2019 Letter to our Donors
Welcome to the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research website. I hope you enjoy reading about the many new findings from McArdle Researchers that could impact your life and the lives of your loved ones, the storied history of McArdle, the oldest academic cancer research institute the United States, and news about our accomplished alumni and outstanding trainees. Learn how you can Make a Difference by supporting McArdle, and how so many of you around the state of Wisconsin already have made a difference through your support of McArdle. Join us in the journey to a cure through breakthrough discovery research. Your dedication to making a difference is what provides us the ability to perform breakthrough discovery research. You can find many stories on this website about recent research breakthroughs at McArdle, but let me tell you several that have transformed medicine today.
It starts with McArdle’s Dr. Temin, who received the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery that certain tumor viruses that have genomes made of RNA establish a DNA intermediate of their genomes in the cells they infect. The finding challenged the central dogma of genetics, which states that the flow of genetic information from DNA to RNA is unidirectional. Dr. Temin’s discovery led to the development of drugs that today keep millions of HIV-infected people alive. If you have time, listen to an illuminating podcast regarding Dr. Temin’s contribution to science on our website.
Another McArdle luminary is Dr. Heidelberg, who developed 5-FU, the first anti-cancer drug that today remains a mainstay by which we treat many human cancers. Cancer represents our own cells gone astray. Being able to selectively kill cancer cells is the key to cancer treatment. By targeting a pathway that cancer cells especially rely upon, Dr. Heidelberg was able to kill cancer cells while having much less effect on normal cells in our body. Today, cancer patient’s cancers are interrogated at a molecular level to identify additional drugs that can be used to kill their cancer cells – an area called Precision Medicine. Two of McArdle’s clinician scientists, Drs. Burkhard and Deming, co-lead the UW-Madison Precision Medicine initiative that is transforming how we treat patients with cancer.
Lastly, let me tell you about Dr. Xu, Associate Director of McArdle, whose research is opening new avenues to treating cancer through her lab’s seminal studies identifying new drugs to treat breast cancer. Dr. Xu and her colleagues identified a natural compound that selectively kills recurrent breast cancers that acquire changes making them resistant to standard hormone therapies used to extend the lives of millions of breast cancer patients. Her studies are likely to transform how we treat breast cancer patients in the near future.
What has allowed Drs. Temin, Heidelberg and Xu carry out their pioneering studies is the endowment that McArdle has nurtured over its nearly 80 years of existence – an endowment that fuels our cutting edge research. That endowment is only possible because of the extraordinary support McArdle receives from the citizens of Wisconsin. Join our battle against cancer and all human diseases by contributing to our cause. Every cent given to McArdle goes back into funding our research efforts. To all of you who have given donations to McArdle, I want to thank you for your dedication and your sacrifice. Your efforts truly make a difference.
I hope you enjoy learning about what’s happening in McArdle on our website. Bookmark it, and come back to read new stories posted every month. Link to us on Facebook and Twitter! And, please, join the McArdle family: Make a Difference. Help McArdle find new cures to cancer, through breakthrough discovery research. And remember that every cent you donate goes to our research. We don’t employ fundraisers and we don’t advertise. We simply rely upon your good word of mouth. So please tell your friends and family about McArdle and, if you are a social media user, please friend us so others you know can learn about us.
I would love to hear from you and, if I may, meet you. I have enjoyed traveling throughout Wisconsin to meet many of you or hosting you here in Madison, learning about your personal stories and what drives you to support our cancer research efforts, and sharing with you our many efforts to eradicate cancer. If you have any questions about McArdle, our cancer researchers, or if you want to know more about how you can help, please contact me.
Best wishes to you,
Professor Paul F. Lambert
Director, McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research