Roswell Park Cancer Institute

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Roswell Park Cancer Institute
National Cancer Institute; National Comprehensive Cancer Network
Roswell park.jpg
Location Buffalo, Erie County, New York, United States
Care system Medicare
Hospital type Teaching, specialist, research, education, cancer care
Affiliated university University at Buffalo, the State University of New York
Beds 133 (licensed)
Founded 1898

Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) (founded 1898) is a cancer research and treatment center in Buffalo, New York founded by Dr. Roswell Park. Candace S. Johnson, PhD, is President & Chief Executive officer of Roswell Park Cancer Institute. RPCI was the first dedicated medical facility for cancer treatment and research in the United States, and is the only upstate New York facility to hold the National Cancer Institute designation of "comprehensive cancer center." The Institute, which conducts clinical research on cancer as well as developing new drugs, provides advanced treatment for all forms of adult and pediatric cancer and serves as a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

The RPCI campus, spread out in 15 separate buildings of approximately two million sq ft, occupies 28 acres (11 ha) on the 100-acre (40 ha) Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) in downtown Buffalo, and includes 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2) of space equally distributed between clinical programs and research/education functions. A separate hospital building, completed in 1998, houses a diagnostic and treatment center. The campus also includes a medical research complex as well as research and education focused space.


Gerty Cori and Carl Cori jointly won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discovery of the Cori cycle at RPMI.

In 1898, Roswell Park Cancer Institute was established by Dr. Roswell Park, who was a professor of surgery at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine.[1] Dr. Park said that "Only through a deliberate well-planned, combined attack from various directions by means fitted for such work could real advances be made and further the relationship of laboratory work, clinical study and education must be closely associated." [2]

Research started in three rooms in the University at Buffalo School of Medicine but not long thereafter, it outgrew the rooms. Seeing the importance of dedicated cancer research, select Buffalo citizens donated funds to purchase land and construct a new building. The largest contributor was Mrs. William Gratwick, (husband to the William H. Gratwick, the founder of the lumber firm of Gratwick, Smith & Fryer Lumber Co.) who donated $25,000. The Gratwick Research Laboratory of the University at Buffalo was constructed in 1901 and was located on High and Elm Streets in the city.[3]

Dr. Park wrote books, gave lectures, and was the administrator at the cancer research center. In 1904, Dr. Park stepped down and Dr. Harvey R. Gaylord took over as the second director of the Institute. Dr. Park remained as the head chairman of the board of trustees.[4]

Education annually:

  • 343 clinical residents/oncology fellows
  • 60 postdoctoral research fellows
  • 105 predoctoral graduate students
  • 64 master's students
  • 28 high school and 32 college summer research students
  • 30 exchange visitors - international research scholars

Centers of research[edit]

RPCI’s centers include the Breast Service; Chemotherapy/Infusion; Dermatology, Soft Tissue Melanoma, Thoracic; Lower Gastrointestinal; Upper Gastrointestinal; Genito-Urology; Head & Neck; Dentistry and Maxillofacial Prosthetics; Pediatric; Gynecology and Hematology/Neurology/Pain. Supporting these centers are clinical resources that include Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine; Blood Bank/Plateletpheresis; Clinical Research Services; Community Cancer Resource Center; Diagnostic Imaging; Genetics Counseling/Testing; Infectious Disease Service; Nursing; Pain Medicine; Pathology & Laboratory Medicine; Patient Advocacy; Photodynamic Therapy; Psychosocial Support; Radiation Oncology; Rehabilitation (physical, occupational and speech therapy); and Therapeutics (experimental).

RPCI also offers specialized treatments, services and therapies including: High-dose Chemotherapy; Photodynamic Therapy; Gamma Knife; Follow-up Clinic for Long- term Survivors of Childhood Cancer; a Regional Center for Maxillofacial Prosthetics; the Buffalo-Niagara Prostate Cancer Consortium; Clinical Genetics Testing and Counseling; the Center for HIV-related Malignancies; Lymphedema Clinic; Balloon Kyphoplasty; Brain Mapping; Cancer Pain Management Service; High Risk Breast Clinic; Intraoperative MRI; Minimally Invasive Surgical Suite; Mohs Surgery; Robotic Surgery and Colorectal Cancer Risk Management Clinic.

Vital statistics[edit]

Statistics from fiscal year 2013[edit]

  • Ranked among the nation's top cancer hospitals by U.S. News & World Report
  • One of Western New York's Top 20 Employers
  • Leapfrog Group Top Hospital
  • Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI) Certification from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
  • 3,221 employees, including 308 faculty members and 606 nurses
  • Average length of service: 9.26 years
  • Active employees who are members of the 25-Year Club (length of service > 25 years): 365
  • Members of The Jurassic Society (retired, but active senior faculty): 19
  • Hospital admission: 5,284
  • Outpatient visits: 205,000
  • Patients under active care: 31,000
  • Surgical procedures (annual) 4,200
  • Patient origin: 48 states, 13 foreign countries
  • Number of beds: 133 (licensed)
  • Average length of stay: 7.4 days
  • Results of patient satisfaction surveys: Over 98 percent of Roswell Park patients consistently rate the care at Roswell Park as excellent or very good and over 97 percent of patients say they would recommend Roswell Park to other cancer patients.
  • Grant monies (per annum): $92.8 million
  • Funded research projects: 545
  • License agreements: 87
  • U.S. patents: 71
  • Collaborations with biopharmaceutical companies: 169


