Our Patient Experience

  • Kelvin Lee, MD, Chair, Department of Immunology

Our Promise

Working closely with your primary care doctor, our world-class team of multiple myeloma experts — who devote their professions to understanding, preventing and curing hematologic (blood) cancers — will be at your side and your family’s side, every step of the way. As a Roswell Park patient, you have our unconditional promise that you will:

  • Have full access to information, options, services, resources and research protocols
  • Be an active and informed participant in all aspects of your multiple myeloma care
  • Receive comprehensive care based on the unique features of your disease

Improving Outcomes Through Multidisciplinary Care 

When you seek care at Roswell Park, you’ll be surrounded by a network of compassionate, highly experienced professionals, all focused on the treatment of multiple myeloma. These experts, who come from different fields of cancer care, will work together to create the best treatment plan for you. This is called “multidisciplinary care.”

The idea of multidisciplinary cancer care — which unites the knowledge and advice of specialists from many areas of medicine — was pioneered by our founder, Dr. Roswell Park, in 1898. He placed the patient at the center of a team of experts, all sharing insights and observations and working together to create the best treatment plan. This new approach brought remarkable results: cancer patients began to live longer. 

Today, the multidisciplinary team that treats multiple myeloma patients at Roswell Park has evolved to include professionals involved in all facets of care, from diagnosis through long-term follow-up. They include leading multiple myeloma physicians and diagnostic professionals working in partnership with nurse practitioners and nurses, pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, case managers, and patient access professionals, among many others. They will work closely with your primary care physician to tailor your treatment plan and ensure the smoothest path to care.

The Roswell Park Advantage

In treating multiple myeloma, the challenge is to choose the appropriate combination of therapies for each individual patient. We use scientific evidence to guide that choice. As a comprehensive cancer center, we’re actively involved in the development of many new therapies — and in determining how to make the most of them.

Two different patients who have multiple myeloma may respond very differently to the same combination of drugs. So before we design your treatment plan, we will use information provided by an entire team of specialists to determine which combinations of drugs will work best for you. The team includes myeloma physicians who perform biopsies to collect the cells that our pathologists will examine; pathologists who specialize in cancers of the blood; and members of the Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine departments, who provide information based on medical imaging.

The team also includes specialists from Roswell Park’s Clinical Cytogenetics Laboratory, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, and Flow Cytometry Laboratory, which use state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment and techniques to provide detailed information about unique features of your multiple myeloma, either when you receive the initial diagnosis or if you should have a recurrence of the disease. 

Clinical Pharmacy Support

RPCI’s clinical pharmacy specialists work closely with physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants to deliver the very best pharmaceutical care to both inpatients and outpatients. Our clinical pharmacists have special knowledge of the drugs used for treating multiple myeloma. They can provide professional advice on anti-nausea drugs and pain control, as well as medication reviews and counseling for patients who are being discharged from the Roswell Park hospital. They also staff a 24-hour hotline to answer questions, check interactions between different drugs, and recommend dosing for patients who have reduced kidney or liver function.

Meeting of the Minds

The Lymphoma and Myeloma Team holds weekly meetings with the Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Team and research science experts, discussing each case that may be suitable for BMT or potential enrollment in new clinical trials. Each patient’s case is reviewed in a comprehensive approach to achieve the best possible treatment outcome.

Quality of Life

From our patients’ perspective, quality healthcare is more than medical tests and successful treatments. Your quality of life — in other words, your ability to enjoy normal activities — is important to every member of the Roswell Park Myeloma Team. Recognizing this, we embrace a patient-centered model of care that is respectful, safe and compassionate, and that addresses your individual physical, spiritual, practical and other needs.

Compassionate, Competent Caregiving

Roswell Park nurses are among the best in the nation, earning Magnet® Recognition for nursing excellence, a top national honor bestowed by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This is a distinction held by just 6 percent of the hospitals in the United States, with Roswell Park being the only one in Western New York to earn Magnet status. In Magnet hospitals, patient outcomes are better and length of stay is shorter.

Living with Cancer

Every Roswell Park patient is a Roswell Park patient for LIFE. We believe that “survivorship” begins at diagnosis and lasts a lifetime, so you should have uninterrupted access to specialized cancer care and support. We want to ensure that any early warning signs that your disease has returned will be detected and treated immediately; that all your present and long-term needs — physical, psychosocial, nutritional, spiritual, legal — related to living with cancer are met; and that routine preventive and follow-up care is always available to enhance your health, well-being and peace of mind.  Each Roswell Park patient receives a customized treatment and post-treatment plan, and ongoing communication between Roswell Park and your primary care physician will continue long after you have completed treatment.