Press release from Business Wire
Safeway Prostate Cancer Campaign Nets $11.6 Million for Research
<p class=' bwtextaligncenter'> <b>Company's June Tradition Credited with Saving Lives</b> </p>
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Safeway Prostate Cancer Campaign Nets $11.6 Million for Research12:44 EDT Wednesday, July 21, 2010 PLEASANTON, Calif. (Business Wire) -- Safeway Inc. concluded its annual prostate cancer campaign and continued to transform how the public treats and views the disease. During what has become a familiar summer tradition that reaches millions of Safeway customers weekly, the company raised more than $11.6 million for prostate cancer research. Since 2001, the company and its customers have raised $65.4 million for prostate cancer research. “Ten years ago this unique funding and awareness raising channel didn't exist,” said Dr. Jonathan Simons, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). “Safeway changed that and, in the process, has altered the trajectory of the disease.” Mortality rates have declined markedly since Safeway joined the cause nearly ten years ago. “No business has done more to remove the stigma from prostate cancer and create a dialog about the disease,” said Dr. Simons. “Thousands of men are alive today, because Safeway customers have given so generously each year of this crucial campaign,” Dr. Simons added. The funds raised during the campaign are fueling and accelerating research at some of the top cancer centers in the U.S. Safeway's funds allowed the Prostate Cancer Foundation to target some of the most advanced cancer investigators in North America. For example, Safeway funds played a “start up” role in the development of the recently announced prostate cancer drug, Provenge. Over the last several years the company has funded a groundbreaking research team led by Drs. Robert Getzenberg and Theodore DeWeese of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in partnership with researchers from MIT, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the University of Michigan and The Prostate Cancer Center of Vancouver, Canada. The team is working to increase patient response to a variety of therapies — including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy — by injecting nanoparticles into the patient. The nanoparticles collect in tumors and can be heated, using an external magnetic field, which weakens the tumor and makes it more responsive to therapy. This project has moved rapidly from concept to prototype and is now being tested in the laboratory. Safeway's support of PCF research programs is also helping to make important advances in other areas. Just two examples are immunotherapy (the science of stimulating a patient's own immune system to destroy cancer cells) and new blood-and urine-based diagnostic tools. These “liquid biopsies,” which are cancer-specific and can also help measure patient response to treatment, are now on the horizon. “Anytime you can engage or fund research that extends life or the quality of life, which is what PCF does, you stand to make a significant difference,” said Safeway Chairman, President and CEO Steve Burd. Prostate cancer remains the most common non-skin cancer among Americans, affecting one in six men. Most people know someone who has battled the disease. In fact, based on the company's workforce numbers, Safeway estimates that in most of its 1,700-plus stores, 13 or more employees or their immediate family members will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. Safeway is one of the largest corporate supporters of cancer causes, having raised more than $144 million for breast and prostate cancer research and treatment since 2001. However, cancer research is just one of the many important causes that the company supports each year. Safeway contributes to a broad range of charitable and community programs and in 2009 donated more than $253 million to education, hunger relief, health and human services and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities. About Safeway www.Safeway.com Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America, based on sales. The company operates 1,712 stores in the United States and western Canada and had annual sales of $40.8 billion in 2009. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY. About the Prostate Cancer Foundation The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world's largest philanthropic source of support for accelerating the world's most promising research for discovering better treatments and cures for prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised nearly $400 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 researchers at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.