American Association for Cancer Research

Press Releases: 2010

Stand Up To Cancer Acquires TV & Film Rights to Nonfiction Bestseller "Emperor of All Maladies"


December 15, 2010

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SU2C Plans Multi-Platform Series Based on Powerful New Book Named to New York Times Top 10 List

(December 15, 2010, New York, NY / Los Angeles, CA / www.standup2cancer.org)

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the charitable initiative generating public awareness of and support for ground-breaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe, has acquired the TV and film rights to The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, written by Siddhartha Mukherjee and published by Scribner in November, 2010. The book traces the history, or biography, of the disease from its first appearance thousands of years ago through the Nixon era War on Cancer 40 years ago to today’s promising new directions in cancer medicine.

Stand Up To Cancer was established two and a half years ago by a group of media and entertainment leaders intent on drawing on their industries in novel ways to engage the public in the fight against cancer. SU2C has produced two major televised fundraising events, in 2008 and on September 10th 2010, that aired on an unprecedented number of U.S. networks and cable outlets, as well as in 175 other countries.

“This thoughtful and insightful story is the most extraordinary and comprehensive look at cancer as a disease and a societal reality that has affected and will continue to affect every single person on the planet,” said Laura Ziskin, the SU2C co-founder who produced the ’08 and ’10 broadcasts, in describing the book. “It not only de-mystifies cancer – it tells us where we have been and where we have to go.

“Written in a riveting way the lay reader can understand, The Emperor of All Maladies brings the promise of today’s cancer research to life, while at the same time poignantly illustrating the devastating impact cancer has on those affected by it,” Ziskin continued. “One of SU2C’s goals is to create a ‘tipping point’ that will make cancer the first-tier issue it needs to be in this country. The book’s content can serve as a motivating ‘call to action’ for people to get involved in the fight against this disease, and we intend to bring it to life for viewers in the same way Dr. Mukherjee does on the written page,” she said.

“We launched SU2C because the experts told us this was a pivotal moment in cancer research: a ‘perfect storm’, if you will, of tremendous advances in both our understanding of the basic science of cancer and the technologies researchers need to translate that knowledge into real advances in treatment and prevention,” said SU2C Co-founder Sherry Lansing. “We wanted to tap our media and entertainment resources to make the public aware of what a hopeful juncture this is in cancer research, and energize everyone about supporting these scientists. Adapting The Emperor of All Maladies will help us do that.”

While the details are not yet final, Stand Up To Cancer’s leadership envisions a multi-platform approach, and will explore producing iterations for television, the internet, DVD, etc. Funds generated through this project will support research done by collaborative Dream Teams of scientists across institutions and disciplines, and by individual, young innovative investigators; as well as awareness efforts. Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) serves as SU2C’s scientific partner.

“I am tremendously excited about the opportunity to develop Emperor of All Maladies with Stand Up To Cancer,” said author Siddhartha Mukherjee. “I deeply admire the incredible and path-breaking work that SU2C has done in cancer advocacy and cancer research, and cannot think of a better partner. This story needs to reach the public – and SU2C is poised to make that happen.”

The Emperor of All Maladies was an instant New York Times bestseller and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, Time, and O: The Oprah Magazine. It has received critical acclaim from publications ranging from the Washington Post and The Economist to Elle and Entertainment Weekly and is on a dozen other end-of-year best books lists. The New Yorker’s reviewer wrote, “It’s hard to think of many books for a general audience that have rendered any area of modern science and technology with such intelligence, accessibility, and compassion. The Emperor of All Maladies is an extraordinary achievement.” Siddhartha Mukherjee was represented in the sale by the Wylie Agency.

In addition to Ms. Lansing and Ms. Ziskin (who is a breast cancer survivor), the Stand Up To Cancer co-founders include Katie Couric; the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s President and CEO Lisa Paulsen and Senior Vice President Kathleen Lobb; Rusty Robertson and Sue Schwartz of the Robertson Schwartz Agency, nonprofit executive Ellen Ziffren, and Noreen Fraser of the Noreen Fraser Foundation (who is also a cancer survivor).

About Cancer
Every year, cancer takes the lives of more than half a million Americans and eight million people worldwide. In the U.S. alone, one out of three women and one out of two men will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes.

About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) was established in 2008 by leaders from the film and media industries who utilize the resources of those businesses in unique ways to get the public involved in supporting a new model of cancer research. The group produced two major televised events, in 2008 and 2010, that raised funds for teams of scientists collaborating on research that will get new therapies to patients quickly in order to save lives now. More than 100 celebrities participated in each program, conveying how cancer connects us all, and telling the stories both of people who survived the disease, as well as those taken by it. Between the two broadcasts, all of the major U.S. TV networks and many cable outlets participated, donating the airtime. The programs ran in more than 175 countries and raised many millions of dollars for research.

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., selected the teams of researchers to be funded with these monies through a rigorous, competitive process. More than 200 scientists from 50 institutions around the world are currently involved in SU2C research projects.

About the Entertainment Industry Foundation
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves as the collective philanthropy for the television and film businesses. EIF has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues. For more information, visit www.eifoundation.org.

About The American Association for Cancer Research
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which consists of more than 33,000 scientists engaged in the fight against cancer, is Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific partner. The AACR, the oldest and largest scientific organization in the world focusing on every aspect of high-quality, innovative cancer research from the bench to the bedside, is responsible for administering and managing the grants, and providing scientific oversight in conjunction with the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., institute professor at the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

For additional information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit www.su2c.org

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