Groundbreaking Cancer Research Happening in Buffalo

January 30, 2013 Updated Jan 30, 2013 at 6:41 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon


Groundbreaking Cancer Research Happening in Buffalo

January 30, 2013 Updated Jan 30, 2013 at 6:41 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - The Roswell Park Cancer Institute has a new, groundbreaking center to help treat cancer patients and research the disease.

The goal of the Center for Personalized Medicine is to use a person's genetics to determine the fight against cancer.

Many local doctors and state politicians believe this new technology could be the future of cancer treatment.

At the institute's announcement, Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy told the crowd that, ""Buffalo is going to be seen as a leader not only in the country, but around the world. It's just a great day for us."

This new research procedure comes down to a person's DNA, RNA and genetics.

Doctor Donald Trump, the President & CEO of Roswell explains, "How well a person will live is in their genetic code, and how a tumor will behave is in their genetic code. We now have the capability to sequence that."

The center will study genes from cancer patients and their family members who are healthy.

Using that information, doctors hope to form individualized treatment.

Trump explains it is "developing an understand of why I have a certain problem, what the characteristics of my problem are and developing a unique treatment for my problem, rather than just treating cancer."

The center has three primary focuses right now.

One will follow the medical history of different demographics in under served communities. The other two will focus on treating bladder and breast cancer.

Dr. Candace Johnson, the Deputy Director at Roswell, says researchers will look at "What options do people have? Are there cues that we can determine from these folks?"

"We've already initiated some of these studies," Johnson says "and experiments are underway."

Researchers say they still face a lot of challenges. However, they believe Buffalo has a leg-up on other research institutes. Roswell doctors have been studying genetic sequencing for about a decade.

The state invested $5.1 million into the center through the Western New York Regional Economic Council in December of 2011.

Roswell invested $16 million. A local group, Computer Task Force, has put $2.5 million into the center.