LOS ANGELES, March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) announced today its endorsement of the California Cancer Research Act (CCRA), a statewide ballot initiative that, if passed, would generate funds for cancer research in the state as well as tobacco prevention and cessation programs through a new a $1-per-pack state tax on cigarettes. SU2C joins a coalition of groups -- co-chaired by LIVESTRONG founder Lance Armstrong and former State Senator Don Perata, and including the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and others -- working on CCRA, which could direct almost $600 million a year into research on cancer and tobacco-related illnesses.
"There is such great promise in the field of cancer research today, but scientists need additional funding to continue their life-saving work," said Laura Ziskin, the SU2C co-founder who executive produced the landmark 2008 and 2010 Stand Up To Cancer 'roadblock' televised fundraisers. "The CCRA will provide a much-needed source of funds for researchers working on all cancers, throughout California, and turning out to vote for it will be a great way to take a stand against this disease," said Ziskin, who is a cancer survivor.
More than 140,000 Californians will be diagnosed with cancer this year – 16 cases every hour – and more than 54,000 will die from it. The goal of the Stand Up To Cancer movement is to change those dire odds by accelerating critical cancer research that will get new treatments to patients quickly and save lives.
"The CCRA plan for funding research is a very smart one," said Sherry Lansing, SU2C co-founder, who also established the Sherry Lansing Foundation and is Chair of the Entertainment Industry Foundation Board of Directors. "Experts will allocate the money to scientists who can get potential cures to those who need them as quickly as possible. SU2C will help in every way we can to get the word out to Californians to turn out and vote YES on the California Cancer Research Act."
With federal biomedical research budgets facing deep cuts at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, state funding of research initiatives is gaining importance. The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), for example, established by a ballot proposition approved by Texas voters in 2007, has awarded over $250 million in grants for cancer research and prevention.
California voters will likely have a chance to vote "YES" on CCRA later this year. While Governor Jerry Brown recently asked the Legislature to delay a vote on calling a special election for this June, with an eye towards reaching a compromise with a group of Republican Senators, he still hopes to hold a statewide election before the new fiscal year begins July 1.
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 encourages collaboration among scientists, and draws extensively on the entertainment community to create awareness and build grassroots support for this effort. For more information, go to www.standup2cancer.org.
SOURCE Stand Up To Cancer