Scientific advances over the past decade have transformed the way we understand and treat cancer by identifying genetic changes associated with the disease. But this research has also shown us the limits of this approach. We now know, for example, that there is no gene associated with metastasis, the cause of up to 90% of cancer deaths. To tackle the most pressing problems in cancer, we must look beyond genetics to understand the tumor’s entire ecosystem — all the interactions between tumors and the host tissues they inhabit, including the environment of different organs; whole body systems like the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems; the gut microbiome; and lifestyle factors like exercise, stress, and obesity. 

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The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Cancer Ecosystems Project: Leading the Next Revolution in Cancer Research

Learn more about how the Kravis Cancer Ecosystems Project aims to understand the factors that help cancer thrive.
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The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Cancer Ecosystems Project at Memorial Sloan Kettering will spur this revolution in cancer science by funding pre-clinical laboratory research aimed at understanding cancer as a problem of malignant cells empowered or defeated by their host ecosystem. Multidisciplinary teams of investigators funded by the project will tackle a set of critical questions to take our knowledge of cancer biology, prevention, and treatment to an unprecedented level. 

This project is made possible by a generous philanthropic gift from the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation. The Kravis family’s ongoing support has been essential to many crucial scientific and clinical advances at MSK over the last two decades, and we are profoundly grateful for their visionary commitment to improving the lives of people with cancer worldwide.