Stand Up To Cancer Continues Its Mission
Two years after an historic fundraising telecast and the start of a ground-breaking grassroots movement, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) returned to primetime television on September 10, 2010 with a star-studded appeal to build continuing public support and donations for cutting-edge cancer research that translates at a rapid pace from the laboratory to treatments and technologies that benefit patients.
Stand Up 2 Cancer's Mission Statement:
Here we stand, on the verge of unlocking the answers that will finally conquer the devastation that is cancer.
We now understand the very biology that drives cancer. With knowledge gained from the mapping of the human genome, we can now target the genes and pathways that are involved in turning normal cells into cancerous ones. We are on the brink of possessing a toolbox full of new, advanced technologies just waiting to be adapted to benefit patients. Right before us, so close we can almost touch them, are scientific breakthroughs in the prevention, detection, treatment and even reversal of this disease.
Cancer takes one person every minute. One life in a moment. They are our brothers, our sisters, our fathers and mothers, our husbands and wives, our best friends, our children, ourselves. Every day in America, 1500 people die and yet the means to save them are literally within our reach. To wait any longer for someone else to save our lives and the lives of those we love is unforgivable.
Inspired to act by our own personal experiences with cancer, we recognize that we can no longer rely on the current system alone to give us the breakthroughs we need. So, we are calling on the public to help take matters into our own hands, investing in a revolution that will change the way scientist and clinicians work to understand and treat these diseases. Stand Up To Cancer is more than a rallying cry. It is a galvanizing force created to urgently move cancer research forward.
This is where the end of cancer begins: when we unite in one unstoppable movement and Stand Up To Cancer.How?
Working with the top experts in cancer research, Stand Up To Cancer is forging a new way to develop breakthroughs that will end cancer. We're putting together the best and the brightest minds in cancer research those on the edge of accomplishment investing in their projects and taking the bureaucratic obstacles out of their way. We are building interdisciplinary Dream Teams of scientists, clinicians, technicians and other experts, who will focus on a specific cancer problem. We'll track their progress in real time, so that everyone who invests can see how their participation is creating real change.Funds will be administered by the American Association for Cancer Research, the largest scientific organization in the world focusing on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research. Together with their scientific Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee, comprised of world-class scientists across several disciplines and patient advocates, the most promising projects will be identified.
Learn where the money goes, and why.
YOU CAN INVEST IN SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND THE END OF CANCER! Donate Here
Dr. Jerome Groopman, M.D., explains SU2C's NEW SCRIPT FOR CANCER RESEARCH:
"Successful experiments are built on a vision of the future and overcome the pitfalls of the past. "Stand Up to Cancer" promises to be such an experiment - ambitious in aim, grand in scale, and smart in design. It is an experiment that will involve not only laboratory scientists and clinicians, but potentially every American....
...There is a certain irony that the people who launched SU2C come from Hollywood, a place that produces fantasies, diversions from reality. There is no fantasy in how this initiative is conceived. There is no diversion from reality in how it will be run. SU2C understands how American science operates, why it succeeds and why it stumbles. It offers a path that is marked by true hope - clear eyed and feasible, setting goals that are within our grasp. It is a bold experiment whose success can profoundly better our lives. We are all invited to become part of it."Dr. Jerome E. Groopman holds the Dina and Raphael Recanati Chair of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School and is Chief of Experimental Medicine at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Groopman, staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and prolific editorialist at publications nationwide, writes regularly about biology and medicine for lay audiences. PHOTO CREDIT: David Cormack
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WELCOME TO THE CUTTING EDGE
Dream Team grants are awarded to multi-institutional groups of scientists who work collaboratively, rather than competitively, to develop new treatments quickly in order to save lives now. To learn more about SU2C's first five Dream Teams, please click here.
Innovative Research Grants support groundbreaking cancer research projects that are high-risk but could also be high-impact, and have the potential to significantly affect patient care. To learn more about the first recipients of SU2Cs Innovative Research Grants, click here.While many breakthroughs are occurring, a more concerted effort to share new knowledge and combine research efforts could mean even faster and more effective results, saving the life of a loved one. Read more here about Stand Up 2 Cancer's new model for innovation, interdisciplinary idea-sharing and funding and go to www.su2c.org.
by DR. JOHN GLASPY, M.D., M.P.H.
To some extent, the answer to that question would be Martin Luther King, Jr.'s answer: "Now, because it is long overdue."
But what is special about now is that there have been three developments in the field of cancer research that have caused the tumblers in nature's cosmic lock to align so that it is possible, for the first time, to open the safe.
First, new technologies, including genomics and molecular biology, have permitted us to understand, specifically, what makes a cell malignant. This has given us rational targets for the development of new therapeutics. Second, scientific advances have provided us with the ability to hit those targets with relative safety and effectiveness.
Finally, the paradigm for understanding cancer and its treatment has begun to change, so that a critical mass of the cancer research establishment is available to pursue a course of clinical development that moves the new basic science understanding into clinical reality as rapidly as possible. Heretofore, this was not the case, and most cancer clinical researchers insisted, for example, on considering breast cancer to be one disease and on trying to develop "one size fits all" therapies.
One of the watershed events that demonstrated the potential of our new understanding and new targeted therapeutics was the development of Herceptin; the success of this approach for that target and drug played a major role in the paradigm shift, as did the development of other targeted therapies such as Gleevec and Rituxan. These new therapeutics will initially have an effect on the outcomes of cancer similar to the effects of breakthroughs in anti-HIV drugs on the lives of AIDS patients; they will convert the disease into a chronic, manageable medical problem. In the future, they will increase cure and prevention opportunities.
Why now? Because the tumblers are lined up, and sooner or later we will be able to pull the handle and open the safe. Funding for this translational research has largely come through the federal government, and even in good times was very conservative and tradition-bound. Now there is the added problem that federal funding is decreasing for the first time in over three decades. The Stand Up to Cancer model is focused on providing the funding to pull that handle faster and the oversight to make sure that the funded remain effectively on task. It would be conservative to estimate that the handle will be pulled ten years earlier with SU2C's involvement. In human terms, the lives of hundreds of thousands of sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, mothers and fathers who will need these transformed therapeutics in the next 10 years depend upon our success.
John Glaspy, M.D., M.P.H. is a professor of medicine at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center of the University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine. He is director of the JCCC Clinical Research Unit and the JCCC Womens Cancer Research Program. Dr. Glaspy is involved in basic research in tumor immunology and the effects of fatty acids on carcinogenesis. His clinical interests include new approaches to the treatment of breast cancer and malignant melanoma.