April 4, 2011 – Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) and the Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) announced plans to fund a collaborative research “Dream Team” focused on melanoma today at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Together the two organizations will commit a minimum of $6 million over a three-year period to translational research aimed at combating one of the fastest growing cancers.
One person dies from melanoma every hour in the United States, and the survival rate for those with advanced disease remains static at 15 percent. If melanoma is not detected early, it is often fatal.
“As the largest private funder of melanoma research, MRA has been engaging with leaders in melanoma research around the world since our founding more than three years ago,” said Debra Black, MRA founder and chair. “By combining forces with SU2C, MRA looks forward to leveraging the resources and expertise of both organizations to transform the field of melanoma research.”
In 2009, SU2C awarded grants to five interdisciplinary, multi-institutional Dream Teams, comprised of more than 200 researchers from more than 50 institutions, focused on getting new therapies to patients as quickly as possible. The SU2C-MRA Melanoma Dream Team is the first application of SU2C’s unique funding model as a joint effort.
“The increased incidence of melanoma in men and women in the United States prompted this collaboration,” said Sherry Lansing, one of the co-founders of Stand Up To Cancer. “When we combine our resources to compete against the disease, we increase our chances for success and we accelerate the pace of cancer research, which is at the very core of the SU2C mission. We are delighted to establish the first SU2C collaborative grant with MRA.”
“We are thrilled to enter into this historic partnership with Stand Up To Cancer,” said Wendy K.D. Selig, MRA’s president and CEO. “This exciting collaboration comes at the perfect moment in the trajectory of melanoma research – a time when there is so much hope and optimism in the field about bringing better outcomes to patients and those at risk.”
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific partner, will issue a call for ideas in May, coinciding with National Melanoma Awareness Month. The selection process will be conducted by a Joint Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of equal representatives from the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee and scientific experts nominated by the MRA.
Also at the AACR Annual Meeting, SU2C announced its second round of Innovative Research Grants, awarding a combined $9.74 million over three years to thirteen individual early-career investigators pursuing high-risk, potentially high-reward translational cancer research.
About Stand Up To Cancer
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C)—a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization of the film and television businesses—raises funds to accelerate groundbreaking cancer research that can get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives. SU2C brings together the best and brightest in the cancer research community to collaborate, and draws on the assets of the entertainment industry in unique ways to create awareness and build broad public support for this effort. For more information, go to www.standup2cancer.org.
About the Melanoma Research Alliance
The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) is a public charity formed under the auspices of the Milken Institute, with the generous founding support of Debra and Leon Black. It supports an international, cross-disciplinary group of biomedical researchers possessing clinical and scientific expertise to explore, identify and pursue innovative solutions to critical research issues leading to better treatments and a cure for patients with melanoma. Since its founding in 2007, MRA has become the largest private funder of melanoma research. For more information, visit www.melanomaresearchalliance.org.
About the AACR
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), which consists of over 35,000 scientists engaged in the fight against cancer, is 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. Lauded internationally for its scientific breadth, innovation and spread of new knowledge about cancer, the AACR is on the front lines in the quest for the prevention and cure of cancer. The AACR holds meetings on critical cancer research topics around the world and publishes six major cancer research journals.
As Stand Up To Cancer’s scientific partner, the AACR is responsible for administering the grants, and — in conjunction with the SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and David H. Koch Institute at MIT — providing scientific oversight.
# # #
For Stand Up To Cancer
For Melanoma Research Alliance