Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

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Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
MSKCC logo.jpg
Location New York City, NY, United States
Funding Non-profit hospital
Hospital type Specialist
Affiliated university Weill Cornell Medical College
Emergency department Urgent care center
Beds 471
Speciality Cancer
Founded 1884 (as New York Cancer Hospital)
Lists Hospitals in the United States
Other links Hospitals in New York
The original New York Cancer Hospital,[1] built between 1884 and 1886, now housing, at 455 Central Park West and 106th Street in Manhattan.
The relocated Memorial Hospital building, built between 1936 and 1939, standing on its present location on York Avenue

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK or MSKCC) is a cancer treatment and research institution founded in 1884 as the New York Cancer Hospital. The main campus is located at 1275 York Avenue, between 67th and 68th Streets, in Manhattan New York City. MSK has long been a leader in cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy and is the world's largest and oldest dedicated cancer hospital. It was the first to develop services specifically dedicated to the psychiatric aspects of cancer, to the relief of cancer pain, and to genetic counseling. As of 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranks MSK as the number one cancer hospital in the country.


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is composed of two intimately related institutions: Memorial Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, providing patient care, and Sloan Kettering Institute, focused on basic-science research.

Memorial Hospital was founded in 1884 as the New York Cancer Hospital by a group that included John Jacob Astor and his wife Charlotte; the hospital was originally located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The hospital was later renamed General Memorial Hospital for the Treatment of Cancer and Allied Diseases. Rose Hawthorne, daughter of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, trained here in the summer of 1896 before founding her own order, Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne.[2]

In 1936, the hospital began its move to its present location on York Avenue when John D. Rockefeller, Jr., donated the land. In 1939, construction of Memorial Hospital was completed. The current Physician-In-Chief is Jose Baselga, MD, PhD

The Sloan Kettering Institute was established in 1945 with a US$4 million gift from the foundation of Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. Half the gift was to fund construction of a 13-story research facility and the other half to provide annual operating expenses. Charles F. Kettering, vice president and director of research for General Motors Corporation, was to organize and apply modern American industrial research techniques to cancer research.

The first director was Cornelius P. Rhoads.

In addition to the Sloan grant, a public campaign to raise an additional $3–4 million was undertaken. Laurance Rockefeller, an important financier and philanthropist of the prominent Rockefeller family, became an important leader in donations and fundraising.

At the August 8, 1945, announcement about the research institute, Sloan and Kettering emphasized that the dramatic news of the atomic bomb, developed with a US$2 billion research program, was a powerful example of what can be accomplished by scientifically organized research as practiced by American industry. If as much money and talented personnel were available as the government had for the atomic bomb, they said, very rapid progress could be made in cancer research.[citation needed]

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center occupies 1425 First Avenue on the corner of East 74th Street in Manhattan. The former bank was built in the 1930s by Perkins and Will as architects. It was remodeled for use by Memorial Sloan Kettering in 1997.[3]

As of November 1, 2010, the President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering is the oncologist and researcher Craig B. Thompson, MD.[4]

As of 2014, the organization officially removed the hyphen between Sloan and Kettering from its name.

Charity Watch rates Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center an "A." Heads of the charity received $1,955,000 to $2,557,000 salary/compensation from the charity. Harold E. Varmus, M.D. Past President/CEO, received $2,557,403 salary/compensation from the charity, which is the most money given by any charity to the head of that charity, according to Charity Watch.[5]

Bendheim Integrative Medicine Center


MSK has long been a leader in cancer surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. It was the first to develop services specifically dedicated to the psychiatric aspects of cancer, to the relief of cancer pain, and to genetic counseling.

As of 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranks MSK as the #1 cancer hospital in the country.[6]


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is affiliated with the Weill Cornell Medical College, the Tri-Institutional MD/PhD program and the Tri-Institutional Training Program in Chemical Biology, which include MSK as one of its three sites (along with Weill-Cornell and Rockefeller University). MSK and Weill-Cornell operate a joint graduate program in biomedical sciences, the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences. In 2004, Memorial Sloan Kettering also established an independent graduate school, with a PhD. program in cancer biology: the Gerstner Sloan Kettering Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. The inaugural class was admitted in July 2006. The first graduates received their PhD degrees in 2012.

Memorial Sloan Kettering's Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program (HOPP), based at Memorial Hospital and Zuckerman Research Center, focuses on translational research, with the goal of bringing discoveries made in the lab to the patient at the bedside. The highly competitive HOPP Summer Student Program, founded in 2011, is designed for high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in the biomedical sciences.

Another focus of research at Memorial Sloan Kettering is immunotherapy, or using the body's own immune system to fight cancer cells. In 2006, the center was one of six institutes (along with research centers at Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, and Stanford University) selected to receive a US$20 million grant for cancer research from the Ludwig Fund, created by the American billionaire Daniel K. Ludwig. The grant, one of the largest earmarked for cancer research the hospital has ever received, will be used for immunology research.

