Stand Up to Cancer

Stand Up to Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) is a charitable program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) established by media, entertainment and philanthropic leaders who have been affected by cancer. SU2C aims to raise significant funds for translational cancer research through online and televised efforts. Central to the program is a telethon that was televised by three major broadcast networks (ABC, NBC, CBS) in over 170 countries on September 5, 2008. SU2C made over $100 million after that evenings broadcast.

The SU2C leadership team includes news anchor Katie Couric; the Entertainment Industry Foundation, represented by Board of Directors Chairperson Sherry Lansing and CEO Lisa Paulsen; Laura Ziskin; the Noreen Fraser Foundation and its executives Noreen Fraser, Woody Fraser, Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz; and nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren.

The Initiative

The Stand Up To Cancer initiative aims to raise awareness and bring about an understanding that everyone is connected by cancer. The stat used most often by SU2C is from the American Cancer Society: one out of every two men and one out of every three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime [ [ ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2008] . Retrieved on 27 May 2008.] , meaning everyone is affected in some way, or will be. Another part of the campaign is motivating the public through various forms of media to become involved in the cause of curing cancer.

One doctor involved in Stand Up To Cancer, Dennis Slamon, MD, has compared treating cancer with treating hypertension:

"If we turn cancer into a chronic disease that's manageable, have we cured it? No, not any more than you 'cure' hypertension. You treat hypertension, and if you successfully treat hypertension the patient may die, but they're going to die of something other than hypertension or the diseases related to hypertension. Does that constitute a cure? It constitutes an appropriate control of the disease so that it isn't what's life-ending." [ [ Stand Up To Cancer online] . Retrieved on 28 May 2008.] .

The initiative has been framed only as a national project, isolated to America. SU2C's ultimate goal is to cut down on the amount of time promising research takes in progressing from discovery through clinical trials and out onto the market. The initiative's funding model is offered as an alternative to the traditional grant proposal and funding process used by institutions like the National Cancer Institute, wherein a reported two in ten grants are funded [ [ National Cancer Institute 2006 Fact Book] . Retrieved on 28 May 2008.] .

The Funding Model

With the exception of a 10% endowment for possible future investments, the funds raised by SU2C will go as immediately as possible toward research. 100% of publicly donated funds go to research, none to overhead costs. 70% of funds will go to scientific dream teams established by experts, including the American Association for Cancer Research. [ [ AACR online] . Retrieved on 29 May 2008.] Teams picked will be subject to mandated collaboration in hopes of accelerating research. The remaining 20% of funds will go to innovative young investigators who might not otherwise gain funding. [ [ Stand Up To Cancer online] . Retrieved on 29 May 2008.] SU2C dream teams will be composed of scientific experts, patient advocates, and experts in pre-clinical trial data. SU2C distinguishes itself from federal funding agencies like the National Institutes of Health by stressing that funding needs to go to applicable research now, when we finally possess promising knowledge about cancer and how it works at the molecular level. [ [ Stand Up To Cancer online] . Retrieved on 28 May 2008.]


The Stand Up To Cancer manifesto has been published on the organization's website. No author is credited. SU2C Manifesto [ [ Stand Up To Cancer online] . Retrieved on 28 May 2008.] :

quotation|This is where the end of cancer begins.
When together we become a force unmistakable.
A movement undeniable.
A light that cannot dim.
When we take our wild impossible dreams
And make them possible
Make them true
When together we rise as one
When we stand up
When we Stand Up To Cancer.


[] (or [] ) launched on May 28th, 2008, the same day as the press release announcing the initiative. The website is the public face of Stand Up To Cancer in the run-up to the show and allows users to donate online. The website contains information about the initiative, video channels under the heading SUTV, and an online cancer magazine called SU2C Mag. Content includes videos and articles featuring performers and writers like Larry David and Jerome Groopman, M.D. Other promotional material with TV and film celebrities is also prominent.