Affiliations/satellites and research partners[edit]

  • Amherst Center, Williamsville, NY (Physicians' Offices and Chemotherapy and Infusion Satellite)
  • Breast Care of Western New York, Amherst, NY (RPCI Community Cancer Practice)
  • Bradford Regional Medical Center, Bradford, PA (Network Affiliate)
  • Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, NY (Radiation Oncology Satellite and Network Affiliate)
  • Health Research Incorporated
  • Meadville Medical Center, Meadville, PA (Network Affiliate)
  • Niagara Center, Wheatfield, NY (Satellite)
  • Olean General Hospital, Olean, NY (Network Affiliate)
  • Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, NY (Network Affiliate)
  • Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
  • Roswell Park Hematology Oncology of Niagara, Niagara Falls, NY (RPCI Community Cancer Practice)
  • Roswell Park Hematology Oncology Southtowns, West Seneca, NY (RPCI Community Cancer Practice)
  • Soniwala Hematology Oncology Associates, Amherst, NY (RPCI Community Cancer Practice)
  • University at Buffalo Graduate School and School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (Graduate and Medical Training)
  • WCA Hospital, Jamestown, NY (Radiation Satellite and Network Affiliate)

Spinoff companies and affiliates[edit]

  • AndroBioSys, Inc.
  • Cleveland BioLabs, Inc.
  • CureFAKtor Pharmaceuticals, L.L.C.
  • Empire Genomics, L.L.C.
  • Generate BioMed, Inc.
  • Incuron, L.L.C.
  • MimiVax, L.L.C.
  • OmniSeq, L.L.C.
  • Oncotartis, Inc.
  • Panacela Labs, Inc.
  • Photolitec, L.L.C.
  • Simulated Surgical Systems, L.L.C.
  • Tartis Aging, Inc.

International collaborations[edit]

Training and education[edit]

  • Lakeshore Cancer Center, Lagos, Nigeria (Research and Training; Quality Oversight)
  • King Fahad Specialist Hospital, Dammam, Saudi Arabia (Training Programs)
  • Institute of Materia Medica of Nanyang Normal University, China (Training Programs)
  • Saudi Cancer Foundation, Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia (Joint Symposium)
  • Shawsand Medical Centre, Port Harcourt, Nigeria (Prostate Cancer Surgical Training)
  • King Hussein Cancer Center, Amman, Jordan (Network Affiliate)
  • King Hussein Cancer Biotechnology Institute, Amman, Jordan (Network Affiliate; Research and Clinical Programs)
  • University of Puerto Rico, Rio Peidras Campus (Education)
  • Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China (Research Programs)
  • Socete Internationale d’Urologie (Robot-Assisted Surgery Training Program)

Stacey Scott Lung Cancer Registry[edit]

Historical facts[edit]

Previous names[edit]

  • State Pathological Laboratory of the University at Buffalo, 1898–1911
  • State Institute for the Study of Malignant Diseases, 1911–1946
  • Roswell Park Memorial Institute (RPMI), 1946–1992

Historical firsts[edit]

  • America's First Comprehensive Cancer Center (1898)
  • Candace S. Johnson, PhD, was named President & CEO of Roswell Park Cancer Institute in February 2015. Dr. Johnson is the Institute's first female leader.
  • First example of direct government interest (New York State) in cancer research
  • Pioneered the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test
  • Pioneered Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
  • Pioneered 5-FU and Leucovorin for colorectal cancer – the gold standard chemotherapy for this disease
  • Leads the nation in the number of robotic cystectomies performed
  • Established one of the nation's first Long-Term Survivors Clinics for childhood cancer patients
  • Member of international team of scientists who produced the landmark studies of the Human Genome project

Notable staff[edit]

  • Drs. Gerty and Carl Cori jointly won the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, "for their discovery of the course of the catalytic conversion of glycogen." Their research leading to the discovery began during their tenure at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (then called the New York State Institute for the Study of Malignant Diseases), from 1922-1931.[5]
  • Thomas Dao (1921–2009), served as director of the breast surgery department from 1957 to 1988, where he developed breast cancer treatment alternatives.[6]


  1. ^ Mirand, Dr. Edwin A., Legacy and History of Roswell Park Cancer Institute 1898-1998. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers pg 9
  2. ^ Mirand, Dr. Edwin A., Legacy and History of Roswell Park Cancer Institute 1898-1998. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers pg 9
  3. ^ Mirand, Dr. Edwin A., Legacy and History of Roswell Park Cancer Institute 1898-1998. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers pg. 16
  4. ^ Mirand, Dr. Edwin A., Legacy and History of Roswell Park Cancer Institute 1898-1998. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers pg 21
  5. ^ "Gerty Cori - Biographical". Nobel Media AB2013. Web. 24 Jul 2013. <>
  6. ^ Hevesi, Dennis. "Dr. Thomas Dao, Expert on Treatment of Breast Cancer, Dies at 88", The New York Times, July 25, 2009. Accessed July 26, 2009.



External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°53′55″N 78°51′54″W / 42.89869°N 78.86498°W / 42.89869; -78.86498