Igniting Cancer Breakthroughs

Dr. Brentjens in lab

A campaign to develop the future of cancer care

Roswell Park is positioned to be at the forefront of innovative cancer care, advancing science and expanding treatments options for patients with all kinds of cancer. One area in which Roswell Park sees an enormous amount of promise is cellular therapies.

Cell therapy is a branch of immunotherapy which uses cells to help a patient’s immune system identify and attack cancer cells. This therapeutic approach is quickly becoming an option for a greater range of cancer types, in many cases allowing patients to move away from treatments like chemotherapies which can have harsh side effects.

Roswell Park has assembled a team of industry leaders to execute the innovative work in cell therapy and immunotherapy to ensure your contributions are making the maximum impact for our patients and the future of cancer care. Led by Deputy Director Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD, The Katherine Anne Gioia Endowed Chair in Cancer Medicine, this team will work seamlessly to bring innovative therapies from bench to bedside.

“This is a time of tremendous hope and promise,” explains Dr. Brentjens. “Cellular therapy is in its infancy, but it’s already dramatically reshaping what we can achieve through cancer therapy. I’m incredibly excited about the work the team will do in the next few years — the time we are going to be able to give back to patients with even advanced cancers, the cures that are within our reach today.”

Leading CAR T-cell Therapy Innovations

Roswell Park has been developing novel uses for CAR T-cell therapy, building off what’s been discovered. This work started in blood cancers and, thanks to forward thinking, patient-focused leadership at Roswell Park, will now expand to solid tumor cancers. The advancement of these pioneering methods will generate increased demand and promote the generation of clinical trials to introduce cell therapy  to a growing number of patients.

Building Cell Production Facilities

The need for genetically engineered immune cells to drive forward cell therapies and other immunotherapies will continue to increase as research accelerates and trials progress. Constructing additional cell production facilities will advance research programs and provide critical support for existing and forthcoming work. The expanded facility will support Roswell Park’s growing list of clinical trials, assuring a long-term positive impact on research and ultimately patients.

Determining Response to Therapy

A routine blood test — combined with a novel technology developed at Roswell Park which doctors are calling Response to Therapy — could be all it takes to give doctors and patients real-time updates on their treatment. This test can also become part of a survivor’s annual routine check-up with their primary care physician to test for cancer recurrence. If a patient’s blood is tested after each treatment, their doctor can determine in real time if the cancer is increasing, decreasing or staying the same. There would be no need to wait months for an MRI or CT scan to see how the treatment is progressing; they could monitor the disease visit by visit, week to week.

Leading in Theranostics

Through an emerging field of precision medicine called theranostics —  a combination of therapeutics and diagnostics — experts at Roswell Park are providing a new level of care combining those two processes. Theranostics is a novel approach to cancer treatment that works in two steps. The first uses a radioactive drug to image, identify and diagnose cancer. Then, a modified version of that same drug delivers precision radiation therapy directly to the problem areas to treat the patient’s cancer. Expanding our facilities to deliver this type of treatment will give much needed hope to patients who have exhausted other treatment options.

More Breakthroughs Ahead

These resources have been made possible by generous donors who are committed to the innovative research at Roswell Park. Your support is allowing us to amplify the ways we serve our current and future patients and shape the cancer landscape. With continued support, Roswell Park will be a beacon of hope for cancer patients everywhere who are desperate for new, more advanced treatment options.

Your support through the last four years of Release the Breakthroughs has empowered our experts to finish laying a substantial foundation for this work. In order to launch our advancements in science and direct patient care we must use this groundwork and the incredible impact already made and take  it to the next level with Igniting Cancer Breakthroughs. With your help, Roswell Park will become a destination for cell therapy.

Now is the time to make an industry-leading leap with our dedicated donors by our side. Your partnership is critical to bringing this hope to fruition for patients seeking the best treatments available.