In 1952, Chester M. Southam, a Sloan-Kettering Institute researcher, injected live cancer cells into prisoners at the Ohio Penitentiary. Also at Sloan-Kettering, 300 healthy women were injected with live cancer cells without being told. The doctors stated that they knew at the time that it might cause cancer.[7]

Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research[edit]

The Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research recognizes cancer researchers who are making significant contributions to the understanding of cancer or are improving the treatment of the disease through basic or clinical research. The prize is named for Paul A. Marks, President Emeritus of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is now awarded to up to three investigators every other year. [8] Prize winners to date are:

Patient care[edit]

There are 471 beds at Memorial Hospital and 22,326 patients were admitted in 2013. As well, 571,922 outpatient visits were accommodated at its Manhattan and regional facilities combined. Memorial Sloan Kettering opened a new surgical center in the summer of 2006 with 21 operating rooms. MSK’s Brooklyn Infusion Center offers a “chemo-ready” model of patient care where patients have screening performed at the Manhattan facilities and then receive chemotherapy treatment at the Brooklyn Center, saving patient’s time and providing more personalized care closer to home.[9] The Brooklyn Infusion Center, designed by ZGF Architects LLP, opened in 2010 and was awarded a 2011 Modern Healthcare Award of Excellence.[10]


In popular culture[edit]

Robin Quivers mentions on the Howard Stern show, how she got surgery at MSK, and the great care she received when she beat cancer in 2013.

In music[edit]

"A thousand years in one piece of silver,
she took it from his lily-white hand,
showed no fear—she'd seen the thing,
in the young men's wing at Sloan–Kettering."
  • The Antlers's album Hospice features a song titled "Kettering" and features a number of references to the cancer ward.

In film[edit]

In television[edit]

  • In 2001, during the third season of The Sopranos, in the episode "Second Opinion" Corrado Soprano seeks a second opinion on his cancer treatment from MSK.
  • In the 13th episode of the television series House, titled "Cursed", Dr. Rowan Chase (played by Patrick Bauchau) mentions that he has been to MSK for his stage 4 lung cancer.
  • In the 2007 series Mad Men episode "For Immediate Release," upon hearing that CGC partner Frank Gleason has cancer, Ted Chaough says that they're going to "build a wing at Sloan-Kettering" for him.

Current leadership[edit]

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
  • Memorial Hospital
    • Jose Baselga, Physician-in-Chief and Chief Medical Officer, Memorial Hospital
    • Richard R. Barakat, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Memorial Sloan Kettering Regional Care Network and Alliances
    • Colin B. Begg, Chair, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics
    • William S. Breitbart, Acting Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    • George Bosl, Chair, Department of Medicine
    • Lisa DeAngelis, Chair, Department of Neurology
    • Joseph O. Deasy, Chair, Department of Medical Physics
    • Philip H. Gutin, Chair, Department of Neurosurgery
    • Hedvig Hricak, Chair, Department of Radiology
    • David S. Klimstra, Chair, Pathology
    • Elizabeth N. McCormick, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer[13]
    • Larry Norton, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Breast Cancer Programs and Medical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center
    • Richard J. O'Reilly, Chair, Department of Pediatrics
    • Melissa S. Pessin, Chair, Department of Laboratory Medicine
    • Simon Powell, Chair, Department of Radaition Oncology
    • Paul Sabbatini, Deputy Physician-in-Chief for Clinical Research
    • Charles Sawyers, Chair, Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program
    • Peter T. Scardino, Chair, Department of Surgery
    • Dawn P. Desiderio, Acting Chair, Department of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine
  • Sloan Kettering Institute
    • Joan Massagué, Director of Sloan Kettering Institute
    • Kathryn V. Anderson, Chair, Developmental Biology Program
    • Alan Hall, Chair, Cell Biology Program
    • Kenneth J. Marians, Chair, Molecular Biology Program and Dean, Gerstner Sloan-Kettering Graduate School
    • Nikola P. Pavletich, Chair, Structural Biology Program
    • Alexander Rudensky, Chair, Immunology Program
    • Chris Sander, Chair, Computational Biology Program
    • David A. Scheinberg, Chair, Molecular Pharmacology & Chemistry Program


  1. ^ Barbanel, Josh. "Would an Aardvark Live Here?" The New York Times, September 17, 2006. Accessed December 31, 2009.
  2. ^ Smith, Fran; Himmel, Shiela (2013). Changing the Way We Die: Compassionate End of Life Care and The Hospice Movement. Cleis Press. p. 23. ISBN 9781936740512. 
  3. ^ Norval White, Elliot Willensky, Fran Leadon. AIA Guide to New York City. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Craig Thompson Named President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center | Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center". August 10, 2010. Retrieved January 10, 2013. 
  5. ^ Charity Rating Guide and Watchdog Report, Volume Number 59, December 2011
  6. ^ "Best Hospitals 2013: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York". U.S. News & World Report. 2014. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ Goliszek, Andrew (2003). In The Name of Science. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-312-30356-3. 
  8. ^ "Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research". Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  9. ^ Urban Sanctuary: Brooklyn Infusion Center in New York, designed by ZGF Architects 
  10. ^ "Modern Healthcare Award of Excellence". Modern Healthcare. 2012. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Palden Thondup Namgyal, Deposed Sikkim King, Dies". New York Times. January 30, 1982. Retrieved 2014-09-17. The deposed King of Sikkim, Palden Thondup Namgyal, who had been undergoing treatment for cancer in New York, died last night from complications following an operation at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. ... 
  12. ^ Eric Pace (December 28, 1998). "Michelle Thomas, 30, Actress On TV Soap Opera and Sitcoms". New York Times. p. 8. Retrieved 2012-03-30. Michelle Thomas, an actress in the television programs The Cosby Show, Family Matters and The Young and the Restless died on Wednesday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan. She was 30 and lived in Los Angeles, though she had been staying with her family in Weehawken, N.J., since November. 
  13. ^ Maria W. O'Rourke, RN, DNSc, FAAN, CHC, (2009). "Elizabeth N. McCormick, R.N., Executive Director, Nursing". Nurse Leader (Mosby Inc.) 7 (6): 10–13. doi:10.1016/j.mnl.2009.07.007. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′51″N 73°57′25″W / 40.764096°N 73.956842°W / 40.764096; -73.956842