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ACS CAN, Stand Up To Cancer Join to Boost Medical Research Funding and Save More Lives from Cancer

One Degree Campaign Aims to Build Nationwide Movement Supporting Lifesaving Research at National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute

March 9, 2015

WASHINGTON (March 9, 2015) -- The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) today announced an unprecedented joint effort to save more lives from cancer by boosting the nation's investment in groundbreaking cancer research. The launch of the One Degree campaign brings together Hollywood celebrities and grassroots advocates nationwide to ask Congress to increase medical research funding at the National Institutes of Health by $6 billion over two years, including $1 billion for cancer research at the National Cancer Institute.

Federal funding for medical research has declined more than 24 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2003, forcing cancer centers to halt promising clinical trials and drying up the grant pool relied upon by researchers, said Chris Hansen, president of ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. One Degree brings the voices of millions of people to lawmakers with the message that Congress should boost the federal investment in cancer research so we can save more lives from the disease.

We're all just one degree from someone with cancer, whether it be a relative, a friend or a co-worker, if not ourselves, said Lisa Paulsen, Stand Up To Cancer co-founder. The One Degree campaign combines the star power of Stand Up To Cancer's celebrity supporters and the might of ACS CAN's grassroots volunteers in a nationwide campaign to make federal research funding a priority.

On March 17, ACS CAN and Stand Up To Cancer will hold a One Degree Lobby Day on Capitol Hill that will be followed by nearly two dozen grassroots events across the country. The groups have launched a website, OneDegreeProject.org, that invites members of the public to share their One Degree by entering the name of a loved one with cancer into an electronic petition that will be sent to Congress.

The website features videos headlined by actors Bill Hader and Rob Riggle that viewers can share via social media with the hashtag #OneDegree. The videos, which also feature medical researchers, were made possible by ACT for NIH, a non-partisan effort committed to the immediate restoration of funding for the National Institutes of Health.

The future of patient care is dependent on federal investments in medical research, which make it possible for both the public- and private-sectors to bring forward groundbreaking approaches to help prevent, detect and treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases, said Dr. Julie Gerberding, executive vice president, Population Health, at Merck and former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Merck is pleased to join this invaluable effort, which must succeed if America is to remain the global leader in medical research. Merck, known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, provided financial support for One Degree and is proud to be an industry collaborator with the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.

Stagnant funding at NIH means stalled progress in the fight against costly and devastating diseases, lost economic output and the forfeiting of America's global leadership in research and development, said Pat White, president of ACT for NIH. "Campaigns like OneDegree help educate America about the importance of NIH's role in medical research funding."

The nearly 15 million cancer survivors living in this country today owe their lives to innovations and advances in the detection and treatment of the disease. However, the American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 1.7 million cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year, and that the disease will kill nearly 590,000 people nationwide -- or about one person for every minute of every day.

The NIH budget was $27.1 billion in fiscal year 2003, the final year of a bipartisan congressional effort to ensure that the nation's medical research investment was adequate to make progress against deadly diseases. Since then, funding levels have not kept up with the growing costs of medical research. The NIH budget for fiscal year 2015 is $30.3 billion, which when adjusted for inflation represents a decrease of more than $6 billion since 2003.

About ACS CAN

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visitξhttps://www.fightcancer.org/.

About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative

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 program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry's resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease. As SU2C's scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and a Scientific Advisory Committee led by Nobel Laureate Phillip A. Sharp, PhD, conduct rigorous, competitive review processes to identify the best research proposals to recommend for funding, oversee grants administration, and provide expert review of research progress. For more information, visit http://www.standup2cancer.org/.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Steven Weiss

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

(202) 661-5711; [email protected]

Jane Rubinstein

Stand Up To Cancer

(646) 386-7969; [email protected]

#NIH #OneDegree #cancerresearch #ACSCAN #NCI #Congress

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