The renewal of Roswell Park Cancer Institute’s designation as a comprehensive cancer center is great news for Roswell Park and all of Western New York. The institute is a key player in the Medical Campus and assures that top-notch cancer care is available right here.
The National Cancer Institute will renew a core federal grant for five more years. Roswell Park will receive $19 million over that time period. That is much less than the $24 million that it had requested, but officials say that is a reflection of general federal cuts in cancer funding.
Renewal of its status required much hard work on the part of Roswell Park officials, who put together a 1,273-page application submitted in the spring of 2013.
The comprehensive cancer center designation is important. It helps attract researchers, other government and industry grants and charitable donations.
The announcement came during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s visit to the center, which he called a “treasure.” That is no exaggeration. It is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the country.
Now the state has to take the next step and increase support for Roswell Park.
The institute has the potential to become an even heavier hitter in cancer care if it can attract the “rock star” scientists whose research leads to major grants and patents. That could also perhaps remove any reason for someone to choose to receive cancer treatment in Cleveland or New York City.
More funding, along with the renewed federal commitment and Roswell Park’s own efforts at more-creative management, should pay huge dividends for the region’s economy and cancer patients everywhere.