Fueling Breakthroughs Since 2007

With more than $316M raised for rare cancer research and clinical trials at MSK, this community continues to save lives around the world.

See Your Impact

Annual Funding Allocations

$30 Million Raised in 2023

Within just six months of the close of fundraising each season, every single dollar raised by the Cycle for Survival community is awarded to MSK doctors and scientists who are pursuing bold ideas with the power to transform rare cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The Latest From MSK

Read the Winter 2024 Issue of MSK News

The latest edition of MSK’s publication explores the legacy of immunotherapy at MSK, from pioneering 19th-century findings to new discoveries in chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy. Read on to learn about CAR T cell research that Cycle for Survival helps fund and other advances in rare cancer care made possible by your generosity. 

Could Vaccines Be Used to Treat Cancer One Day?

Led by Cycle for Survival–funded surgeon-scientist Vinod Balachandran, MD, MSK researchers are seeking to answer this question. A clinical trial showed that an investigational personalized mRNA vaccine prevented the recurrence of pancreatic cancer in some participants. With support from Cycle for Survival, Dr. Balachandran and his team will continue to study whether vaccines may potentially be used in the treatment of people with rare cancers. 

A Breakthrough in Brain Cancer Treatment

Foundational research funded in part by Cycle for Survival led to the first novel treatment for early-stage glioma in more than 20 years. Glioma is the most common type of primary brain cancer in adults, and prior this discovery, people with these tumors had few effective long-term treatment options. Ingo Mellinghoff, MD, Chair of the Department of Neurology and Evnin Family Chair in Neuro-Oncology at MSK, led the trial, which showed that an oral drug called vorasidenib significantly slowed tumor growth in certain participants with glioma. 

Cycle for Survival–Funded Physician-Scientists Earn Prestigious Recognition

Two MSK physician-scientists whose work has been supported by Cycle for Survival were elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors bestowed on scientists worldwide. Luis Diaz Jr., MD, is Head of the Division of Solid Tumor Oncology and holds the Grayer Family Chair. Kojo Elenitoba-Johnson, MD, is Chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and a Member of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program, and holds the James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology. 

The Research You Make Possible

MSK Impact

Next-Generation Tumor Sequencing

Cycle for Survival funding has been crucial to the development and clinical use of MSK-IMPACT®. This powerful diagnostic tool was authorized by the FDA in 2017 and analyzes tumors for 505 genes known to play a critical role in both rare and common cancers, helping doctors match patients to the treatments and clinical trials that will most effectively target their disease. 

Increasing Life Expectancy for People With Melanoma

In 2000, the average life expectancy for people with metastatic melanoma was seven months. Now, thanks to research and clinical trials supported by Cycle for Survival, their median life expectancy has increased to over five years — and counting.

Cancer Drugs

Pioneering Cancer Drugs

In 2018, the FDA approved larotrectinib (Vitrakvi®) to treat cancers caused by a genetic mutation called a TRK fusion. This was the first time a drug received an initial approval based on a mutation type rather than where in the body a tumor originates. MSK led larotrectinib’s development, and Cycle for Survival funds supported the research.

MSK is on a mission to genomically sequence the tumors of every patient who could benefit from precision medicine. Free MSK-IMPACT testing through the Make-an-IMPACT initiative supported by Cycle for Survival is helping make this possible now for people with select rare cancers, including pediatric cancers.


MSK Access

Less Invasive, More Powerful Diagnostics

Traditional biopsies are surgical procedures; they are invasive and not always comprehensive. In June 2019, MSK launched MSK-ACCESS®, a revolutionary liquid biopsy that sequences 129 cancer-associated genes using a simple blood draw. Developed in the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology, with major support from Cycle for Survival, MSK-ACCESS provides a noninvasive way to diagnose cancer and guide treatment decisions. 

Bridging the Gap Between Research and Treatment

The Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP) a collaborative hub that bridges discoveries made in the lab with clinical research, leading to new and improved treatments, often for people who don’t have options. Cycle for Survival support has been vital to the success of this multidisciplinary initiative. Bringing together a brilliant collective of MSK physicians and scientists who have one foot in the laboratory and the other in the clinic, HOPP is a unique and rapid incubator for cancer-fighting strategies.

Using Computational Oncology to Outsmart Cancer

MSK produces troves of information that require innovative methods and tremendous technological power to analyze. With support from Cycle for Survival, MSK computational scientists work alongside cancer experts to extract meaning from massive data sets and illuminate our understanding of the disease. 

A leader in precision medicine, MSK established the Precision Pathology Biobanking Center to collect, analyze, and catalog patient samples, which is especially important for rare cancers, since clinical trial data is often limited or doesn’t exist. This information helps doctors make more precise treatment decisions.



