Walker Cancer Research Institute

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Walker Cancer Research Institute
Formation 1981
Type Cancer Research
Headquarters Aberdeen, Maryland
Helen Marie Walker
Website Official website

The Walker Cancer Research Institute (WCRI) is an American cancer research organization consisting of two laboratories located in the states of Florida and Michigan and principal organizational offices in Maryland. WCRI and the affiliated project National Cancer Research Center (NCRC) were incorporated as nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organizations in 1981.


Research by WCRI is conducted at its two laboratories. The Florida lab, called the Natural Products Laboratory, was established in 1992. WCRI is currently listed among the industry and research partners of the Florida State University College of Engineering. The Michigan lab, called the Experimental Anti-Cancer Drug Synthesis Laboratory, is located on the campus of Wayne State University and was established in 1990. The founder of WCRI was Evan Harris Walker, formerly of NASA.[1] Dr. Walker's discovery of time delay toxin activation (TDTA) chemotherapy was a precipitating event in the formation of the Institute and formed the basis of a collaborative relationship with Battelle, which began in 1988. At least one patent has been granted to the Institute, having been filed in 2002 and awarded in 2004.[2],[3]


Charitable organizations differ in and are often compared on the basis of their methods of fundraising and the percentage of funds going toward primary mission aims versus administrative overhead. They also differ in the manner in which they treat donor lists and contact information. Information available from 2000–2003 indicates that WCRI applies approximately 40% of funds collected to the stated goals of the center, such as research and public education; the remaining 60% of funds raised were spent primarily on expenses incurred in raising funds, such as letters to potential donors.[4] Fundraising for WCRI is conducted in part through the NCRC project via direct-mail campaigns. The mailing list utilized by NCRC for fundraising has been made available for purchase from mailing list broker Response Unlimited.[5] WCRI has also raised funds under the name National Breast Cancer Research Center.[6] Numerous complaints have been made by individuals who are receiving dozens of letters soliciting funds and are unable to persuade the charity to remove their names from the mailing list. The Center then sells those names to other charities, and people throughout the country have complained of being inundated by requests for money that they can not stop.

Use of funds[edit]

According to the "Solicitation for Charitable Purposes Card" printed on the back of a solicitation for funds for the National Breast Cancer Research Center ("a project of the Walker Cancer Research Institute") sent out in September 2010, in the last fiscal year, WCRI raised a total of $12,568, 927. Of these funds, 52.11% were used for fundraising, 0.94% for administration, and 43.14% for "public education in conjunction with fundraising appeals". The public education portion of the solicitation consists of an approximately 1/8 page list of "risk factors for breast cancer" on the back side of the solicitation. Overall, 52.11% + 43.14% (95.25%) of all donations go to either direct or indirect fundraising costs. The card states that 3.81% of funds go directly to research program services (38 cents out of a $10.00 donation). Thus, of the $12,568,927 raised by WCRI, $478,876.11 went directly to research. As a comparison, an NIH grant awarded to a single Investigator for a specific research study typically ranges from $25,000 to $250,000.

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