Letter to Donors

2018 Letter from the Director 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.

I want to spend a little time celebrating the many people all around the state of Wisconsin and beyond who are helping us eradicate cancer through their personal contributions and fund raising efforts. You can find stories about some of those individuals/groups on our website, from high school seniors who raise funds for cancer research at McArdle in a small agricultural community named Freedom to a family called the Family Crafters who have spent years making and selling crafts to support cancer research at McArdle. They and all of you who support our efforts to find cures to cancer are important members of the McArdle family. And what is most remarkable to me, when I have had the opportunity to meet you, is to appreciate your dedication and the sacrifices you make in order to make a difference. I speak for all of the McArdle faculty, staff and scientists in telling you how humbled and inspired we are by you. 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 about one that arose this past year that I think could revolutionize how we treat cancer patients.

It starts with McArdle’s Dr. Dusty Deming, a medical oncology doctor (Departments of Medicine and Oncology) who treats cancer patients here at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics and also performs research on cancer in McArdle. He is also a cancer survivor. Dr. Deming discovered a way of taking cells from a patient’s cancer and growing them in the laboratory in an environment that mimics the inside our bodies. He then tests their response to anti-cancer drugs that he chooses based upon state-of-the-art technologies for identifying potential drugs that will work on an individual patient’s cancer. He and his team of scientists, including many undergraduates at University of Wisconsin, found that the response of these cancer cells to drugs in this laboratory setting is highly predictive of how the cancer responds in the patient. That means Dr. Deming’s team can take cells from a patient’s tumor, grow them under their special conditions in the laboratory, and identify what drug will destroy that patent’s cancer. And they can do that in real time – meaning within days to a few weeks they know what drug should work best for that patient. This breakthrough research could not have been accomplished without the support from people like you who donate to McArdle in support of cancer research. Those donations made this research possible, and have now led to Dr. Deming and his McArdle team receiving a large grant from the National Cancer Institute to pursue this transformative approach to treating cancer patients.

So, 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 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