2016 Allocation - Hero Background

2016 Impact
Funding Allocations

Cycle for Survival is determined to beat rare cancers by powering groundbreaking research to help patients—many of whom have
few or no options. 

Every dollar launches and accelerates research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) within six months of the events, empowering researchers to pursue the revolutionary ideas that lead to lifesaving breakthroughs.

2016 was the biggest fundraising year yet

Raising $30 million this year—and more than $105 million during our first ten years—was only possible because of our dedicated community of riders, supporters, patients, researchers, and doctors.


Here’s how that $30 million is transforming the fight against rare cancers:

Equinox Innovation Initiative

Brain Cancer
Germ Cell Tumors
Hematologic Malignancies
Kidney Cancer
Liver cancer
Metastatic Tumors
Pancreatic Cancer
Pediatric Cancer
Pediatric Rhabdoid Sarcoma
Precision Pathology

Directed Support

Adrenocortical Carcinoma
Bladder Cancer
Brain Cancer
Clear Cell Ovarian Cancer
Endometrial Cancer
Esophageal Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Merkel Cell Carcinoma
Multiple Myeloma
Myelodysplastic Syndrome 
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
Testicular Cancer
Thyroid Cancer

*Sarcoma research includes: Angiosarcoma, Ewing Sarcoma, GIST, Leiomyosarcoma, Liposarcoma, Osteosarcoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma

Pediatric Research

Brain Cancer
Ewing Sarcoma
Germ Cell Tumors

Funded Research

Funded Research

MSK is on the frontline of the battle against rare cancers. We’re proud to support the advancement of several comprehensive initiatives at MSK, which span across many critical areas of research.

Remarkable progress in understanding the genetic mutations driving tumor growth make this an ideal time to intensify focus on blood cancers. Cycle for Survival will strengthen and advance critical research in this area, which will have a major impact on patients worldwide.

The Center for Hematologic Malignancies, led by Dr. Ross Levine, is a new effort to maximize MSK’s expertise in leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma—and change the paradigm for how these diseases are treated. Cycle for Survival will support clinical trials that evaluate two types of therapies, each targeted to more than one genetic mutation in a tumor. Cycle for Survival funding will also allow Dr. Levine’s team to screen the DNA of all leukemia patients enrolled in clinical trials at MSK, which will inform new therapies for patients everywhere.

Sarcoma affects people of all ages, and there are very few treatments that work long-term. Because sarcomas are a number of rare cancers, each presents unique challenges, and requires specialized therapy and expertise. Cycle for Survival funding continues to uncover the best new methods for tackling every type of sarcoma.

The Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service, led by Dr. William Tap, seeks to ensure that all patients with sarcoma can benefit from the many new and exciting clinical trials available. Cycle for Survival funding will open several clinical trials, which will include the application of a novel cell cycle inhibitor in liposarcoma (with the goal of irreversibly arresting cancer cell growth), and a new trial for GIST patients. In the Jennifer Goodman Linn Laboratory of New Drug Development in Sarcoma and Rare Cancers, researchers will explore the sarcoma tumor microenvironment for clues to both prevent and halt sarcoma growth and metastasis. Cycle for Survival support continues to foster groundbreaking research that is extending the lives of sarcoma patients, and providing new hope for everyone impacted by this complex disease.

Pancreatic cancer remains largely incurable. Patients urgently need effective treatments to fight back. Cycle for Survival is accelerating progress against this aggressive disease by promoting bold, multidisciplinary research.

The mission of the David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research, led by Dr. Steven Leach, is to fundamentally change what it means to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Thanks to Cycle for Survival, Dr. Leach is now launching the first-ever clinical trial aimed at the prevention of benign pancreatic cysts progressing to cancer. Funding will also support a study to measure a patient’s resistance to chemotherapy with a simple blood test, called a liquid biopsy. And, in the laboratory, Dr. Leach’s team is studying DNA changes in pancreatic cancer cells.

Identifying the genetic mutations responsible for cancer is the key to more effective therapies and better outcomes overall. Cycle for Survival’s investment gets us closer to reaching the CMO’s goal to sequence every patient’s tumor, and to then share these important findings with the global oncology community.

