American Association for Cancer Research

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Stand Up To Cancer and the St. Baldrick's Foundation to Fund Innovative Pediatric Cancer Dream Team


September 13, 2012

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Following successful SU2C telethon, new details released regarding multi-million dollar childhood cancer research initiative

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 13, 2012) — The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity dedicated to raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate collaborative, innovative cancer research, are excited to announce new details about their plan to jointly fund a Pediatric Cancer Dream Team.

Over the next four years, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which raises funds through its signature head-shaving events held worldwide and other fundraising activities, and SU2C will commit a total of $14.5 million to the SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Cancer Dream Team.

This is the first SU2C Dream Team focused solely on pediatric cancer research since SU2C was launched in 2008. The pairing of the organizations brings together two of the world’s leading cancer research fundraising groups in a unified mission to accelerate the development of new methods to treat pediatric cancers.

Worldwide, a child is diagnosed every three minutes, and in the United States, one in five children diagnosed with cancer will not survive.

On Stand Up To Cancer’s behalf, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), its scientific partner, will issue a call for ideas soon. Please visit www.aacr.org/su2cfunding for more information.

A SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Joint Scientific Advisory Committee (JSAC) will conduct a unique, rapid and rigorous evaluation of the applications via a multi-step scientific review process, and make recommendations on the final grant recipients. Since the launch of SU2C, the AACR has played an integral role by providing scientific leadership, expert peer review and grants administration. The AACR is responsible for administering these grants and provides ongoing scientific oversight to ensure that progress is being made.

“The formation of the SU2C-St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Cancer Dream Team has the potential to be a real game changer in the childhood cancer research community,” said Kathleen Ruddy, executive director of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. “It is through the ongoing efforts of our volunteers who continue to stand up to cancer, and the more than $32 million they raised this year, that we are able to announce this landmark collaboration. We are confident that the innovative approach of the Pediatric Cancer Dream Team, along with other St. Baldrick’s funded research will help quicken the pace in our ultimate goal to someday find cures for all childhood cancers.”

The Dream Team will conduct research focused solely on pediatric cancer. Formation of this team will fulfill the mission of Stand Up To Cancer and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and ultimately enable survivors to lead long and healthy lives.

“We were thrilled with the public response to the poignant stories of pediatric cancer patients we featured in our Sept. 7 telethon,” said Sung Poblete, president and chief executive officer of Stand Up To Cancer. “We’re excited to be collaborating with the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to address the urgent need for more pediatric cancer research.”

To date, SU2C has awarded grants to seven Dream Teams, and 26 Innovative Research Grants (IRGs) have been awarded to individual young investigators. These recipients comprise more than 350 scientists from 65 institutions. Of the 26 IRG recipients, seven focus significantly on pediatric cancers, including Ewing sarcoma, rhabdoid tumors and atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumors (RT).

As the leading non-governmental provider of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has awarded more than $101 million in research funding since 2005, and has granted more than $23 million in funding this year alone. The collaboration with SU2C will be the largest financial commitment the foundation has made since its inception.

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About St. Baldrick’s Foundation
The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-driven charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long and healthy lives. Since 2005, St. Baldrick’s has awarded more than $101 million to support lifesaving research, making the Foundation the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants. St. Baldrick’s funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts in the world and to younger professionals who will be the experts of tomorrow. Funds awarded also enable hundreds of local institutions to participate in national pediatric cancer clinical trials, which may be a child’s best hope for a cure. For more information about the St. Baldrick’s Foundation please call 1.888.899.BALD or visit www.StBaldricks.org.

About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)—a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)3 charitable organization—raises funds to hasten the pace of groundbreaking translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. In the fall of 2007, a group of women whose lives have all been affected by cancer in profound ways began working together to marshal the resources of the media and entertainment industries in the fight against this disease.

Members of the SU2C Executive Leadership Council (ELC) include Talk Show Host, Journalist and well-known Cancer Advocate Katie Couric; Sherry Lansing, Chairperson of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Board of Directors and founder of the Sherry Lansing Foundation; EIF President and CEO Lisa Paulsen; EIF Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency; Pamela Oas Williams, President of Laura Ziskin Productions and Executive Producer of Stand Up To Cancer’s In-House Production Team, and Nonprofit Executive Ellen Ziffren. All of the ELC members are co-producers of the 2012 televised special. The late Laura Ziskin, executive producer of both the Sept. 5, 2008 and Sept. 10, 2010 broadcasts, was also a member of the ELC. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president and CEO since 2011.

SU2C’s “Dream Team” approach to funding translational cancer research enables scientists from different disciplines at research centers across the country and internationally to collaborate on projects geared toward getting new, less toxic treatments to patients as quickly as possible. Monies also support innovative cancer research projects that are often deemed “too risky” by conventional funding sources. Sixty-five institutions are currently involved. As SU2C’s scientific collaborator, the American Association for Cancer Research, led by a prestigious SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, provides scientific oversight, expert review of the research projects and grants administration.

For more information, visit standup2cancer.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’s membership includes 34,000 laboratory, translational and clinical researchers; population scientists; other health care professionals; and cancer advocates residing in more than 90 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 20 conferences and educational workshops, the largest of which is the AACR Annual Meeting with more than 17,000 attendees. In addition, the AACR publishes seven 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 individual and team science grants in cancer research that have the potential for near-term patient benefit. The AACR actively communicates with legislators and 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.

Media Contacts:

Marc McCarthy                    
St. Baldrick’s Foundation            
(626) 792-8247 x40                
marc@stbaldricks.org                

Maurine Slutzky
Stand Up To Cancer
(213) 240-3923
mslutzky@eifoundation.org

Tara Yates
American Association for Cancer Research
(215) 446-7110
tara.yates@aacr.org