Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) which is more commonly known as the Sloan-Kettering Institute (SKI) is a cancer research and treatment center. It includes a 430 bed hospital and research facilities. The center has programs in cancer prevention, treatment, research and education and specializes in bone-marrow transplants and chemotherapy. MSKCC provides inpatient and outpatient services to approximately 450,000 patients a year from its multiple Manhattan and New York metro area locations.

In the fiscal year ending in December 2008, MSKCC's annual net sales were 1.623 billion dollars. The center has 9,325 employees. [1]

Animal testing

MSKCC does animal testing.

Facility information, progress reports & USDA-APHIS reports

For links to copies of this facility's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) -Animal Plant Health Inspection (APHIS) reports, other information and links, see also Facility Reports and Information: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. [2]

USDA AWA reports

As of May 26, 2009, the USDA began posting all inspection reports for animal breeders, dealers, exhibitors, handlers, research facilities and animal carriers by state. See also USDA Animal Welfare Inspection Reports.

Tobacco studies using animals

Ernst L. Wynder joined MSKCC in the 1950s. There he met Dietrich Hoffman and they began a forty year tobacco research partnership. Doctors Wynder and Hoffmann worked at the center until a conflict with the institute's head, Frank Horsfall, Jr., over their budgets and findings tied to grants from the tobacco industry. In 1969, Doctors Wynder and Hoffman left MSKCC to launch the American Health Foundation. Dr. Wynder became its medical director and continued to receive grants from the tobacco industry, including Phillip Morris. [3] Over a period of many years, numerous investigators have painted the backs of mice with tars distilled from tobacco smoke. Most early experiments of this nature were discontinued due to only an occasional skin cancer, attributed as much to old age as to tar-painting.

A mouse-skin experiment performed in the 1950's by Dr. Wynder and Dr. Evarts A. Graham used 81 mice of an inbred strain which did not develop spontaneous skin cancers. They were obtained by the Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory, headed by Dr. Clarence C. Little, a noted researcher in cancer genetics and director of the Tobacco Industries Research Council. Smoke from burning cigarettes was condensed to a thick tar and thinned with acetone. After approximately 71 weeks (equivalent to 30 to 50 years of human smoking, according to Dr. Graham) 36 mice developed skin cancers. However, the evidence was too inconclusive to satisfy either pro or con in the cigarette controversy. Humans get tobacco smoke into their lungs; not thick, concentrated, gummy tobacco tars. [4]

Animal testing has been used by politicians to avoid taking action against tobacco companies. Decades of vague and inconclusive results enabled them to perpetuate confusion and prevent doctors from giving authoritative warnings. Researchers spent decades forcing beagles to smoke cigarettes and painting tar on the backs of mice (although there were already clear links between tobacco and human cancer.) Physicians were encouraged to keep quiet while researchers spent years performing animal tests. [5] See also animal testing, section 5 on tobacco studies.

MSKCC & the War on Cancer

In 1971, many sponsors of the War on Cancer predicted a cure by 1976. Instead, this multi-billion dollar research program has proven to be a failure. The age adjusted total cancer mortality rate climbed steadily for decades until the early 1990s, when the rate started to fall slowly, due largely to reduced smoking. To encourage continued support for cancer research, now exceeding two billion dollars annually in the U.S. alone; researchers and administrators have misled the public. In 1987, the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) "artificially inflate the amount of 'true' progress", concluding that even simple five-year survival statistics were manipulated. The NCI termed five-year survival a "cure" even if the patient died of the cancer after the five-year period. Also, by ignoring well known statistical biases, the NCI falsely suggested advances had been made in certain cancer therapies. [6] A look at financial relationships between large facilities such as MSKCC and corporations making billions in profits from chemotherapy drugs, is extremely telling as to its continued use in the face of such failure. Furthermore, expensive laboratories and diagnostic equipment have already been paid for by large corporations.

Craig B. Thompson, MD President and CEO of MSKCC, is also on the Board of Directors for Merck Corporation.[7]

James D. Robinson III Honorary Chairman, is also former Chairman of Bristol-Myers Squibb, the world's largest producer of chemo drugs. Paul Marks, MD, MSKCC's former President and CEO, is the former Director of Pfizer. Another board member, Richard Furlaud, recently retired as Bristol Myers' president. [8]

The late Richard Gelb was Vice-Chairman of the MSKCC board as well as CEO of Bristol-Myers. [9], [10]

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency in the U.S. government conducting and funding medical research. MSKCC Director Thomas Kelly, M.D., Ph.D. serves on the both the NIH Advisory Committee and Scientific Management Review Board. [11]

Cancer & animal testing

See also War on Cancer.

Personnel & board

  • Craig B. Thompson, MD - President & CEO, Board of Directors, Merck Corporation.[12]
  • Dr. Thomas J. Kelly - Director
  • Dr. Robert E. Wittes - Physician-in-Chief [13]

Former CEO

  • Paul Marks, MD - Former President & CEO, Board of Directors, Pfizer. [14]

Selected board members


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Phone: 212-639-2000

Fax: 212-639-3576

Web address:

Articles & sources

SourceWatch articles


  1. Company Description: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Hoovers, accessed December 2009
  2. Facility Reports and Information: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY , Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!, accessed October 2009
  3. Wynder, Ernst L., M.D.,, accessed December 2009
  4. Anne Landman, Donald G. Cooley Smoke Without Fear (1954): The Mouse-skin Experiments, pg 13,, accessed December 2009
  5. Wasted Tobacco Settlement Money, White Coat Welfare, accessed September 2009
  6. A Critical Look at Animal Experimentation: A. Selected Diseases: 1. Cancer, Medical Research Modernization Committee, 2006
  7. Board of Directors, Merck, accessed January 2011
  8. Boards of Overseers and Managers Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 2007
  9. Paid Notice: Deaths Gelb, Richard L., New York Times, April 2004
  10. Chemotherapy Report: Do We Need a New Approach to Cancer?, Alternative Cancer Treatments, accessed February 2009
  11. Advisory Committee to the Director, National Institutes of Health, April 2009
  12. Board of Directors, Merck, accessed January 2011
  13. History & overview, MSKCC, accessed December 2009
  14. Boards of Overseers and Managers Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MSKCC, 2007
  15. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Executives, Hoovers, accessed January 2011
  16. Boards of Overseers and Managers Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, MSKCC, 2007

External resources

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