NEW YORK – NOV. 19, 2020 – The Pancreatic Cancer Collective, an initiative of the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), announced today the launch of a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign, in collaboration with SU2C Ambassador and actress, writer and director Keesha Sharp, to raise awareness for pancreatic cancer research. The campaign launches with a print PSA on Thursday, Nov. 19—World Pancreatic Cancer Day—placed across print, digital and out-of-home outlets. An animated broadcast PSA, which explores the life and survivorship journey of Pancreatic Cancer Collective clinical trial participant Bob Minetti and features voiceover by Sharp, will follow in December.
Keesha Sharp, whose credits include Marshall (2017) and FOX’s Empire and Lethal Weapon, lost her mother to pancreatic cancer earlier this year. She is now making it her mission to ensure that every family—including Black families, who face a higher incidence rate of pancreatic cancer—knows their options when it comes to treatment.
“Losing my mother to pancreatic cancer was devastating but throughout that experience, I was determined to help prevent others from going through it. I was saddened to realize that many don’t know where to turn for answers including those in underserved communities,” said Sharp. “I hope that by sharing my experience and collaborating with the Pancreatic Cancer Collective for this campaign, I can help raise awareness about the existence of cancer clinical trials as an option, as well as the importance of continuing to fund them.”
Pancreatic cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., and Black Americans have around a 20% higher incidence rate than any other racial or ethnic group. While pancreatic cancer clinical trials allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new treatments, they often have low participation by racial and ethnic minorities. The Pancreatic Cancer Collective’s new campaign aims to raise awareness about treatment options to increase diversity in pancreatic cancer clinical trials to ensure patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds benefit equally from the potential of cancer treatments.
“This campaign is critical to driving awareness, especially in medically underserved communities, about the incredible potential of pancreatic cancer clinical trials,” said Kerri Kaplan, President and CEO of the Lustgarten Foundation. “Through the Pancreatic Cancer Collective, the Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer have demonstrated a shared commitment to better understanding and treating this disease, and we hope to continue harnessing the power of our collaboration to ensure breakthroughs in pancreatic cancer research benefit patients in every community.”
“Since the Pancreatic Cancer Collective was launched, nine world-class research teams have made great progress against pancreatic cancer,” said Sung Poblete, CEO of Stand Up To Cancer. “Pancreatic cancer has taken too many lives from us, from our beloved national figures to our loved ones at home. We are grateful to the Lustgarten Foundation and to Keesha Sharp, whose passion for raising awareness and funds for cancer research allows us to expand this important and lifesaving work.”
The Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer have joined forces against pancreatic cancer since 2012, jointly funding more than 400 investigators from nearly 70 leading research centers in the United States and the United Kingdom. These efforts include 17 multi-institutional teams, including Convergence Teams bringing together computational experts with clinical oncologists, and teams researching cancer interception—studies focused on the earliest diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, even before the cancer may have fully formed. These collaborative teams have planned, started, or completed nearly 36 clinical trials and The Pancreatic Cancer Collective is building on this momentum to further push the boundaries of what can be accomplished.
The animated PSA is directed by Kelsey Laroche for Florence, a culture-driven creative studio representing a diverse collective of creative talent who share a passion for making a positive impact on culture. Laroche is an award-winning director whose films have been screened at Tribeca, Palm Springs International Shorts and SXSW, and whose commercial work includes Verizon, Johnson & Johnson and ESPN.
For more information, visit PancreaticCancerCollective.org
About the Pancreatic Cancer Collective
The Pancreatic Cancer Collective is an initiative of Lustgarten Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer to improve pancreatic cancer patient outcomes. Together, these leading cancer research organizations will attract new collaborators; improve diagnosis of pancreatic cancer using big data; find new treatments for pancreatic cancer; and support the next generation of pancreatic cancer investigators. Engaging thought leaders, researchers, institutions, and companies, the Collective will innovate and accelerate research on the edge of science. For more information, visit PancreaticCancerCollective.org
About the Lustgarten Foundation
Lustgarten Foundation is the largest private funder of pancreatic cancer research in the world. Based in Woodbury, N.Y., the Foundation’s mission is to cure pancreatic cancer by funding scientific and clinical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of pancreatic cancer; providing research information and clinical support services to patients, caregivers and individuals at high risk; and increasing public awareness and hope for those dealing with this disease. Since its inception, Lustgarten Foundation has directed more than $200 million to research and has assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure can be found. Thanks to separate funding to support administrative expenses, 100 percent of your donation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. For more information, visit Lustgarten.org.
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 division of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by media and entertainment leaders who utilize these communities’ resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, to increase awareness about cancer prevention, and to highlight progress being made in the fight against the disease. As of August 2020, more than 1,950 scientists representing more than 210 institutions are involved in SU2C-funded research projects.
Under the direction of our Scientific Advisory Committee, led by Nobel laureate Phillip A. Sharp, Ph.D., SU2C operates rigorous competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and ensure collaboration across research programs.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Kathleen Lobb, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, and Ellen Ziffren. The late Laura Ziskin and the late Noreen Fraser are also co-founders. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., serves as SU2C’s CEO. For more information, visit StandUpToCancer.org.
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Stand Up To Cancer
Vanessa Steil, PR Manager