Movie Screening to Benefit the Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry at Roswell Park

Buffalo Native, Movie Director Steven Bernstein Comes Back to Buffalo
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BUFFALO, NY – Western New Yorkers are invited to attend a special screening of the film Decoding Annie Parker on Thursday, Sept. 26, with partial proceeds benefitting the Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. The film’s director, Steven Bernstein, is a Buffalo native who will return to Western New York for the film’s screening prior to its nationwide release. Funds from the event will also support BRCA Gene Awareness Inc.

Decoding Annie Parker, starring Helen Hunt, tells the true story of two remarkable women, Berkley-based geneticist Dr. Mary-Claire King and Annie Parker (played by Samantha Morton), each touched by hereditary breast cancer in her own way: Ms. Parker battles the disease and Dr. King’s genetic research leads to the discovery of the BRCA1 breast cancer gene.

Women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes face a much higher risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer compared with the general population. Dr. King’s discovery changed the way many in the medical community approached breast cancer and provided solace to families who, generation after generation, lost their mothers, wives and daughters to the disease.

The show will take place at the Dipson Theater in Amherst. Bernstein and Annie Parker, the patient the movie portrays, will be among the crowd at the screening. In addition, following the screening, attendees can participate in a special Q&A with cancer experts in the field.

“BRCA 1 or 2 mutations account for about 20% to 25% of hereditary breast cancers and about 5% to 10% of all breast cancers. These mutations are also estimated to account for 15% of ovarian cancers,” says Ermelinda Bonaccio, MD, Director of the Mammography Center and Assistant Professor of the Department of Diagnostic Radiology at Roswell Park.

“It is important to educate people about these mutations because those who carry the BRCA1 or 2 gene do have options available to manage their risk. Bringing this screening to Buffalo aids in further educating our community about the significance of these genetic links,” added Dr. Bonaccio, who will be moderating the Q&A after the movie screening.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is home to an ovarian cancer registry – the largest collection of family histories, medical records and blood samples in the world – which is used to further understand the genetic basis of ovarian cancer so that new treatment and prevention strategies can be developed.


The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Founded in 1898, Roswell Park is one of the first cancer centers in the country to be named a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and remains the only facility with this designation in Upstate New York. The Institute is a member of the prestigious National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s leading cancer centers; maintains affiliate sites; and is a partner in national and international collaborative programs. For more information, visit, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contact: 

Leslie Garrity, Director of Strategic Marketing & Communications