Eric Rosenthal Reports

Thoughts and observations about issues, trends, and controversies in the cancer community.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Public Pounds Pour in for SU2C UK Telecast

Stand Up To Cancer’s (SU2C) debut cancer awareness and fundraising telecast on October 19 in London lasted more than four and a half hours, raising £7,152,386 (about $11.5 million) from donations by viewers.


During a telephone interview, Lisa Paulsen, a Stand Up cofounder and President and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the not-for-profit charitable arm of the film and television industry that oversees the nearly five-year-old cancer initiative, said that more than 400,000 donations were made the night of the telecast and about 265,000 tweets were sent. And the money  raised was independent of any corporate contributions, she added.


The event was a collaborative effort involving SU2C, which held its own Los Angeles-based telecast Sept. 7; Cancer Research UK, the public-funded cancer charity that supports more than half of cancer research in the UK; and Channel 4, the publicly owned, commercially funded, public service broadcaster that operates seven networks throughout Great Britain.


The Friday night telecast was preceded by a week of events leading up to the effort, and Paulsen said that SU2C displays were installed in some 600 Cancer Research UK stores and 3,500 Tesco department stores.


“Stand Up To Cancer was ubiquitous in the UK, and Cancer Research UK will follow our model of funding translational research with a scientific advisory committee made up of members of our SAC [scientific advisory committee] and members from Cancer Research UK,” she said.


She added that 80 percent of the money raised will be for clinical cancer research in the UK, and 20 percent will be allocated to a trans-Atlantic fund for UK-US collaborative research to develop new treatments to benefit patients in the UK.


The show was hosted by Davina McCall, Alan Carr, and Christian Jessen, MBBS, and featured British celebrities, stories about patients, and musical presentations. Live appearances were also made by Bradley Cooper, Samuel L. Jackson, Heidi Klum, and Jeremy Piven, with videotaped messages from Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Beckham, and George Clooney.


On Nov. 28, SU2C will air another European telecast in cooperation with the Dutch Cancer Society (KWF Kankerbestrijding). That event, “Sta Op Tegen Kanker,” will be the third such telecast in three years. The SU2C Scientific Advisory Committee and the AACR, SU2C’s scientific partner, worked with KWF on the selection of recipients of a grant -- for collaborative international translational research -- awarded with some of the funds raised to date.   


Contributions to SU2C UK can be made through the end of November at