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Our mission is to deliver breakthrough innovations that may help to extend and improve the lives of people with cancer

Our focus on cancer research

We’re continuing to accelerate what we can achieve for the patients we serve, because everyone needs more ways to treat their cancer and, hopefully, more time.

Blood cancer

Blood (haematologic) cancers start in the bone marrow where blood cells develop. The most common types of blood cancers are leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. MSD is committed to advancing research in haematology to help improve care across these diverse diseases.

Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer worldwide. Treating this disease is challenging due to many subtypes responding differently to treatment. MSD aims to elevate breast cancer research through our broad clinical development program with the goal of improving care across certain early-stage and metastatic disease.

Gastrointestinal (GI) cancers

The most common GI cancers are oesophageal, gastric (stomach), colorectal, pancreatic and liver. These cancers typically do not cause symptoms until they have reached an advanced stage, when treatments are usually less effective. MSD is advancing research through a broad clinical development program across GI cancers.

Head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancers refer to tumours that develop in or around the throat, larynx, nose, sinuses and mouth. MSD continues to conduct research to advance treatment options for these patients.

Lung cancer

Globally, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, accounting for nearly 18% of all deaths from cancer in 2020. MSD is continuing to advance research, with the goal of improving outcomes for people affected by this disease.


Melanoma is a serious form of skin cancer, and rates of the disease have been continuing to rise over the last several decades. MSD is furthering research in skin cancers through our comprehensive clinical development program.

Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in people assigned male at birth. MSD is committed to advancing our clinical development program to find more treatments for this complex and difficult-to-treat disease.

Renal cell carcinoma

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is by far the most common type of kidney cancer; about 90% of kidney cancers cases are RCCs. MSD is dedicated to continuing efforts to discover more treatments for this disease.

We are working on cancer research to find more ways to treat cancer to help give patients more quality in their lives and more time.

Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. When that diagnosis happens, what matters most isn’t what the next breakthrough is – but when it will get here.

Three patients meet closed to a beach and hugging

Our commitment is unwavering

As long as there are still patients in hospitals, doctors desperate to add years to the lives of their patients, and a world where treatments aren’t accessible to all, we will be here: fighting with all we have to deliver more, sooner.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Blood Cancer 2022. Available at: https://www.cancercenter.com/blood-cancers Accessed on: 28 July 2022.
American Cancer Society. Treating Breast Cancer. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/breast-cancer/treatment.html Accessed on: 28 July 2022.
Chaudhary LN. Clinical and psychosocial challenges of breast cancer in adolescent and young adult women under the age of 40 years. JCO Oncol Pract 2021;17(6):317-319
Yale Medicine. Gastrointestinal cancers. Available at: https://www.yalemedicine.org/conditions/gastrointestinal-cancers Accessed on: 28 July 2022.
American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Head and neck cancer: introduction. Available at: https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/head-and-neck-cancer/introduction Accessed on: 27 July 2022.
American Cancer Society. Key statistics for lung cancer 2022. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html Accessed on: 15 February 2022.
WHO The Global Cancer Observatory. World Fact Sheet 2020. Available at: https://gco.iarc.fr/today/data/factsheets/populations/900-world-fact-sheets.pdf Accessed on: 16 August 2022.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. Types of Skin Cancer. Available at: https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/skin-cancer/types/common.html Accessed on: 27 July 2022.
Te Whatu Ora, Health New Zealand. Cancer: Historical Summary 1948-2020. Available at: https://www.tewhatuora.govt.nz/our-health-system/data-and-statistics/historical-cancer/. Accessed on 19 December 2022
Te Whatu Ora, Health New Zealand. New cancer registrations 2020. Available at: https://www.tewhatuora.govt.nz/our-health-system/data-and-statistics/new-cancer-registrations-2020/. Accessed on 20 December 2022
American Cancer Society. What Is Kidney Cancer 2020. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidney-cancer/about/what-is-kidney-cancer.html Accessed on: 27 July 2022

TAPS NP19044 NZ-NON-00204 Last Updated March 2023