September 12, 2008
The MGH stands up to cancer

The fight against cancer took an historic turn Sept. 5 as millions of viewers nationwide tuned in to "Stand Up 2 Cancer" (SU2C), a nationally televised fundraiser designed to generate awareness and help advance the goal of finding a cure for the disease. Co-hosted by news anchors Katie Couric, Charles Gibson and Brian Williams, the program was broadcast simultaneously on three major television networks – ABC, CBS and NBC – and brought together prominent scientists and physicians, cancer survivors, celebrities, media and entertainment leaders, philanthropists and others to raise more than $100 million for cancer research. All funds will be administered by the American Association for Cancer Research for innovative translational and clinical research conducted by multidisciplinary, multi-institutional teams.

During the hour-long program, the MGH Cancer Center earned a significant mention with a report on the groundbreaking CTC-chip – a microchip-based device that can isolate, enumerate and analyze extraordinarily rare circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from a blood sample. Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the Cancer Center, and Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, also of the Cancer Center, were interviewed during the segment for their work with the CTC-chip, which also was developed by teams led by Mehmet Toner, PhD, director of the MGH BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems Resource Center, and Ronald Tompkins, MD, ScD, chief of the MGH Burn Unit.

Local news affiliates supported the effort by highlighting Boston-area cancer research efforts, and a number of MGH Cancer Center clinicians and researchers were among those featured. WBZ-TV4 aired interviews with Haber and Jeffrey Settleman, PhD, scientific director of the MGH Cancer Center. Settleman described his work on cell line panels and its application for the development of targeted therapies. Additionally, a WCVB-TV5 segment spotlighted the work of Donald Kaufman, MD, director of the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers. Kaufman discussed his research in the detection and surveillance of prostate cancer.

For more information about SU2C, visit su2c.standup2cancer.org.

INNOVATIVE RESEARCH: Haber is shown in a segment during the SU2C telecast.

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