RPCI Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month with $1.5 Million Endowment from Alfiero Family Foundation

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - As the nation commemorates National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) today announced the establishment of a $1.5 million endowed fund in Breast Oncology from the Alfiero Family Charitable Foundation of Western New York. The fund will support the Institute’s renowned breast cancer research and treatment programs. Stephen B. Edge, MD, FACS, RPCI’s current Chair of Breast Surgery and Medical Director of the RPCI Breast Center, will become the fund’s first endowed chairholder.

“It’s important that Roswell Park have every resource needed to not only recruit, but also retain top doctors for the care of Western New York’s residents,” said Sal Alfiero, president of the foundation. “This is something that we wanted to do despite the current challenges of the economy. Cancer doesn’t take a break, women continue to be diagnosed with this disease, and we must continue to support the inspiring advances being made by Roswell Park.”

Jeanne Alfiero added, “This gift is being made to help ensure that the best in care is always available to women across our community. Breast cancer affects us all, and we are honored to make this gift during a national month of awareness and action.”

The Alfiero Foundation Endowed Chair in Breast Oncology will provide a secure base of annual funding for Dr. Edge to continue to grow the Breast Center’s programs and to explore the latest in clinical treatments for patients. Dr. Edge’s research interests focus on breast cancer diagnosis, staging and treatment. A major focus of his research includes the study of how cancer care is delivered, and developing community-wide mechanisms to evaluate and improve the quality of cancer care and outcomes.

“We are grateful to the Alfieros for their significant gift that will benefit so many women and their families,” said Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP, President and CEO, RPCI. “We are making tremendous progress in breast cancer research, but much more research is needed if we are to achieve our goal of 100% cure. This endowment will help advance Roswell Park studies in individualized therapies in women and development of novel population-based approaches to understanding breast cancer treatment.”

Dawn Hamilton, a Roswell Park patient with advanced breast cancer, shared her personal thoughts about the day’s news. “I am extremely touched by this gift, as I know other women facing breast cancer are,” said Hamilton. “Total strangers with big hearts have stepped up to help people like me battle for life, and it is forever appreciated.”

Dr. Edge is a Professor of Surgery and Oncology at Roswell Park and the University at Buffalo, and is a busy breast cancer clinician and researcher. He holds leadership roles in many cancer-related organizations addressing cancer research and the quality of cancer care. He is on the Executive Committee of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, is Chair of the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons, immediate past-Chair of the American Joint Committee on Cancer and senior editor of the recently published AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (7th Edition). He serves on the national Cancer Quality Alliance, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the American Federation of Cancer Research. In WNY he was a charter member of the board of the WNY Chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and currently serves on the board of the Pursuing Perfection Collaborative of WNY.

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

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Media Contact: 

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