Roswell Park Cancer Institute

RPCI launches new physician portal

Robotic surgery training

Welcome to Roswell Park’s Partners in Practice, a new physician portal and eblast newsletter from Roswell Park Cancer Institute designed to streamline your access to RPCI. The e-newsletter will keep you in the loop about news you need to know—new developments, research, faculty, professional conferences, educational forums, treatments, procedures and services at RPCI—to help you help your patients. This newsletter also introduces and highlights important information on our newly-launched physician portal, Partners in Practice, sponsored by BlueCross and Blue Shield of Western New York. At this unique gateway to RPCI, you and your office managers can view practice management and clinical video programs aimed at helping you run your practice better. Monthly articles will feature the latest in technology, operations and financial news for the private practice physician. We'd like to hear from you, too. Let us know what areas you find challenging. With our partnership with UBM Medica we can connect you to other practices throughout the nation who have faced similar challenges and have found a solution. Contact Laurel DiBrog (716-845-8182 or Email) to learn more.

RPCI Robotics Training Center — Where the world’s best come to learn

Robotic surgery training

Studies say it takes 80 cases for a surgeon to become proficient at robot-assisted surgery; the average surgeon does just 12 cases a year. While practice makes perfect, how do you explain that to your first 79 patients? RPCI’s training center offers a week-long program (above and beyond the FDA-mandated weekend) to train every member of your surgical team, and perfect their skills before hands-on training with patients. At RPCI, we use robot-assisted techniques in the surgical treatment of liver, lung, kidney, prostate, bladder, colorectal, endometrial, and cervical cancers as well as both simple and radical hysterectomy. Our program features:

  • Dr. Khurshid A. Guru, MD, Director of Center for Robotic Surgery, whose surgical expertise has made RPCI’s Robotics Program a Center for Excellence and a world leader in physician training for robotics.
  • RoSS, the Robotic Surgical Simulator, developed in collaboration with University at Buffalo’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, that provides a virtual reality “flight simulator” training experience for robotic surgery.
  • A four-part DVD “virtual textbook,” the first of its kind, to help you hone your surgical skills.

For more information, contact Dr. Khurshid Guru at 716-845-3389 or

Elite status — RPCI named Blue Distinction Center

Roswell Park Cancer Institute was again named a Blue Distinction Center for Complex and Rare Cancers by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, one of only five centers in New York State and 85 facilities nationwide to receive the honor. Complex and rare cancers account for 15 percent of new cancer cases each year, and patients with such malignancies often face difficulty finding treatment facilities with expertise in treating their cancer type. The distinction highlights RPCI’s multidisciplinary team approach to cancer care, volume of experience in treating rare and complex cancers, and ongoing commitment to quality and clinical research.

To receive more information about this quality program, contact 1-877-ASK RPCI (275-7724) or go to RPCI Blue Distinction.

Same-Day service for colorectal patients

Every day counts when a patient has cancer. The days spent waiting for an appointment, or the days taken up by various diagnostics required for staging and treatment planning—these are days not fighting the cancer. To provide rapid access to Roswell Park, we developed two new programs to help you get your patients with colorectal or anal cancer in for prompt evaluation:

  • Same-day Appointment. For any newly diagnosed or suspected colorectal or anal cancer an appointment for initial evaluation can be made the same day or within 24 hours. A division of Colon and Rectal Surgery faculty member will see your patient and you’ll receive prompt feedback regarding further testing, treatment or need for comprehensive evaluation with our multidisciplinary team.
  • Rectal Cancer Multidiciplinary Clinic provides a One-Day staging evaluation for newly-diagnosed rectal and anal cancer patients. This clinic day includes CT scan, ultrasound and other diagnostics. Evaluation is done in consultation with faculty in the departments of medicine, surgical oncology and radiation medicine; all pertinent clinical studies are reviewed in a multidisciplinary conference; and a comprehensive treatment plan presented to the patient.
  • To request a same-day appointment call: 1.800.ROSWELL (1.800.767.9355)

Volume One - July 2010

Clinical Updates

To view all clinical trials at Roswell Park, go to Clinical Trials List

Direct Patient Referrals

Good relationships begin with communication, awareness and access. RPCI strives to remove all access barriers to the staff and services of RPCI and to enhance colleague-to-colleague communication. If you have any suggestions for how we can improve access or communication, please contact Judy Smith, MD, Medical Director, at 716-845-7724 or Kim Sweeney, Patient Access, at 716-845-8749.

New Faces at Roswell

Gissou Azabdaftari, MD (Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine) - 716.845.3867

Elizabeth Griffiths, MD (Leukemia Service, Department of Medicine) - 716.845.3996

Maureen Ross, MD, PhD BMT Service, Department of Medicine) - 716.697.8562

Robotic surgery training Taimur Sher, MD (Leukemia/Myeloma Service, Department of Medicine) - 716.845.8547

Neal Wilkinson, MD (Gastrointestinal Service, Department of Surgical Oncology) - 716.845.5807

Events for MDs

Sign up a speaker
Schedule a Roswell Park specialist to update your team about the latest information on a particular cancer or to learn about the upcoming oncology lectures, seminars and conferences at RPCI. Contact Joanne Bond in the Education Department at 716-845-2339 or check out our Speakers Bureau.

Save The Date

Kidney Cancer Conference 2010
Date: October 8th & 9th
Venue: Barton Hill Hotel & Spa, Lewiston, NY

This program is intended for urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, primary care physicians, scientists and health care providers interested in kidney cancer.
Contact: Joanne Bond 716.845.2339

Optimizing Operations

After-hours care close to home
Our patients who require emergency care can rest assured that they’ll be tended by staff who understand their special needs. Through the Bridge to Care program, urgent and emergent after-hours care of RPCI patients is now managed through the Emergency Department of Buffalo General Hospital—connected to RPCI literally by a pedestrian bridge. Patients with any concerning symptoms are to call Roswell Park at 845-2300 for immediate advice from on-call Roswell Park physicians. Patients with urgent medical needs will be advised to go directly to Buffalo General’s Emergency Department where:

  • BGH staff and physicians will have full access to the patient’s Roswell Park electronic medical record.
  • BGH physicians will coordinate patient care with Roswell Park physicians and the RPCI Community Liaison Nurse Practitioner (CLNP), who can arrange transfer to RPCI if necessary.