MSK Kids

Ensuring Better Futures for the Youngest Patients

All pediatric cancers are rare cancers, and Cycle for Survival is proud to fuel pediatric cancer research at MSK Kids, which sees more children and young adults with cancer than any other pediatric program in the United States. MSK Kids is home to a specialized precision oncology program singularly focused on childhood cancers, delivering targeted therapies that come with fewer side effects.

Dr. Tap

A World-Renowned Sarcoma Program

The Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service at MSK is dedicated to improving outcomes for people facing this challenging disease, which includes more than 80 subtypes. Cycle for Survival has helped MSK build the world’s largest immunotherapy program dedicated to sarcoma, so we can rapidly develop new treatment options for these complex diseases that often resist treatment. This includes running over 40 clinical trials to test novel strategies, as well as studies of ways to manipulate how drugs work and predict if a therapy will be effective for a patient before it’s even prescribed. 

Discovering New Ways to Treat Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive disease that is difficult to detect in its early stages — it is often caught only after it has spread and is already inoperable. The mission of the David M. Rubenstein Center for Pancreatic Cancer Research is to focus on early detection, prevention, immunotherapy strategies, and genetic sequencing of this complex disease. The center’s scientists pioneer patient-specific cancer models for personalized medicine, as well as study the genetic changes in pancreatic cancer cells that cause resistance to chemotherapy. 

Cycle for Survival funding has played a key role in the launch and continued use of MSK-IMPACT as a groundbreaking diagnostic and research tool. Since it was first introduced in 2014, MSK-IMPACT has sequenced more than 100,000 tumor samples.



The World’s Tiniest Cancer Warriors

The spread of cancer can be lethal, but the treatment of metastatic disease can be both difficult and toxic. Cycle for Survival supported research that led to the use of nanoparticles as the tiniest cancer fighters in the world to deliver drugs directly to tumors without harming the rest of the body. Researchers are using this technology to explore new drug combinations and develop nanomedicines to help people with rare cancers. 


Leading the Field in Immunotherapy

As pioneers in immunotherapy, MSK doctors and scientists have made countless advances that are transforming the way people with a rare cancer are treated worldwide. In addition to developing new immunotherapy drugs and running clinical trials, MSK investigators are making important discoveries about this therapeutic approach and how to make it a better, more effective treatment option for each patient. 

Named in honor of Cycle for Survival’s co-founder, the Jennifer Goodman Linn Laboratory of New Drug Development in Sarcoma and Rare Cancers at MSK is a powerful symbol of the movement’s commitment to discover treatments for every form of sarcoma. Cycle for Survival has empowered MSK’s Sarcoma Medical Oncology Service to drive research forward.




Advancing Science to Help People With Cancer Worldwide

The Sloan Kettering Institute (SKI) is the basic and translational research arm of MSK. SKI is made up of nine research areas, with more than 100 laboratory investigators, 400 fellows, and 300 graduate students working together to set the pace for biomedical science. Cycle for Survival’s longtime support for SKI’s programs has propelled innovation, advanced technologies, and bolstered infrastructure.

Bile Duct Cancer

Shedding Light on Treatments for Rare, Aggressive Bile Duct Cancer

Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare but aggressive cancer that begins in the bile ducts. Using MSK-created genomic technologies, are identifying new drug targets for this disease and advancing promising clinical trials to stop cancer growth via the genetic mutations found in a person’s tumor. In addition, MSK scientists are leading research into the use of targeted therapies or immunotherapies that may help overcome resistance to chemotherapy in bile duct, gallbladder, and liver cancers. 

The landmark FDA approval of larotrectinib (Vitrakvi®) opened the door for an innovative type of clinical trial: basket trials. These studies test treatments that target cancer-causing genetic mutations regardless of where in the body the cancer originates. This breakthrough has been crucial to advancing progress in rare cancer treatment.



Discovering Treatment Options for Cancers That Previously Had None

Cycle for Survival funding brings hope to people with cancers so uncommon that treatments may not yet exist, such as adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC), an extremely rare and aggressive cancer of the salivary glands that often spreads to other parts of the body. With support from Cycle for Survival, MSK led clinical trials for two drugs designed to interfere with tumor growth in people with ACC, resulting in new treatment options for people who previously had none. 

See More Information
2021 Funding Allocation

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2020 Funding Allocation

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2019 Funding Allocation

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With every dollar, Cycle for Survival makes progress possible.

Every single dollar raised through Cycle for Survival goes to rare cancer research, clinical trials, and leading-edge technologies at MSK.

When you give to Cycle for Survival, you support each stage of the scientific process. Your generosity drives everything from running and maintaining state-of-the-art labs to sequencing tumors in search of cancer-causing genetic mutations. Your dedication helps scientists create laboratory models to study so they can better understand how cancer cells can become resistant to treatment. Your partnership brings the brightest, most talented investigators to MSK and gives them the resources they need to make the next big breakthrough. 

As part of the Cycle for Survival community, you create opportunities for new discoveries that have the power to change lives around the world.