Roswell Park Celebrates Robot-Assisted Surgery Milestone

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Over 1,000 surgeries have been performed to date

BUFFALO, NY - At a news conference Tuesday, October 20, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center announced that it had reached a clinical care milestone: over 1,000 robot-assisted procedures have been performed at America's first cancer center. Roswell Park is classified as a Center of Excellence for robot-assisted surgery, and has one of the strongest robotics training programs in the country.

James Mohler, MD, Senior Vice-president for Translational Research and Chair of the Urology Department, and Khurshid Guru, MD, Director of Robotic Surgery, shared information on the benefits of and new directions in robot-assisted surgery. Robot-assisted surgery and other minimally invasive techniques are now used to perform a large majority of surgeries for bladder and prostate cancer at Roswell Park.

“When I came to Roswell Park six years ago and proposed this minimally invasive surgical program, my goal was to have 50% of our operations for kidney, bladder, and prostate cancer performed minimally invasively by my five-year anniversary. In each of the last three years, we did at least 95% of our operations minimally invasively. I would never have believed that in my wildest imagination,” Dr. Mohler remarked.

Robot-assisted surgery is currently used for prostate, bladder, gynecological, colorectal, and thoracic cancers at Roswell Park. Advantages include a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery, as well as less pain, blood loss, and risk of infection. Robot-assisted surgery makes it possible to see vital anatomical structures more clearly so procedures can be more precise, and extends the surgeon's capabilities by providing a three-dimensional view of the operating field. It also improves access to the surgical site through small ports that eliminate the need for a large incision.

“Robot-assisted surgery has demonstrated its efficacy as a treatment for many different types of cancer and we are proud to be a national leader in its application as well as for robotic training for bladder cancer and the development of the robotic surgical simulator,” said Dr. Guru. “We have reached an important milestone as we continue to provide quality care to our patients.”

The mission of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is to understand, prevent and cure cancer. Roswell Park, 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 Roswell Park’s website at, call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or email


Media Contact: 

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager