Friday, September 24, 2010

Stand Up to Cancer

MGH Cancer Center celebrates successful partnership

STAND UP TO CANCER supporters: MGH researchers attend the Stand Up to Cancer event

The Liberty Hotel ballroom filled quickly on the evening of Sept. 10 as the MGH Development Office hosted a viewing of the Stand Up to Cancer television broadcast. The nationally televised show was featured on more than 15 television networks and cable channels and included a segment on the MGH Cancer Center's circulating tumor cell (CTC)-chip "dream team" led by Daniel Haber, MD, PhD, director of the MGH Cancer Center, and Mehmet Toner, PhD, director of the BioMEMS Resource Center in the MGH Center for Engineering in Medicine.

Approximately 140 guests attended the 8 pm event, which included a red carpet and a host of photographers who greeted guests as they arrived. Prior to the broadcast, Sara Kelly, senior managing director of MGH Development, addressed the crowd along with Cancer Center physicians David Ryan, MD, and Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH. Sequist leads a clinical trial using CTCs to monitor lung cancer patients and introduced many of the researchers and lab technicians who work tirelessly behind the scenes in both Haber's and Toner's CTC-chip research labs.

"Our partnership with the Stand Up to Cancer team has flourished over the past two years," said Kelly. "We were happy to celebrate this year's event and our original Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team grant of $15 million. While the celebration tonight was free and open to employees and the public, the goal was to raise additional funding for the MGH Cancer Center and to share 50 percent of the suggested donations with Stand Up to Cancer."

As the 8 pm hour grew closer, the crowd settled down to watch celebrities, musical artists and news anchors update viewers on cancer research. At 8:45 pm, the room grew quiet as the segment featuring Haber and Toner aired. Cheers of joy erupted immediately following the clip and even more applause could be heard from the crowd when the show ended and both men joined the celebrities on stage to sing the Stand Up to Cancer theme song.

The MGH celebration at the Liberty Hotel raised nearly $13,000, while the national broadcast has netted more than $80 million to date. To learn more about Stand Up to Cancer, visit

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