Interactive Features

The website has two social networking applications, or apps:The Stand is a Facebook application that allows Facebook users impacted by cancer to connect with one another via trading cards, leveraging Facebook's back-end networking capacity.

[ The Constellation] , a tool through which anyone can launch a star in honor of someone they know who has been diagnosed with cancer. Honorees' stars cluster or align in close proximity within a telescope-like map of a virtual night sky. Stars can be launched for minimum $1 donation.

TV show

The three major American television networks, NBC, ABC, CBS, as well as E! aired Stand Up To Cancer's one-hour special event without commercials [ [ "ABC, NBC, CBS Join Forces to Fight Cancer."] . Retrieved on 27 May 2008.] on September 5th at 8pm ET/PT. [ [ "Anchors to Stage Live Cancer Benefit."] . Retrieved on 27 May 2008.] It aired in over 170 countries"Dreaming of a Cure: Patrick Swayze on Stand Up to Cancer." "People", Vol. 70, No. 12, September 22, 2008, pg. 25.] and was simulcast on three Canadian networks, Citytv, CTV, and Global. [ [ Stand Up To Cancer (HD)] ,, Retrieved on September 5, 2008]

The networks also helped publicize the initiative by plugging it on their morning shows on May 28, 2008. Katie Couric made her first appearance on the Today Show since moving to an anchor position on the CBS Evening News as part of the promotional effort. [ [ MSNBC News] . Retrieved on 29 May 2008.] Brian Williams and Charles Gibson also took part. The telethon raised more than $100 million for cancer research.

The special included the campaign's theme song "Just Stand Up", produced by Antonio "L.A." Reid, featuring some of the top female artists in pop/rock music, including Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Carrie Underwood, Leona Lewis, Miley Cyrus, Fergie, Rihanna and Ciara. The song was performed live during the telethon, and was released as a single via iTunes. Melissa Etheridge and Sugarland also performed at the event, and such celebrities as Jennifer Aniston, Ellen DeGeneres and Jennifer Garner were in attendance.

Actress Christina Applegate, who in the months prior to the show underwent a successful double mastectomy, appeared on the special, [ [ Applegate says she is 100 percent cancer free Associated Press August 19, 2008] ] as did Patrick Swayze, making his first network television appearance since being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Swayze said to a standing ovation, "I dream that the word 'cure' will no longer be followed by the words 'it's impossible.' Together we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear, without hope, or worse." After the show ended, Swayze lingered onstage and talked to other cancer survivors; executive producer Laura Ziskin said, "He said a beautiful thing: 'I'm just an individual living with cancer.' That's how he wants to be thought of. He's in a fight, but he's a fighter."


The heavy attention paid to the use of celebrities has led critics to claim that Stand Up To Cancer sacrifices substance for glamour.

Health care advocates have criticized the movement for focusing on translational research instead of public health concerns including carcinogens in our food, water, and everyday household materials. They have also criticized the project's emphasis on cures as over-emphasizing research without attention to prevention and health care access.

Known Donors:

Listed as partners, known SU2C corporate and private donors include:

*Major League Baseball
*Saks Fifth Avenue
*Steve Tisch
*Stonyfield Farm


SU2C makes heavy use of cancer-related statistics in its outreach to the public. Frequently utilized statistics include:
* Ending cancer would be worth $50 trillion to the US economy. [ [ The Value of Health and Longevity.] . Retrieved on 28 May 2008.]
* One out of two men, and one out of three women, will be diagnosed with cancer. [ [ ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2008] ]
* 1,500 Americans die from cancer every day. [ [ ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2008] ]
* One American dies of cancer every minute. [ [ ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2008] ]
* There are nearly 11 million cancer survivors in America right now. [ [ ACS Cancer Facts and Figures 2008] ]


External links

* [ Stand Up To Cancer website]
* [ SU2C Mag]
* [ SU2C Blog]
* [ The American Association for Cancer Research website]
* [ The Entertainment Industry Foundation website]
* [ Noreen Fraser Foundation website]
* [ The Lance Armstrong Foundation website]

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