A Message From MSK Leaders Selwyn M. Vickers and Scott Stuart

Seen are Scott Stuart, MSK Chair, Board of Trustees, and Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, President and CEO of MSK

(From left) Scott Stuart, Chair, MSK Board of Trustees, and Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, President and CEO

Every day, the people of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) are driven by a singular mission: ending cancer for life.

That relentless focus enables us to provide the world’s best, most compassionate care to every person who comes to MSK. It is what propels us to transform the understanding of cancer through landmark scientific discoveries and lifesaving clinical advances. And it is why we educate and train the next generation of cancer leaders who will bring the MSK standard of excellence to the world for decades to come.

In 2023, MSK reaffirmed the core values that have long made us who we are. In this Annual Report, you will see how these fundamental principles inspire us and drive unstoppable progress. Our values are simple but powerful.

  • Respect for the Individual: We ensure everyone is heard and valued.
  • Excellence Through Inclusion: Everyone succeeds when diversity thrives.
  • Integrity: We do what is right, even when it’s hard.
  • Innovation With Lasting Impact: We challenge ourselves to constantly learn and improve.
  • Stewardship: Each person takes responsibility to strengthen MSK to better serve our patients and everyone facing cancer.
  • One MSK: We work together to do what no one else can in cancer.

We uphold these values in service to our patients, who are at the center of everything we do. In this Annual Report, you will read about the year’s remarkable advances to help cancer patients with some of the most challenging diseases.

In brain cancer, for example, a unique collaboration between MSK researchers and clinicians helped create the first breakthrough treatment in more than 20 years for one of the most common forms of the disease. For patient Alicia Kalogeropoulos, this has made all the difference.

MSK researchers also launched the next phase of a heralded clinical trial of a promising treatment for pancreatic cancer — a vaccine specifically tailored for each patient, to supercharge their immune system against the disease. MSK has been at the forefront of this approach and has discovered new insights into the very earliest stages of pancreatic cancer that may one day make it easier to treat.

Recognizing that patients are deeply concerned about their quality of life, MSK made major strides in reduc­ing side effects of cancer treatment, particularly in breast, prostate, and rectal cancer. We listen to and learn from our patients, and we develop personalized approaches based on what’s important to them and their loved ones.

We are known for our unique ecosystem of discovery, spanning everything from the lab bench to the bedside. This year, for example, we used sophisticated engineering and advanced computational methods to shed light on the earliest cell states leading to pancreatic cancer. We are forging the future of cancer treatment with one of the largest clinical trial programs in cancer in the country. Also this year, MSK investigators contributed to Food and Drug Administration approval of seven drugs.

Ever the innovator, MSK launched a first-of-its kind PhD program that marries the insights of engineering with the unparalleled resources of MSK. This effort will help our researchers harness some of the most advanced tools in medicine, including nanotechnologies, CRISPR gene editing, AI, and much more.

In 2023, MSK was honored to take part in a powerful documentary film, American Symphony, that features New York Times best-selling author Suleika Jaouad and her Grammy-winning husband, Jon Batiste. The film follows Suleika as she undergoes a successful stem cell transplant at MSK — it also inspired a major campaign that encourages people to register to donate stem cells. This effort is particularly important for people of diverse ethnic backgrounds whose unique tissue types often make it more challenging to find a donor match.

This Annual Report will also introduce some of the extraordinary people of MSK, including Maddy Ruff, who was treated at MSK Kids for bone cancer as a teenager. Two decades later, she works at MSK to help researchers discover the kind of groundbreaking therapy that saved her life. She sets a shining example for other patients hoping for a healthy and vibrant future.

None of the successes achieved this past year would be possible without philanthropic support from our dedicated giving community, spanning so many regions and walks of life. We are deeply grateful to the more than 415,000 donors who gave 600,000 gifts in 2023. This support is an affirmation of what we do and helps to lay the foundation for MSK’s future.

As we look ahead, the work continues across our organization to help reduce suffering, save lives, and unleash discoveries that will change cancer science. We are the standard-bearers, and together, united by our values, the people of MSK form the most capable force against cancer in the world.

Selwyn M. Vickers, MD, FACS, President and Chief Executive Officer

Scott M. Stuart, Chair, Board of Trustees