Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) was the first institution in the nation dedicated exclusively to cancer research. Founded in 1898 by eminent American surgeon Roswell Park, M.D., it began as the University of Buffalo Pathological Laboratory. With the opening of a hospital in 1913, the Institute strengthened its focus on moving scientific discoveries from the laboratory to the patient’s bedside.
Today more than 31,000 patients from 48 states and 13 countries are in active care at RPCI, where clinicians and scientists work together to fulfill its mission: to understand, prevent and cure cancer. The emphasis on both research and treatment has earned RPCI a place among the NCI’s 41 comprehensive cancer centers, a distinction it has held continuously since 1974.
RPCI’s Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) was renewed by the NCI in 2014 with a rating of Outstanding. The CCSG supports the Institute’s six research programs: Cell Stress & Biophysical Therapies, Experimental Therapeutics, Genetics, Genitourinary Cancers, Population Sciences, and Tumor Immunology & Immunotherapy.
RPCI provides access to the newest and most promising cancer therapies through clinical research studies (clinical trials), and is home to the largest phase I clinical trials program in New York State. Through clinical trials, RPCI patients were among the first to benefit from such drugs as Herceptin® and Gleevec®, as well as therapies pioneered at RPCI, including 5-FU + leucovorin therapy for colorectal cancer.
In recent years the Institute has accelerated the development of new treatments aimed at harnessing the power of the immune system. Its Center for Immunotherapy, opened in 2011, supports the creation of cancer vaccines, which are offered through clinical trials for many types of solid tumors. RPCI is one of 30 member sites of the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network and home to an FDA-approved Therapeutic Cell Production Facility. The Institute has also launched a Center for Personalized Medicine, where rapid, next-generation gene sequencing matches a patient’s unique genetic profile with the most appropriate treatments.
Through the Roswell Park Graduate Division of the State University of New York at Buffalo, RPCI provides specialized clinical and research training in oncology for hundreds of students and medical professionals from all over the world.
* This profile was provided by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.