New Campaign to Raise Awareness in the Fight against Ovarian Cancer
(LOS ANGELES / NEW YORK) – May 5, 2016 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA), and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) have teamed up on a new ovarian cancer public service announcement (PSA) campaign featuring Academy-Award nominated actress Minnie Driver, who lost her grandmother to the disease. The print, radio, out-of-home, and digital PSAs will begin running in May.
The PSA, entitled “Just Because You Can’t See it Doesn’t Mean it’s Not There,” aims to underline the importance of knowing your genetic risk factors and recognizing the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, since there is no early detection test and symptoms are often vague or silent.
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all the gynecologic cancers. Approximately 22,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year, and 14,000 die of the disease. The PSA encourages women to visit SU2C.org/ovarian to learn more about symptoms, individual risk factors and research.
“This is a cause close to my heart and one that I passionately support,” said Academy Award-nominated actress Driver. “As a woman, mother, daughter, and granddaughter who lost her grandmother to ovarian cancer, this is a disease that I’m committed to fighting. I am honored to join Stand Up To Cancer, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition in this critical campaign to educate women on the importance of understanding family history and potential risk factors.”
The PSA features Driver partially obscured by colored smoke along with the message that while you often can’t “see” the disease, “you can take steps to get ahead of it by knowing your risk factors. Family history of cancer and presence of gene mutations like BRCA are risk factors, so talk to your family and doctor. This information makes you less likely to ignore vague signs that could indicate disease.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Minnie Driver on this campaign,” said Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, president of Stand Up To Cancer. “Our Ovarian Cancer Dream Team is currently working quickly to establish new treatments for today’s ovarian cancer patients, and it is so vital that we continue to raise awareness of this particular disease and funds for its research.”
The collaborative campaign represents the continued dedication to ovarian cancer research and awareness by Stand Up To Cancer, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance, and National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
“Every voice for ovarian cancer is one that could save a woman’s life, and we applaud Minnie Driver for joining our collaboration to help raise awareness of this insidious disease. Ovarian cancer has taken too many women from us. Our collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition will help ensure women are aware of their risk of ovarian cancer, and encourage them to learn more, all in an effort to save more women’s lives,” said Audra Moran, president and CEO of Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.
“Research is one of the foundational pillars on which NOCC is built, an essential piece in supporting our mission to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for survivors. NOCC is both proud and privileged to collaborate with SU2C and OCRFA in the Ovarian Cancer Dream Team and support its groundbreaking work,” said David Barley, CEO of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.
The SU2C-Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance-National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Dream Team, launched in July 2015, is working to develop new therapies that target DNA repair pathways, which include the BRCA 1 and 2 genes that are linked to ovarian cancer risk. The Dream Team wants to expand treatment using a class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors beyond tumors with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations to a much larger group of women, In addition, by screening for inherited mutations in multiple DNA repair pathway genes, the Dream Team hopes to identify women at high risk for ovarian cancer for whom preventative measures may be life-saving. Their work is taking a three-pronged approach:
• Apply cutting edge DNA repair science to identify ovarian cancers most likely to respond to DNA repair therapies;
• Evaluate, in clinical trials, novel combinations of other treatments with PARP inhibitors, expanding the use of these drugs to more women; and
• To develop web-based genetic testing and counseling strategies for ovarian cancer risk, providing access to more women in the community, and to test fallopian tube removal as a surgical approach to reduce risk while avoiding forced menopause by preserving a woman’s ovaries.
With a combined focus on developing and expanding treatment options, as well as developing platforms for identifying women at high risk for ovarian cancer and preventing their disease, this program is poised to quickly deliver near-term ovarian cancer patient benefit. In the first six months of this grant, the team has already made considerable progress and is actively recruiting participants for three clinical trials. The team is working to:
• Evaluate new PARP inhibitor drug combinations;
• launch a new clinical trial to test an immunotherapy drug in combination with a PARP inhibitor; and
• continue development of their trial involving genetic testing in women at risk for ovarian cancer across a very wide geographical area, towards improving ovarian cancer prevention strategies.
# # #About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry’s resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C’s scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced Stand Up To Cancer’s Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. Lisa Paulsen and Pam Williams were executive producers, and the other CFA members were co-producers, of the 2014 telecast. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C’s president since 2011.
For more information on Stand Up To Cancer, visit www.standup2cancer.org.
About Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance
Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) is the largest global organization dedicated to advancing ovarian cancer research while supporting women and their families. Ovarian Cancer Research Fund merged with Ovarian Cancer National Alliance earlier this year to become OCRFA, the voice for ovarian cancer. OCRFA advances private research, advocates for increased federal research and awareness dollars and furthers policies that give women access to the services they need, as well as supports women and their families before, during and after a diagnosis.
OCRFA has invested over $70 million in private ovarian cancer research and has been instrumental in securing over $2.2 billion federal dollars dedicated to ovarian cancer research and awareness and has ensured the issues faced by the ovarian cancer community are heard in local and national legislative offices. OCRFA engages the survivor community throughout the country with programs like Woman to Woman, which pairs gynecologic cancer patients with gynecologic cancer survivors and Survivors Teaching Students®: Saving Women’s Lives an educational program which connects ovarian cancer survivors with health professional students to present their unique stories along with facts about the disease. ocrfa.org
About National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Since its inception in 1991, the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) has been committed to raising awareness, promoting education, and funding research in support of women, families, and communities touched by ovarian cancer. NOCC is well-established as an important national advocate for patients and families struggling with ovarian cancer, and remains steadfast in its mission to save lives by fighting tirelessly to prevent and cure ovarian cancer, and to improve the quality of life for survivors. For more information, please visit www.ovarian.org and follow NOCC on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Adam Miller, Rubenstein Communications
Sheri Goldberg, ID PR