidence rates for two forms of common brain tumors—glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and anaplastic astrocytoma (AA)—have increased in New York State between 1976 and 1995. The "good news" is that the study may have revealed clues to the origins of GBM; the most common of these tumors.  The study by Brian P. McKinley, MD, Department of Surgery, and colleagues at Roswell Park, was published in the December 2000 edition of the Journal of Neurosurgery.


In 2001, Norma Nowak, PhD, director of the DNA Microarray and Genomics Resource at Roswell Park, collaborates on the landmark studies to complete the human genome sequencing effort.

The Buffalo Niagara Prostate Cancer Consortium (BNPCC) launches. It is a unique partnership to treat men with prostate cancer that includes Radiation Oncologists, community urologists, academic institutions, health care organizations, insurance carriers and UsToo!, an international patient support and advocacy group.

Results of a survey of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use among ninth grade students in Erie County schools conducted by Roswell Park in 2000-01 indicate that the use of drugs, especially alcohol and tobacco, continues but that tobacco use rates declined by nearly 40% since a similar survey in 1996. The use of alcohol and other drugs also decreased or remained stable since the 1996 survey.

Research at Roswell Park has helped to identify changes in the expression of cell surface proteins during the progression of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This national study was unique in that cells were analyzed by multi-parameter flow cytometry (MFC) at Roswell Park. The results have implications for treatment of AML patients.

Roswell Park offers Gleevec (STI-571) as a treatment for patients with unresectable or metastatic gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST). Roswell Park participated in the early studies of Gleevec as a treatment for chronic myeloid leukemia.