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Discover what’s possible


Cancer is the leading cause of death in Minnesota and the second-leading cause of death nationally. It accounts for one in every four deaths. At the University of Minnesota, we understand that cancer is not just about numbers; it’s about real people.

For decades our physicians and researchers have been trailblazers in diagnosing, preventing, and treating cancer. They have pioneered several lifesaving cancer treatments, including the world’s first successful bone marrow transplant in 1968.

Among an elite group of 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers nationwide, the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, conducts leading-edge research and offers the most innovative investigational treatments, translating laboratory research into targeted therapies for individual patients and applying relevant findings to larger populations.

Many of the Masonic Cancer Center’s more than 500 members have contributed to breakthroughs in breast, bone, childhood, and lung cancers, as well as blood and marrow transplantation, tobacco cessation, cancer survivorship, and the use of ultra-high-field imaging in breast and prostate cancer. Their achievements include:

  • Discovering the cancer-causing culprits in tobacco and skin cancer.

  • Inventing cell-based and gene therapies that enhance the power of our own immune systems to fight cancer.

  • Finding a novel way to disable cells that cause bone cancer pain.

  • Initiating studies on how genetics, diet, lifestyle, and family history affect risk for breast and gynecologic cancers.

  • Developing a vaccine that prevents nicotine addiction.

  • Developing model programs in follow-up care and support for cancer survivors.

  • Making breakthrough discoveries in pancreatic cancer.

  • Establishing a leading-edge program with the College of Veterinary Medicine to find cancer treatments that benefit people and animals.


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Important information about giving
to the University of Minnesota

The Minnesota Medical Foundation has merged with the University of Minnesota Foundation.

The combination of two great foundations, operating as the University of Minnesota Foundation, will enhance support of excellence at the University of Minnesota, provide even greater efficiencies, and better serve University donors.

For more information, contact the University of Minnesota Foundation at 612-624-3333.

Find out more

If you would like to speak with someone in person about supporting cancer research, contact a member of the cancer development team:

Cathy Spicola, Director of Development, Cancer
612-625-5192 |

Kathy Beenen, Development Officer, Cancer
612-625-6495 |

Chris Cheney, Development Officer, Cancer
612-624-3499 |

Sharon Kunau, Development Assistant
612-624-1913 |