Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has designated Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) as a Comprehensive Cancer Center, renewing a support grant for five years after giving the cancer center high scores during a recent rigorous review process. The NCI designation distinguishes RPCI from other cancer centers because of the excellence and scope of its science and treatment capabilities. To be designated a NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center; a facility must demonstrate depth and breadth of research activities in laboratory, clinical and population-based research. A center also must provide outreach, education and information on cancer to the community it serves.

“As one of Buffalo’s premiere medical institutions, Roswell Park is vital to Western New York’s status as a world-class health care destination – and as one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the entire nation, it is a beacon of hope for patients and families far beyond New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “I congratulate RPCI for renewing this important distinction, which is critical to continuing its cutting edge research and high quality patient care”

The grant provides $19 million over five years in developmental funds to advance scientific goals and foster research in six specific research areas: genetics, genitourinary cancers, population sciences, cell stress and biophysical therapies, tumor immunology and immunotherapy, and experimental therapeutics. New York State provides approximately $100 million in support to RPCI annually. 

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute is a public benefit corporation. RPCI was part of the NYS Department of Health until 1999 when, pursuant the Roswell Park Institute Corporation Act, it became a public benefit corporation in order to provide greater operating flexibility. Health Research Incorporated (HRI) provides the platform and expertise for the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and its institutions as well as the Roswell Park Cancer (RPCI) Institute to compete for external grant funds in a highly competitive environment. DOH also has a longstanding collaboration with RPCI on work to improve the New York Cancer Registry. Researchers in both institutions have used data from the registry to make significant contributions to epidemiologic and health services research and contributed to national cancer surveillance efforts.

Through the NCI designation, Roswell Park is recognized for its scientific and treatment expertise as it serves not only the local community, but reaches additional areas of New York State and contributes to increased knowledge and the highest standard of cancer care nationally.

The local and national prestige of being designated a NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center also helps RPCI to attract:

· Qualified scientists and clinicians, who look for cutting-edge research and treatment programs where their contributions will make a difference
· Increased support from philanthropic sources
· Interest from biotech and pharmaceutical industries

Patients benefit from gaining access to multidisciplinary, state-of-the-art treatment, expertise in rare cancers, clinical trials, education, and cancer control programs. The Western New York community benefits from the positive economic impact of a world-class institution that employs more than 3,000 people.

“The receipt of a superb score on the renewal of our NCI Core Grant is testament to the outstanding work of the Roswell Park team and affirms that we are committed to conducting innovative and pioneering research and providing exemplary patient care,” said Dr. Donald Trump, president and CEO. “These are the attributes of a world class cancer center and we are proud that the NCI has recognized the quality of our cancer programs and faculty.” 

Congressman Brian Higgins, said, “Anyone who has walked through the doors of Roswell Park Cancer Institute knows that it is a special place and this rating and designation confirms it. Western New York is so fortunate to have one of the finest facilities providing cancer research and care right here in our backyard. Through this federal commitment we give Roswell the support to continue their mission, giving life and hope to not just those they serve but all faced with cancer.”

Senator Tim Kennedy said, “The cutting-edge research that takes place here at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute will help save lives, while revolutionizing treatment and leading the way in the fight against cancer. Reaccreditation of Roswell Park will preserve its place among our nation’s comprehensive cancer centers, and ensure it remains a central force driving the rapid growth of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and the entire Western New York region. This protects the jobs here and ensures Roswell remains a beacon of hope for families in need. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for his leadership and commitment to Buffalo and Western New York.”

Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, said, “Roswell Park Cancer Institute has touched almost every member of our community with its high level of cancer care. I commend the staff for the extraordinary effort that that has been made to receive the designation of National Comprehensive Cancer Center. It is an honor deserving of recognition by Governor Cuomo and everyone who has benefited from having Roswell Park located in Western New York.”

“Roswell Park’s successful re-designation by the NCI as a world-class cancer institute adds to the great momentum that’s underway in Buffalo,” said Mayor Byron Brown, noting the $4.3 billion in on-going economic development activity in Buffalo that’s expected to generate over 10,000 new jobs over the next few years. “This NCI continued recognition is an honor for Roswell Park and further proof of Roswell’s commitment to the health and wellness of city residents, as well as its position as a major player in Buffalo’s revival. When complete, Roswell Park’s new $40 million Clinical Sciences Center will bring additional investment and jobs to our community. Today, I also thank Governor Cuomo and the state’s support for making sure city residents and visitors continue to have the very best cancer care right here in our own backyard.”

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, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email[email protected].