Q. What is the mission of Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)?
A. SU2C’s mission is to fund collaborative, translational cancer research and bring treatments from the bench to the bedside faster to save lives now. One hundred percent of donations received from the public go directly to the organization’s cancer research programs.
To achieve its mission, SU2C brings together the best and the brightest researchers, invests in their projects, and mandates collaboration. These multi-institutional groups of scientists, clinicians, technicians and other experts form groupings called “Dream Teams” and members work collaboratively, rather than competitively, to develop new treatments quickly.
Q. Please tell us about the history and founding of SU2C.
A. SU2C was founded on May 28, 2008, with a simple premise: accelerate innovative cancer research that will bring new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. A program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, SU2C was established by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s top resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease.
Q. What are the key programs or initiatives that help SU2C deliver on the mission?
A. To date, SU2C has funded 12 “Dream Teams,” each driven by the same principles that laid the foundation of the SU2C model: collaboration, innovation, acceleration, targeted therapy, and translational research. Additionally, SU2C has funded two translational research teams, and awarded 26 Innovative Research Grants to early-career researchers who are completing high-risk projects, with the potential for “high reward” results. These grant recipients total more than 750 researchers, representing 112 unique institutions in six countries. Collectively, they have planned, launched, or completed 141 clinical trials, in which more than 5,300 patients have enrolled.
Q. Is there a specific experience best exemplifies the SU2C mission and the benefit you provide cancer survivors?
A. SU2C is widely recognized for its biennial, nationwide telecasts, which have helped to raise $261 million to date.
On September 5, 2014, at 8 PM EST, SU2C will produce its fourth broadcast, which will air live and simultaneously on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, and 25 US cable networks. The one-hour telecast will feature film, television, sports and music stars, all standing together to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.
Q. What are your goals for the future development of SU2C?
The main goal for Stand Up To Cancer is to make all cancer patients, cancer survivors. Stand Up To Cancer will continue to be a facile, nimble organization that builds on innovation and collaboration to accelerate cancer research and improve patient outcomes. Beyond the Dream Team model of research, a compelling component of SU2C’s future lies in additional Innovative Research Grants which fund early-career researchers engaged in high-risk research projects, not likely to be funded elsewhere, that offer the potential for high-reward outcomes.
Stand Up To Cancer has initiated international collaborations, to date a formal collaboration in the United Kingdom called Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and in the Netherlands called Sta Op Tegen Kanker. We look forward to the results of those efforts. In addition, in 2014, Stand Up To Cancer Canada was launched by EIF Canada and with the inaugural Canada-specific telecast in 2014 and new funding collaborations with a wide array of advocacy, research and corporate entities, will be initiating new SU2C Canada Dream Teams.
Q. How can readers learn more about your work?
A. To learn more about Stand Up to Cancer and the science that the organization funds, please visit www.standup2cancer.org.