TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2018 /CNW/ - Stand Up To Cancer Canada (SU2C Canada) today announced more than CAD$162.7 million has been pledged collectively so far in connection with the star-studded Stand Up To Cancer Sept. 7 "roadblock" fundraising telecast in the United States and Canada. The funds pledged toward the SU2C scientific model will be directed to collaborative research utilizing SU2C's scientific oversight as well as awareness and education in both the United States and Canada.
"Having more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming platforms donate the time to air the show was record-breaking for SU2C, and we are profoundly grateful for their commitment," said Lisa Paulsen, executive producer and a member of the Stand Up To Cancer Canada board of directors. "The CAD$162.7 million pledged will support extraordinary new research that will save lives."
The live show was SU2C's sixth biennial fundraising telecast since the organization was launched in 2008 and marks ten years of impact in the fight against cancer. The telecast, which also streamed live in Toronto'sYonge-Dundas Square on Bell Media's Astral large-format digital screens and the Citytv Big Screen featured a stellar cast of celebrated figures from the worlds of entertainment, music, sports, and science, as well as a number of cancer survivors who have benefited from SU2C-supported research.
"We deeply appreciate that our donors continue to embrace SU2C's innovative model of research, fostering collaboration across institutional lines and geographic boundaries, and encouraging researchers from different disciplines to work side-by-side," said Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO of SU2C. "We're proud of the meaningful advances our research teams are making for patients, and so grateful to individual and major donors alike."
The telecast was co-executive produced by Academy Award-nominated actor Bradley Cooperalong with Executive Producers David Jammy andKaty Mullanof Done + Dusted, Madeline Marotto, Stand Up To Cancer Co-Founders Lisa Paulsen and Pamela Oas Williams, and Bedonna Smithof Anonymous Content.
"Progress for patients is what Stand Up To Cancer is all about, and I find the research advancements and how they are helping people with cancer to be absolutely stunning," said Co-Executive Producer Bradley Cooper, who lost his father, Charles Cooper, to lung cancer in 2011. "SU2C's scientists have begun to make the impossible, possible… to give patients new hope that they can become long-term survivors. In my role as a co-executive producer of the telecast, I'm honoured to be part of the team making the public aware of how their contributions are changing–and saving–lives," he said.
For the third time, a Canada-inclusive telecast aired simultaneously on four major English-language Canadian broadcasters: CBC, Citytv, CTV, and Global, as well as Canadian services AMI, A.Side, BBC Earth, CHCH, CHEK, Cottage Life, Fight Network, Game TV, HIFI, Hollywood Suite, Love Nature, Makeful, NTV, OUTtv, Smithsonian Channel Canada, T+E and YES TV. In addition, the show streamed live on the CBC TV App, cbc.ca/watch, CBS All Access, the CTV App and CTV.ca, Global GO and GlobalTV.com, and SU2C Canada's YouTube page. The Canada-inclusive telecast was available on-demand on TELUS Optik TV in Canada.
The telecast aired simultaneously on more than 70 broadcast and cable networks and streaming and social platforms, including: ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with American Heroes Channel, AT&T AUDIENCE Network, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, E!, EPIX, Escape, ESPNEWS, FM, Freeform, FS2, FXM, FYI, Galavision, Great American Country, HBO, HBO Latino, ION Television, Jewish Life TV, Laff, Logo, MTV2, Nat Geo WILD, REELZ, SHOWTIME, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, STARZ ENCORE, STARZ ENCORE ESPAÑOL, TNT, Univision Puerto Rico, and WGN America, all of which donated one hour of simultaneous commercial free primetime for the telecast. The telecast is now available to stream via ComedyCentral.com and the Comedy Central app, as well as their VOD partners. Aspire TV aired the Stand Up To Cancer telecast on Saturday, Sept. 8. The entire telecast also streamed live on SU2C's Facebook page and PeopleTV, as well as live and on-demand on Hulu and SU2C's YouTube page.
Celebrities who appeared on the telecast include Mahershala Ali,Jason Bateman, Kathy Bates, Beth Behrs, Julie Bowen,Josh Brolin,James Corden, Katie Couric,Kaley Cuoco, Matt Damon,Shannen Doherty,Julia Louis-Dreyfus,Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jennifer Garner, Max Greenfield,Tony Hale,Jon Hamm,Mark Harmon,Marg Helgenberger,Ed Helms, Sarah Hyland, Ken Jeong, Adam Klein,Diego Luna,Sonequa Martin-Green, Marlee Matlin,Matthew McConaughey, Maria Menounos,Jillian Michaels,Trevor Noah, John Oliver,Dave Price, Dak Prescott, Rob Riggle,Tracee Ellis Ross, Winona Ryder, Jimmy Smits,Karla Souza,David Spade, Eric Stonestreet,Alison Sweeney, Bree Turner, Keith Urban,Sofia Vergara,Marlon Wayans, and CanadiansTyler Labine,Eric McCormack,Keanu Reeves, and Italia Ricci.