The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology (CMO), directed by Dr. David Solit, has sequenced more than 10,000 patient tumors in the past two years—cementing its role as the world’s largest genomic profiling program. With support from Cycle for Survival, the CMO has identified new drug targets in people with rare cancers, and hastened their enrollment in clinical trials. New funding will be directed to genetic profiling using liquid biopsy—a simple but revolutionary blood test that is less risky than a traditional tumor biopsy. Cycle for Survival is also bolstering an important effort to pool genomic data on rare cancers with other major research centers worldwide.

In order to target and kill malignant cells, scientists need to figure out why a healthy cell becomes cancerous in the first place. Cycle for Survival supports the Functional Genomics Initiative, which performs in-depth genetic analysis that informs powerful new cancer treatments.

The Functional Genomics Initiative (FGI) brings together clinicians and scientists from diverse fields to test novel theories, which spring from the vast output of genetic information MSK’s Center for Molecular Oncology produces. Under the direction of Dr. John Petrini, the FGI’s objective is to gain a better understanding of the cascade of events that turn a healthy cell into a cancerous one. Funds from Cycle for Survival will seed new research ideas gleaned from CMO data. For example, FGI investigators are studying the functional consequences of mutations commonly found in pediatric cancers; this work will help target vulnerabilities in cancer cells to develop more effective treatments for patients.

Immunotherapy is a game-changing approach to cancer treatment, and MSK is a recognized powerhouse in this field. Cycle for Survival will help researchers unlock the power of the immune system for patients fighting cancers of the head and neck.

Immunotherapy seeks to treat cancer by inciting and empowering the immune system to attack cancer—often with dramatic results. Yet much more still needs to be done for those with rare cancers of the head and neck. Dr. Richard Wong, in collaboration with Dr. Jedd Wolchok, will use Cycle for Survival funding to enable early-career immunologists to focus on developing new head and neck therapies. And, in a critical effort to prevent rare cancers, Cycle for Survival support will also help expand MSK’s HPV-vaccine research program.

To make a meaningful impact on cancer treatment, it is vital to connect discoveries made in the laboratory with those made in the clinic—quickly. Cycle for Survival supports HOPP, an effort to turn scientific breakthroughs into real progress for patients across many cancer types.

The Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) is an exceptional collective of physician-scientists from different specialties and backgrounds. The cross-pollination of expertise facilitates bold ideas, which then leads to advances in drug development. Led by Dr. Charles Sawyers, HOPP is using Cycle for Survival resources to seed innovative research that might otherwise not get off the ground. For example, Cycle for Survival is funding the development of a new treatment to inhibit a cancer-causing protein, and new drug-combinations for patients who urgently need effective therapies.

Called “the silent killer,” ovarian cancer is hard to diagnose, and even harder to treat. Cycle for Survival is supporting research to identify the genetic roots of this disease, as well as the development of better treatments—bringing hope to women where very little existed before.

Cycle for Survival will advance a number of high impact studies led by Dr. Dennis Chi, including one examining how molecular differences within and among metastasized tumors may influence surgical outcomes. Another trial is testing the efficacy of surgery when it is combined with heated chemotherapy (delivered directly into the abdomen), in reducing toxicity and increasing surgical success. In a third project, Cycle for Survival is supporting research that explores the impact of chemotherapy on the tumor microenvironment in women with high-grade ovarian cancer. These efforts seek to provide much needed improvements in ovarian cancer treatment.

Equinox Innovation Initiative

Equinox Innovation Initiative in Rare Cancers

The Equinox Innovation Initiative—named in honor of Cycle for Survival’s founding partner and worldwide corporate leader in the battle to beat rare cancers—fuels cutting-edge research that embodies the innovative spirit of Equinox.

These trailblazing projects and esteemed grants, issued annually to MSK physicians and scientists through a highly competitive process, represent the most promising ideas in cancer research and treatment.

Select Projects

Select Projects Supported by 2016 Donations

The funds raised in 2016 were also allocated for new and ongoing research efforts that focus on specific types of rare cancers and how to defeat them.

December Challenge

Building on the momentum of last season, this past December the community came together once again to raise $1.2 million to purchase a new Liquid Biopsy System—a transformative technology that’s minimally invasive for patients, provides a more complete picture of cancer in the body, and will improve cancer detection and monitoring.

To honor the teams and individual Extreme riders who met the Challenge by raising $1,000 per-bike by the end of December, their names are now on display in the Memorial Sloan Kettering lab that houses the Liquid Biopsy System.

Battlefront - 2016 Summer - Poster

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2016 Funding Allocation

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2015 Funding Allocation

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2014 Funding Allocation

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2013 Funding Allocation

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