Safeway Celebrates a Decade of Breast Cancer FundraisingFunds from 2010 Campaign to Support New Phase of Important Clinical Trials and Keep Mobile Breast Cancer Screening Units on the Road
PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Safeway Inc. (NYSE: SWY) and The Safeway Foundation launched their 10th annual chain-wide October Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising initiative and thanked customers for donating nearly $80 million for the cause since 2001.
"Medical science in the fight against breast cancer has come a long way in the past decade. We're glad that we could be a part of the evolution and honored that our efforts have helped save lives."
Funds used from past campaigns helped to create unique research projects that are now bringing new treatments to patients more quickly and efficiently. The funds are also used to bolster one of the most critical aspects of breast cancer treatment: early detection.
"Medical science in the fight against breast cancer has come a long way in the past decade. We're glad that we could be a part of the evolution and honored that our efforts have helped save lives," said Larree Renda, Safeway Executive Vice President and Chair of the Safeway Foundation. "The encouraging research results and the utilization of services to aid in early detection are proof of the power of partnerships between businesses and medical science."
Each October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Safeway's 1,700-plus stores in the United States and Canada collect donations for breast cancer research and treatment. The money has funded ambitious research that has sped the development of treatments.
A promising and exciting project, the I-SPY TRIAL (Investigation of Serial Studies to Predict Your Therapeutic Response with Imaging And moLecular Analysis) is now in its second phase. I-SPY 2 builds upon the success of the first I-SPY project, which tested new drugs for women with locally advanced breast cancer at high risk for recurrence. The I-SPY trials are managed by the Biomarkers Consortium in conjunction with the National Cancer Institute. The Consortium is a unique public-private partnership led by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health that includes the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and a large number of partners from major pharmaceutical companies, leading academic medical centers, non-profit and patient advocacy groups.
I-SPY doctors use data from each patient as they go through the study to, in turn, treat other patients, a process that quickly creates a set of approved protocols, rather than waiting months or years for a more formal study to recommend the exact same course of action. Another benefit is that treatments are personalized for each patient based on bio-markers which tell doctors about each patient's unique tumor molecular make-up. In this next phase, as many as 12 new experimental drugs will be tested in combination with standard therapy prior to surgery.
Another unique program has had overwhelming response in the level of interest and participation from patients. Safeway and The University of California San Francisco Medical Center joined forces to create BreastCancerTrials.org, the nation's only online clinical trial matching service dedicated exclusively to breast cancer. BreastCancerTrials.org provides patient-friendly descriptions and enrollment information for over 160 trials now underway at more than 1,500 medical facilities across the country. Since June 2009, the site has logged more than 25,000 visits, with more than 3,500 women enrolling to participate in clinical trials.
In addition to funding research programs, Safeway has partnered with hospitals and cancer centers to increase access to mammograms by supporting mobile mammography units, "mammovans" in various areas throughout the country. Funds raised through the annual Breast Cancer Awareness campaign help keep six such state-of-the-art mobile breast cancer screening centers on the road. In 2009 alone, the mammovans saw more than 16,600 patients in mostly underserved communities.
This important outreach is made possible throughout Safeway's partnership with the hospitals that operate the mammovans and provide the medical screenings: by The Rose Foundation of Houston, Texas; the Nevada Health Centers Inc.; St. Joseph's Medical Center in Stockton, Calif; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center; the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; Providence Alaska Medical Center; Exempla- St. Joseph's Hospital of Denver, Colorado; and George Washington University Hospital of Washington, D.C.
Safeway's Breast Cancer Awareness fundraiser is the second of two annual cancer campaigns. Each June Safeway raises money to combat prostate cancer, one of the most prevalent forms of cancer in men. To date, the company has raised more than $144 million for cancer causes. 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 $250 million to education, hunger relief, health and human services and programs focused on assisting people with disabilities.
The company operates stores under the Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Tom Thumb, Randalls, Dominick's, Genuardi's, Carrs and Pak 'N Save banners.
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.
Posted: October 4, 2010
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