The telecast's three musical performances included a medley by Stevie Wonder, who performed "What The World Needs Now Is Love" and "Love's In Need Of Love Today" in a special tribute to Aretha Franklin, who died last month from pancreatic cancer; a rendition of "With a Little Help From My Friends" by Little Big Town; and 11-time Grammy®-nominee and cancer survivor Charlie Wilson, who performed Diane Warren and Common's "Stand Up For Something" with the a capella quartet, 4th Ave.
The 2018 telecast was a celebration of all that has been achieved in cancer research in the past 10 years—and a celebration of survivors, researchers, doctors, patients, and donors across Canada and the U.S. During the show, SU2C Canada's remarkable progress was shared by "ET Canada" Host Cheryl Hickey; CTV's "Etalk" Anchor and "Your Morning" Co-Host Ben Mulroney; "Global News" Anchor Farah Nasser; Citytv's "Breakfast Television" Co-Host Roger Petersen; and Dragon investor Michele Romanow of CBC's "Dragons' Den."
"We are deeply grateful to the entertainment community for mobilizing with us in the fight against cancer," said Doug Smith, chairman of the board of Stand Up To Cancer Canada. "We are proud that our team of amazing Canadian media partners so successfully harnesses the power of Hollywood to engage donors and the public to raise funds for innovative research that produces real benefit for patients."
The 2018 show was broadcast live from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA. The historic space featured a large main stage with Stand Up To Cancer's animated graphics and SU2C brand colors and other touchpoints layered into every facet of the set and design. At several points during the show, the cameras brought viewers to a "backstage hub" where celebrities answered donor phone calls and interacted with the public via social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The show helps fund SU2C's groundbreaking approach to collaborative translational research, accelerating the delivery of new therapies to patients. SU2C brings together scientists from different disciplines and institutions to work collaboratively. One hundred percent of the donations received from the general public in connection with the telecast go directly to cancer research, education and awareness programs in Canada.
The telecast marks SU2C's ten years of support for cutting-edge research aimed at turning every cancer patient into a long-term survivor. Work by SU2C researchers has contributed to FDA approval of five new cancer treatments.
Three patients who are benefiting from Stand Up To Cancer research appeared on the telecast:
Caitlyn Timmins, a Canadian teen whose hypermutant cancer failed to respond to traditional therapies and spread to two additional organs, acknowledged feeling that there was no point in continuing treatment. She describes the change of heart she experienced not long after starting a Stand Up To Cancer-funded immunotherapy clinical trial this way: "After the three months, they did an MRI, found out my tumor had shrunk—that was my moment of OK, maybe this worth it….I can picture prom with my friends, and graduation; things to look forward to." Having just entered her senior year in high school, Caitlyn now has no evidence of cancer.
Lidia Gonzalez, a retired school teacher from Yuma, AZ, whose pancreatic cancer was initially treated on a five-drug combination clinical trial, saw her tumor shrink by half. Lidia is currently on a different combination treatment, doing well with minimal evidence of cancer, according to her medical oncologist, Erkut Borazanci, M.D., a clinical investigator at HonorHealth Research Institute, who explained, "The clinical trial was built upon research supported by the SU2C and the Lustgarten Foundation that showed a very high response rate in stage four pancreas cancer."
Brian Pinckard, a former Marine Corps pilot from Atlantic Beach, NC, whose melanoma recurred twice and eventually spread to his brain, until he was treated in an SU2C-funded immunotherapy clinical trial and went into functional remission. "I really started doing a lot of research on clinical trials. I was going to try as many different things as it took…I'm at a year of just complete stability and hopefully will be for a long time to come…I owe my life to these clinical trials because I don't think I'd be here without them." Cassian Yee, MD, Co-Leader of the SU2C-CRI Immunology Dream Team, says, "The funding Stand Up To Cancer provides is just critical."
"Stories of patients whose lives have been saved by SU2C-funded research take my breath away," said SU2C CFA Member Katie Couric. "The strength and resilience of these survivors are a source of inspiration, while the advances that scientists are making in understanding and treating cancer is a source of new hope."
In addition, Twitch—the leading social video service and community for gamers where tens of millions of people from around the world come together each day for live, shared, interactive entertainment—played a unique part in the 2018 show. Hosted by Twitch Studios Ambassador and esports host Rachel "Seltzer" Quirico, Twitch fan favorites Markiplier and Pokimane went head-to-head with other gamers and celebrity participants in today's popular gaming title: Fortnite. With a goal to connect its passionate online community to SU2C's mission to support innovative cancer research, Twitch live-streamed part of the Fortnite competition on the official Twitch channel and was featured in the live television broadcast. Twitch streamers and gamers were on hand to play in an effort to raise awareness and funds to support SU2C.
"We believe that everyone has a role to play in the fight against cancer, whether it's individuals who dig deep into their pockets to support cancer research, or a major corporation, foundation, or philanthropist," said SU2C Canada board member and Robertson Schwartz Agency Co-Founder Sue Schwartz. "We are profoundly grateful to donors no matter the size of their contribution, because every dollar gets us one step closer to beating this disease."
