RPCI Names New Medical Director For Photodynamic Therapy Center

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BUFFALO, NY — Nestor Rigual, MD, FACS, has been appointed Medical Director of the Photodynamic Therapy Center at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI). Photodynamic therapy (PDT) was developed at RPCI, and the PDT Center is a worldwide leader in its use for treating many types of cancer.

PDT, developed in the mid-1980s by Thomas Dougherty, PhD, Chief Emeritus of the Center,is a targeted anticancer treatment — one that kills tumor cells without permanently damaging surrounding tissue. It involves the administration of a nontoxic drug that settles in tumor cells, followed by the application of laser light to the tumor, thereby activating the drug and killing the cancer. At RPCI, it is used to treat various types of cancer, including cancers of the skin, lung, breast, esophagus, colon and rectum.

Dr. Rigual is a Professor of Oncology in the Department of Head & Neck/Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He will provide leadership in PDT translational research, establish clinical conferences for physicians to discuss protocols and PDT patients, train physicians in the practice of PDT, and develop a new multidisciplinary PDT clinic.

“Dr. Rigual brings expertise, enthusiasm and energy to this new position, and I am confident that he will bring new and innovative ideas to the clinical program in PDT,” said RPCI President and CEO Donald L. Trump, MD, FACP.

Dr. Rigual earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and completed residencies at UB and the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

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.

Media Contact: 

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