Stand Up To Cancer's annual star-studded fundraiser telecast nods to pharma partner efforts

Stand Up To Cancer's latest broadcast featured actor Anthony Anderson detailing the work pharma is doing to help address health inequity.

With a star-studded lineup of celebrities, the Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) fundraising telecasts draw big attention—and fundraising dollars—to cancer research and new treatments.

But it also shines a light on some of its pharma company collaborators. Bristol Myers Squibb, Roche’s Genentech, Jazz Pharmaceuticals and Mirati Therapeutics were some of those included in the seventh biennial event held recently. 

In one segment, for instance, actor Anthony Anderson talks about the work different pharma companies are doing to address the problem of health inequity in the U.S. He used his personal experience growing up in Compton as an example of the need for change.

“No one came around and talked to us about taking care of our heath. No one asked my family to get screened for colorectal, lung, breast, prostate or skin—any kind of cancer,” he said.

Anderson cited SU2C’s work with Genentech to form “The DISRUPT Team” aimed at expanding clinical trials to include people of color and address the inequities that exist across cancer diagnosis and treatment.

RELATED: Exact Sciences, Stand Up To Cancer, Foxx team up to drive colorectal screenings

Anderson then announced a new initiative aimed at changing colorectal cancer screening disparities, launching in three low-screening but high-mortality areas in the U.S.

The new “CARES Dream Team” is a collaboration between SU2C and Exact Sciences and builds on an earlier awareness effort with actor Jamie Foxx to improve colorectal cancer screening.

Anderson also talked about Bristol Myers Squibb and its funding of lung cancer research, education and clinical trials in underserved Black and rural areas.

In another science-focused part of the broadcast, actor and former doctor, Ken Jeong and his wife, Tran Ho, who is also a doctor and former breast cancer patient, talk about their personal experiences with cancer before moving on to discuss progress in the field. 

They show a minifilm featuring researchers, doctors and advocates talking about the advances being made, like in the areas of targeted therapies, combination therapies and genomics. The film also announces that with the latest donors—Jazz and Mirati—SU2C is launching two new Catalyst teams. The Catalyst program aims "to encourage collaborative research between academics and companies and shorten the time it takes to get new treatments to patients," according to SU2C.

RELATED: Stand Up To Cancer executives talk celebrities, partnerships and research for pharma marketers

The SU2C show aired live in the U.S. and Canada last Saturday and raised more than $143 million for cancer research, with the show leaning into dealing with health inequities for people of color in relation to cancer.

“We must ensure that new cancer treatments are developed quickly and efficiently and that there is access to preventive and lifesaving oncology services in every community,” Sung Poblete, CEO at Stand Up To Cancer, said. “With 100% of donations received from the public supporting Stand Up To Cancer's innovative cancer research and awareness programs, our telecast gives us an opportunity to come together and take action to help raise the needed funds. We are so thankful to all of our donors for helping to support our crucial work.”

With cancer screenings down due to the pandemic, keeping prevention top of mind is key. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped by 87% and 84%, respectively, in April 2020 compared to the past five-year averages.