New Campaign Raises Awareness of the Importance of the Immune System in Cancer
Prevention and Treatment
LOS ANGELES and NEW YORK, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Stand Up To
Cancer (SU2C) and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI) have teamed up to develop
a new print public service announcement featuring NCIS star Mark Harmon. The
PSA, entitled "I Am My Own Secret Weapon," is designed to increase awareness
about cancer immunotherapy, which mobilizes our immune systems to fight cancer.
One in two men and one in three women will get some form of cancer in their
lifetimes, and every day, nearly 1,600 Americans die from cancer. This
debilitating disease can often make people feel like they are no longer in
control of their bodies. Through this PSA, SU2C and CRI increase awareness of
the need to support more research on immune-based cancer treatments.
"Cancer research is extremely important to me," said two-time Emmy Award nominee
Harmon. "I don't know anyone who hasn't been affected by cancer in some way or
another. I'm here today to highlight the unbelievable work that CRI and SU2C are
doing to advance the field of cancer immunology."
Mark Harmon has starred as Leroy Jethro "Gibbs" in the hit CBS series NCIS for
10 years. He has been nominated for two Emmys, four Golden Globes, two Screen
Actors Guild Awards and two People's Choice Awards for roles he has played
throughout his career including The West Wing, Chicago Hope and NCIS.
"The research that CRI and SU2C are doing shows us that with the help of
immunotherapy, our bodies' own natural defenses can fight cancer," added Harmon.
"We've all seen people suffer through different kinds of treatments for this
disease but these advances in immunotherapy have the potential to significantly
change cancer treatment as we know it. It's important for people to learn about
CRI is dedicated to the support and coordination of laboratory and clinical
efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control and prevention of
cancer. Through its advancement of cancer immunology research, CRI is learning
how to manipulate the human immune system to target and attack cancer.
"We are thrilled to partner with Mark Harmon and Stand Up To Cancer to educate
the public about the power of immunology to control and fight cancer using our
bodies' own immune defense system," said Jill O'Donnell-Tormey, Ph.D., chief
executive officer and director of scientific affairs at CRI. "Immunotherapy has
begun to transform cancer treatment, and we are proud to work with Stand Up To
Cancer to move it forward."
In December 2012, SU2C and CRI announced the formation of a Cancer Immunology
Translational Research Dream Team, dedicated to exploring the complex
relationship between cancer and the immune system. With $10 million in funding
over a three-year period, this project will unite laboratory and clinical
efforts to work toward the goal of discovering immune-based solutions to fight
The Dream Team, led by James P. Allison, Ph.D., of the David H. Koch Center for
Applied Research of Genitourinary Cancers at The University of Texas MD Anderson
Cancer Center, and Antoni Ribas, M.D., Ph.D., of the Jonsson Comprehensive
Cancer Center, and member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative
Medicine and Stem Cell Research at the University of California, Los Angeles
(UCLA), is exploring "Immunologic Checkpoint Blockade and Adoptive Cell Transfer
in Cancer Therapy." Scientists on this Dream Team represent eight institutions:
MD Anderson Cancer Center, UCLA, The Johns Hopkins University, Fred Hutchinson
Cancer Research Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, California Institute of
Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and the Netherlands Cancer
"One of the most beloved actors on television, Mark Harmon can help enormously
with our effort to make people aware of immunology's life-saving role in the
fight against cancer," said SU2C co-founder and chairman of the board of the
Entertainment Industry Foundation Sherry Lansing (SU2C is a program of EIF a
501(c)(3) organization). "We are incredibly lucky to have such a highly regarded
star as our ambassador for this campaign - Mark's support is invaluable."
To learn more, visit http://www.standup2cancer.org or
http://www.cancerresearch.org/Immunology. To join the conversation like us on
Facebook at @StandUpToCancer or follow up on Twitter at @SU2C.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer - an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a
non-profit organization - began in the USA in 2008 with a landmark telecast on
the ABC, CBS and NBC networks. The third U.S.-based telecast was broadcast on
ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and 22 cable networks on Sept. 7, 2012. Internationally, in
addition to the Netherlands, Stand Up To Cancer launched in the United Kingdom
with a four-hour live televised fundraiser on Channel 4 in collaboration with
Cancer Research U.K. on Oct. 17, 2012.
Stand Up To Cancer raises funds to hasten the pace of groundbreaking
translational research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save
lives. SU2C marshals the resources of the media and entertainment industries in
the fight against this disease. Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders
and Advisors (CFA) 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 current members of the CFA were co-producers of the 2012 televised special.
The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced both the Sept. 5, 2008, and
Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. 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. One hundred and one 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 Cancer Research Institute
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI), a nonprofit established in 1953, is the
global leader in cancer immunology. Since its inception, CRI has invested
hundreds of millions of dollars to support research conducted by more than 3,000
scientists and clinicians worldwide to understand the immune system and how it
can be harnessed to conquer all cancers. This work has laid the foundation for
nearly every major cancer immunotherapy breakthrough over the past half century.
Guided by an international panel of the world's leading immunologists and cancer
immunologists, including three Nobel laureates and 29 members of the U.S.
National Academy of Sciences, CRI provides essential funding to support every
stage of discovery, from laboratory investigation to clinical trials of the most
promising cancer immunotherapies for patients.
CRI also sponsors a seminal international symposium on cancer immunology each
year, hosts annual scientific colloquia dedicated to overcoming challenges in
immunotherapy research and development, forges collaborative partnerships
between academia and industry to facilitate the development pathway for novel
immunotherapeutics, and presents special recognition awards to individuals who
have made outstanding contributions to cancer research, patient care and public
Through its sustaining support and leadership in the field, CRI is accelerating
the development of safe and effective immunotherapies that stand to
revolutionize the treatment of all cancers. For more information, visit
http://cancerresearch.org or follow CRI on Twitter @CancerResearch.
SOURCE Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Cancer Research Institute (CRI)