The Center for Translational Research on Cannabis and Cancer (CTRCC) at Roswell Park launched in 2021 with the goal to understand if, to what extent, and how cannabis and cannabinoid use impacts the health and well-being of individuals and the communities they live in.

Recently, the State of New York enacted the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which establishes a comprehensive and centralized approach to the regulation, control, and taxation of cannabis (including medical, adult-use, and hemp-derived products).

Why study cannabis?

Cannabis legalization raises several important scientific questions. Just a few examples of vital questions raised by the new policy include:

  • How will cannabis legalization impact cancer patients’ care and treatment outcomes?
  • What, if any, effect will cannabis legalization have on cancer prevention and related health behaviors?
  • How will new cannabis businesses impact communities?
  • Will cannabis legalization lead to increased rates of use among youth or cannabis dependence among adults?
  • Will cannabis legalization yield benefits intended through the Cannabis Law, including but not limited to: increased tax revenue and/or rectification of issues pertinent to individuals and communities who have been historically disenfranchised by the illegality of cannabis?
  • Will legalization eliminate a black market for cannabis?

What we do

Mission Statement: To provide our community with scientific evidence and evidence-based practices that optimize therapeutic applications and minimize health risks of cannabis use as it relates to cancer prevention, care, and public health.

Get involved

Interested in cannabis research? Need to speak with an expert? The CTRCC has a number of opportunities for you or your organization to engage with our group:

  • Request an educational seminar
  • Propose research project ideas and work with center experts
  • Promote our work
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The CTRCC collects credible scientific information to address questions on the benefits and risks of cannabis legalization and use. We aim to improve understanding of all aspects of medical and adult-use cannabis as it relates to the continuum of cancer prevention, symptom management, treatment, and impact on the community.

Our portfolio is comprised of basic, population, clinical, and translational research studies that inform the evidence-based to evaluate the impacts of cannabis legalization.  Specific CTRCC activities include:

