Roswell Park Cancer Institute Explores Research Collaboration with Wilmot Cancer Center

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

BUFFALO, NY — Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and The University of Rochester Medical Center’s (URMC) James P. Wilmot Cancer Center today announced that they are exploring a regional scientific alliance. Leaders of the two institutions are conducting a detailed feasibility study seeking to identify and quantify advantages of shared research activities.

While leaders from both organizations stress that the talks are preliminary, a formal collaboration between upstate New York’s two largest cancer research facilities could result in a scientific powerhouse, and enhance recruitment expertise, funding, and development of larger research studies.

Discussions regarding such collaborations come as the growth in the National Cancer Institute’s $4.9 billion research budget has plateaued, making for fierce competition among established scientists as well as junior investigators looking to capture research grants. Scientists are more frequently reaching across institutional boundaries in order to develop the most compelling grant applications.

The synergies gained through the collaboration of the two independent research enterprises could provide a critical mass that would help retain and recruit the very best scientists to upstate New York. There is also potential for participation in this collaboration by cancer researchers at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), Roswell Park’s primary academic affiliation. While the goal would be to create cross-institutional teams that can attract more and bigger federal research grants, ultimately the collaborative work would be expected to lead to discoveries that would improve patient care and fuel further research.

Discussions are expected to continue over the next several months as leaders evaluate this exciting opportunity.

The mission of Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. RPCI, founded in 1898, was 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 RPCI’s website at http://www.roswellpark.org, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email askrpci@roswellpark.org.

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center is the Rochester and Finger Lakes region's leader in cancer care and research. With a team of more than 400 doctors, nurses, scientists and staff, the Wilmot Cancer Center is nationally known for innovative, interdisciplinary cancer research and successful collaborations between clinical and laboratory sciences that lead to new strategies for cancer care. Additionally, physicians and scientists are actively involved in the education and training of the next generation of specialists in oncology and cancer research.

Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager
716-845-8593; annie.deck-miller@roswellpark.org