2006 - 2008

2006

Creation of a life-sciences industry and economy for Buffalo Niagara took a historic step forward, Friday, June 2, 2006, with the grand opening of the University at Buffalo’s New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and Life Science and Roswell Park’s Center for Genetics and Pharmacology.

RPCI is the first facility in Buffalo and among the first centers in the country to offer state-of-the-art robotic-assisted surgery to patients with bladder cancer. The pioneering technique offers these patients a less invasive treatment option that has several potential advantages over traditional open surgery.

As of 2006, more than 1,000 patients had undergone Blood and Marrow Transplantations (BMT) for treatment of cancer and blood disorders at RPCI since 1991. BMT patients and their families and the BMT Team at Roswell Park celebrated this milestone at a reception.

In its continued push to recruit nationally recognized oncologists, two important additions to RPCI faculty were announced in October: Kelvin P. Lee, MD, an outstanding national leader in medical oncology research, was appointed Chair of the Department of Immunology and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at RPCI and Alex A. Adjei, MD, PhD, a national leader in translational research, was appointed Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and Chair of the Department of Medicine.

Officials from Bradford Regional Medical Center and RPCI signed a regional affiliation network agreement to enhance oncology and hematology programs through research, education, and patient care in the Northwestern Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York.

The first components of a fully integrated electronic health record system "went live" at RPCI, beginning a process that significantly improved the way the Institute manages patient records.

RPCI launched an international effort to potentially revolutionize the prevention, detection and treatment of lung cancer by establishing the Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry. Joining lung cancer experts representing 11 leading research institutions, the registry is organized and stored at Roswell Park and combs member institute’s research data to help scientists understand how lung cancer develops and evolves.

RPCI opened the Amherst Center at 100 College Park, between Main Street and Wehrle Drive in Williamsville, NY, to help meet the increasing demand for chemotherapy and infusion services and to help meet the needs of cancer patients in Upstate New York.

Waldemar Kaminski, a self-made millionaire and former Broadway Market vendor known as Mr. K, defined the essence of selfless giving by anonymously donating thousands to positively impact the lives of Western New Yorkers.  RPCI’s WJK Park and Gardens was renamed Kaminski Park and Gardens.

2007

The Board of Directors introduced Donald L. Trump, MD, as the new President and Chief Executive Officer of RPCI. Outgoing CEO David C. Hohn, MD, now President Emeritus and Executive Director of Health Policy, was appointed by Governor Eliot Spitzer to serve on the newly formed Empire State Stem Cell Board.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) renewed RPCI’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) for five years. A significant achievement, America's first cancer center also garnered its best overall CCSG score in its history.

The new $3 million Trilogy™ System installed in the Department of Radiation Medicine significantly increased the treatment options available to cancer patients in the Buffalo-Niagara region. This fully integrated powerful image-guided radiation therapy technology delivers with unmatched precision high-dose radiation therapy to tumors.

RPCI made major gains in 2007 in Technology Transfer and Commercialization by establishing new businesses: AndroBioSys and Empire Genomics based on the work of RPCI researchers and clinicians.

In a major push to involve the younger generation in the pursuit for a cancer cure, RPCI launched an awareness campaign and supportive website, http://www.yroswell.com. Meant to connect with America’s younger generation in an attempt to entice them to pursue careers in science and medicine, the site takes a social networking approach through the use of video clips, blogs and other unique elements.

RPCI’s distinguished faculty continued to grow. Andrei V. Gudkov, PhD, DSci, a pre-eminent cancer researcher was appointed as Senior Vice President for Basic Research; Chair of the Department of Cell Stress Biology, and member of the senior team for NCI Cancer Center Support Grant at RPCI.

2008

In 2008, the Minimally Invasive Surgical Center at Roswell Park has performed its 100th robot-assisted radical cystectomy for advanced bladder cancer using the da Vinci® Surgical Robotic System which distinguishes RPCI as one of the world’s premier academic institutions for the procedure.

Roswell Park was one of five centers in New York State, and only 84 nationwide, to be designated a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers by the BlueCross BlueShield Association (BCBSA).  It was also one of 66 facilities nationwide to be honored with a Commission on Cancer (CoC) Outstanding Achievement Award, placing the Institute among the top 15 percent of all the programs surveyed.
In October, Roswell Park hosted the American Association for Cancer Research Centennial Symposium: The Future of Cancer Research: Science and Patient Impact on October 27 - 28, 2008.