  • Conducting transdisciplinary, collaborative research on all things cannabis, including publishing empirical findings in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals and presenting findings at scientific meetings
  • Coordinating onsite and offsite community educational events, including: seminars, panel discussions, education to community organizations and medical providers
  • Providing expert testimony and communicate with public officials and other stakeholders on cannabis-related topic matter
  • Training graduate students and medical residents and fellows, and creating and delivering evidence-based training programs related to the study of cannabis and cancer care
  • 1165721: Individual and Concomitant Use of Medical Cannabis and Mirtazapine for the Treatment of Co-occurring Insomnia and Anxiety in Cancer Patients with Anorexia: A Prospective, Open Label, Phase-2 Study at an NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center (P.I. Amy Case)
  • 1239721: Prevalence and Perceptions of Cannabis Use among Cancer Patients (P.I. Danielle Smith)
  • 142921: Retrospective Review of Medical Cannabis Use in Cancer Patients on Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy (P.I. Eric Hansen)
  • 111719: Efficacy of Medical Cannabis for the Treatment of Cancer-Related Symptoms (P.I. Eric Hansen)
  • Mupamombe CT, Nathan RA, Case AA, Walter M, Hansen E. Efficacy of medical cannabis for cancer-related pain in the elderly: A single-center retrospective analysis. American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, 2019.
  • Nathan RA, Mupamombe CT, Walter M, Case A, Hansen E. Use of Medical Cannabis in Treating Anorexia and Nausea in Elderly Cancer Patients. American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, 2019.
  • Smith DM, O'Connor R, Wei B, Travers M, Hyland A, Goniewicz M. Nicotine and Toxicant Exposure Among Concurrent Users (Co-Users) of Tobacco and Cannabis. Nicotine Tob Res 2020; 22(8): 1354-1363.
  • Smith DM, Goniewicz ML. The role of policy in the EVALI outbreak: solution, or contributor? Lancet Resp Med. Feb 7. pii: S2213-2600(20)30065-5. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30065-5.
  • Smith DM, Miller C, O’Connor RJ, Kozlowski LT, Wadsworth E, Collins RL, Wei B, Goniewicz ML, Hyland AJ, Hammond D. Modes of delivery in concurrent tobacco and cannabis use (“co-use”) among youth: findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) Survey. Substance Abuse. 2020; DOI: 10.1080/08897077.2019.1709603
  • Bhat TA, Kalathil SG, Bogner PN, Blount BC, Goniewicz ML, Thanavala YM. An Animal Model of Inhaled Vitamin E Acetate and EVALI-like Lung Injury. N Engl J Med. 2020 Mar 19;382(12):1175-1177. doi: 10.1056/NEJMc2000231. Epub 2020 Feb 26. PMID: 32101656; PMCID: PMC7299285.
  • Leigh N, Goniewicz M. Effect of aerosolized nicotine on human bronchial epithelial cells is amplified after co-administration with cannabidiol (CBD): a pilot in vitro study. BMC Pharmacol Toxicol 2020; 21(1): 42. PMC7271510
  • Gravely S, Driezen P, Smith DM, Borland R, Lindblom EN, Hammond D, McNeill A, Hyland A, Cummings KM, Chan G, Thompson ME, Boudreau C, Martin N, Ouimet J, Loewen R, Quah ACK, Goniewicz M, Thrasher JF, Fong GT. International differences in patterns of cannabis use among adult cigarette smokers: Findings from the 2018 ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Survey. Int J Drug Policy 2020; 79: 102754.
  • Smith DM, Goniewicz M. E-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury and state-level cannabis policies. J Cannabis Res 2020; 2(1): 45. PMC7819308
  • Smith DM, O'Connor R, Collins RL, Hyland A, Kozlowski LT. Correlates of smoker identity among intermittent and light daily young adult smokers: Findings from Wave 1 of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Addict Behav 2019; 98: 106034.
  • Boykan R, Messina CR, Chateau G, Eliscu A, Tolentino J, Goniewicz M. Self-Reported Use of Tobacco, E-cigarettes, and Marijuana Versus Urinary Biomarkers. Pediatrics 2019; 143(5): e20183531.
  • Camenga DR, Kong G, Cavallo DA, Liss A, Hyland A, Delmerico J, Cummings KM, Krishnan-Sarin S. Alternate tobacco product and drug use among adolescents who use electronic cigarettes, cigarettes only, and never smokers. J Adolesc Health 2014; 55(4): 588-591. PMC4175192
  • Smith DM, Kozlowski L, O’Connor RJ, Hyland A, Collins RL. Reasons for individual and concurrent use of vaped nicotine and cannabis: their similarities, differences and associations with product use. Journal of Cannabis Research. 2021 [In press]
  • Driezen P, Gravely S, Wadsworth E, Smith DM, Loewen R, Hammond D, Li L, McNeill A, Borland R, Cummings KM, Fong GT. Increasing cannabis use is associated with poorer cigarette smoking cessation outcomes: Findings from the ITC Four Country Smoking and Vaping Surveys, 2016-2018. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. [In press]
  • Wei B, Smith DM, O’Connor RJ, Travers M, Hyland A. Examining the Association between the Body Burden of Harmful Chemicals and the Heaviness of Cannabis Smoking: Implications for Epidemiological Studies. [Research Letter] Chemical Research in Toxicology. 2018; DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.8b00160.
  • Wei B, Smith DM, Travers MJ, O’Connor RJ, Goniewicz ML, Hyland A. Secondhand Marijuana Smoke (SHMS): Exposure Occurrence, Biological Analysis and Potential Health Effects. Chapter 1 in Advances in Molecular Toxicology: Volume 13, 2020, Pages 1-30.

CTRCC leadership

Contact us

Danielle Smith, PhD
Director of Population Studies
Phone: 716-845-8403

Jessica Wagonblott
Scientific Department Administrator
Phone: 716-845-8170