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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Safeway Inc. and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) will collectively donate $6 million to fund the S.T.A.R. Program (for Special Team Amplification of Research), a research initiative focused on exploring the role of targeted heat in cancer therapy to treat prostate cancer, as well as other research strategies.
A $3 million grant from the Safeway Foundation will help launch the S.T.A.R. Program's first phase of research and development. The foundation raised the funds through customer donations made at checkout.
"Supporting this kind of innovative research has become a trademark of the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and the principle reason Safeway developed a relationship with the organization more than seven years ago," said Safeway chairman, president, and c.e.o. Steve Burd. "The S.T.A.R. Program initiative promises to be pioneering work by some of the world's top cancer researchers."
PCF developed the collaborative research partnership and matched the initial funds dollar-for-dollar, for a total $6 million commitment. The foundation is the world's largest philanthropic source of support for prostate cancer research and has funded 10 of the individual scientists making up the S.T.A.R. North American team.
According to Safeway, prostate cancer strikes more than 218,000 men each year, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men. It also is one of the most deadly cancers, with more than 27,000 men dying each year from the disease, making it second only to lung cancer as a leading cause of cancer deaths in men.
The S.T.A.R. Program will also convene a "think tank" of approximately 70 experts in different areas of oncology from across the nation to explore the question of why current therapies cure some types of cancer but not others. The learnings from this effort will provide direction to future research on prostate cancer and other types of common solid tumors that are currently the most difficult to treat.
"This unique approach and highly interactive team will develop these new concepts and extend them from the laboratory through testing in clinical trials to the patient setting," said Robert Getzenberg, Ph.D., director of research, Brady Urological Institute, Johns Hopkins.
Safeway operates more than 1,700 stores in the Western, Southwestern, Rocky Mountain, and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States and in western Canada.