Every day, cancer kills nearly 1,900 people in the United States and Canada—more than one person every minute. SU2C was founded on the belief that the fight against cancer is at a tipping point—a pivotal juncture where transformative progress in cancer research is finally possible because of two trends: breakthroughs made in the understanding of the basic science of cancer, and technological advances that enable these breakthroughs to be translated into new treatments.
To date, more than CAD$793 million has been pledged in support of SU2C's innovative cancer research programs, education and awareness. The organization has brought together more than 1,500 of the best scientists from over 180 leading institutions with an emphasis on collaborative, multidisciplinary teams that deliver new therapies and treatments to cancer patients. Investigators work together on Stand Up To Cancer's 24 signature "Dream Teams," among a total of 79 team science grants and awards. SU2C-funded researchers have planned, launched or completed more than 180 clinical trials involving over 12,000 patients.
AACR International-Canada, the official Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer Canada, is responsible for administering grants and providing scientific oversight in conjunction with the SU2C Canada Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), co-chaired by Alan Bernstein, O.C., O.Ont., Ph.D., FRSC, president of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), Canada's global research institute, and Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute professor, David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, MIT.
"SU2C has shed a new light on an old problem and engaged people from all walks of life, helping Canadian scientists and oncologists work together on accelerating the pace of developing more effective treatments for patients," said Dr. Bernstein. "This is an exciting moment in cancer research. We all have a renewed sense that, together, we will win this fight."
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are actively collaborating with SU2C Canada. CCS is also a collaborator in the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada–Canadian Cancer Society Breast Cancer Dream Team, along with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Collaborators in the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team include CIHR, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, Genome Canada and OICR. AstraZeneca Canada and Mastercard are the first corporate supporters of SU2C Canada.
As SU2C's founding donor, Major League Baseball has continued to annually provide both financial support and countless opportunities to build the Stand Up To Cancer movement by encouraging fans worldwide to get involved, most notably through its two largest global events – the MLB All-Star Game and the World Series. In addition to MLB, SU2C's "Luminary" donors include Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, and Mastercard. "Visionary" donors include CVS Health, Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and the Sidney Kimmel Foundation.
During the telecast, when viewers used their Mastercard to donate through StandUpToCancer.ca or by telephone, Mastercard matched those donations, dollar for dollar, totaling CAD$1.3 million.
In the U.S., additional major donors and collaborators include American Airlines, Merck, Rally Health, Inc., St. Baldrick's Foundation, and Van Andel Research Institute. Other key supporters and collaborators include American Lung Association's LUNG FORCE, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Farrah Fawcett Foundation, Laura Ziskin Family Trust, LUNGevity Foundation, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer and international collaborator Cancer Research UK.
The AACR International-Canada worked with SU2C Canada to ensure the accuracy of the scientific content of the show. "The AACR is regarded as the authoritative resource in all subfields of cancer research, and we are honoured to work with SU2C and the show producers to bring this information to the public in the most informative and useful way possible," said Margaret Foti, PhD, MD (hc), AACR's chief executive officer.
About Stand Up To Cancer
STAND UP TO CANCER (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. A division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), SU2C was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities' resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of April 2018, more than 1,500 scientists representing more than 180 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.
Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., staff at SU2C and the American Association for Cancer Research, our Scientific Partner, implement rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C's president and CEO.
Stand Up To Cancer Canada is a Canadian registered charity (Reg: # 80550 6730 RR0001), launched by the U.S.-based Entertainment Industry Foundation in 2014. Stand Up To Cancer Canada (SU2C Canada) raises funds to support collaborative cancer research teams, as well as education and awareness programs conducted in Canada.
The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) are actively collaborating with SU2C Canada. CCS is also a collaborator in the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada-Canadian Cancer Society Breast Cancer Dream Team, along with the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR). Collaborators in the inaugural Stand Up To Cancer Canada Cancer Stem Cell Dream Team include CIHR, Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, Genome Canada, and OICR. AstraZeneca Canada and MasterCard are the first corporate supporters of SU2C Canada.
Founded in 1942, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is a multifaceted organization that occupies a unique place in the world of philanthropy. By mobilizing and leveraging the powerful voice and creative talents of the entertainment industry, as well as cultivating the support of organizations (public and private) and philanthropists committed to social responsibility, EIF builds awareness and raises funds, developing and enhancing programs on the local, national and global level that facilitate positive social change. For more information, visit www.eifoundation.org.
About the American Association for Cancer Research
Founded in 1907, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) is the world's first and largest professional organization dedicated to advancing cancer research and its mission to prevent and cure cancer. AACR membership includes more than 40,000 laboratory, translational, and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and patient advocates residing in 120 countries. The AACR marshals the full spectrum of expertise of the cancer community to accelerate progress in the prevention, biology, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer by annually convening more than 30 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 22,600 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes eight prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals and a magazine for cancer survivors, patients, and their caregivers. The AACR funds meritorious research directly as well as in cooperation with numerous cancer organizations. As the Scientific Partner of Stand Up To Cancer, the AACR provides expert peer review, grants administration, and scientific oversight of team science and individual investigator grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and other policymakers about the value of cancer research and related biomedical science in saving lives from cancer. For more information about the AACR, visit www.AACR.org.