Women's Cancer Research Fund
Beginning in 2005 with a three-year $9 million gift to Fred Hutch and six partner institutions, the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) has supported a crucial and relatively new area of breast cancer research through its Women's Cancer Research Fund. The fund founders recognized that early detection may be the single most important factor in preventing deaths from breast cancer. Between 85 to 95 percent of patients whose cancer has been discovered early live at least five years, in contrast to a mere 22 percent of patients who have advanced-stage breast cancer.
Based on their progressive belief that it would be possible for scientists to develop a blood test to detect the early development of breast cancer, EIF and the co-founders of EIF's Women's Cancer Research Fund launched the original Breast Cancer Biomarker Discovery Project. In 2008 the Foundation announced a second three-year pledge of $9 million to the Hutchinson Center and five partner institutions to continue researching unique proteins (biomarkers) in blood capable of predicting cancer.
As part of the Project, investigators at the Hutch and their collaborators share research methodologies, critical data, and tissue and blood samples from human subjects to speed the discovery of new cancer biomarkers. They are combining their talents and expertise in the fields of genetics, proteomics, chemistry and clinical diagnostics. Their goal is to discover new technologies to identify biomarkers that will impact breast cancer research and therapies, and may have implications for the treatment of other life-threatening diseases as well.
The Women's Cancer Research Fund is an EIF program that supports innovative research, education and outreach directed to the development of more effective approaches to the early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of all women's cancers. EIF honorary chairs Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg, along with founders Kelly Chapman Meyer, Quinn Ezralow, Marion Laurie and Jamie Tisch, established the Fund.
As a philanthropic leader, the Entertainment Industry Foundation has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars - and provided countless volunteer hours - to support charitable initiatives addressing some of the most critical issues facing society today.