Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Receive Prestigious National Cancer Institute SPORE Grant for Ovarian Cancer Research

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

WHAT: Announcement of the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), partner with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Cancer Center, Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Ovarian Cancer award from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The coveted grant will provide more than $11 million over 5 years.

SPORE grants support innovative, multidisciplinary translational research projects and are awarded to leading centers that exhibit excellence in research, specifically research with a clear potential to improve and impact patient care and prevention.

Only four other SPOREs in the country focus on ovarian cancer. This collaboration marks the fifth Ovarian Cancer SPORE, the first of which is in the Western New York region.

An estimated 22,240 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 14,030 will die from the disease in 2013, according to NCI SEER data. Recognizing that therapeutic options for ovarian cancer are limited and that outcomes for standard ovarian treatment remain poor, this SPORE aims to change the current paradigm of ovarian cancer, applying immune-based approaches to the causes of this malignancy, its prognosis and treatment. Broken down into four projects, the research conducted by the Roswell Park and UPCI SPORE team will consist of three treatment studies and one genetic epidemiological study, which will utilize the full battery of clinical and basic-science expertise at Roswell Park and UPCI.

Speakers include:

  • Candace S. Johnson, PhD, Deputy Director, Chair of the Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, and Wallace Chair in Translational Research at Roswell Park;
  • Kunle Odunsi, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator of the SPORE project, Chair of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Center for Immunotherapy at Roswell Park; and,
  • Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26).

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 7 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
Gaylord Cary Conference Room – Research Studies Center
Elm & Carlton Streets, Buffalo, NY

NOTES: Media who cannot participate in person can view the press conference via our live web feed, which will be available at:


About Roswell Park:
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.

About UPCI:
As the only NCI-designated comprehensive cancer center in western Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) is a recognized leader in providing innovative cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment; bio-medical research; compassionate patient care and support; and community-based outreach services. UPCI, a partner with University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Cancer Center, investigators are world-renowned for their work in clinical and basic cancer research.

Media Contact: 

Tara Yates, Director of Public Affairs

UPMC Media Contact:

Courtney McCrimmon, Manager, Media Relations