LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A television celebrity fund-raiser aimed at accelerating research into the treatment of cancer has helped raise more than $100 million, organizers of the “Stand Up To Cancer” group said on Monday.
Cancer survivors Christina Applegate, Patrick Swayze, Sheryl Crowe, cyclist Lance Armstrong and dozens of other celebrities took part in the one-hour special shown simultaneously on three U.S. television networks on Friday.
The Entertainment Industry Foundation nonprofit that helped organize the show said it was also seen in more than 170 nations overseas. The broadcast averaged a modest 10.3 million viewers, according to preliminary data released Sunday by Nielsen Media Research.
The initiative, which aims to end cancer’s reign as a leading cause of death and to speed up research on new treatments, began in May.
The television appeal for public donations, and sales on iTunes of a new charity single featuring Miley Cyrus, Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Rihanna, Fergie, Leona Lewis and six other female singers, boosted total amounts raised since May to more than $100 million.
“This money will go directly to funding the research programs necessary to defeat this insidious disease,” said Lisa Paulsen, president the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
“The Stand Up To Cancer movement has only just begun. Together, we can make the difference in this fight,” she said.
One person every minute in America dies of cancer and six million people worldwide will succumb in 2008 to the disease, the group said.
More than 100 celebrities, many of whom have lost a relative to cancer or who have been hit with the disease themselves, took part in Friday’s television broadcast.
Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Dean Goodman and Bob Tourtellotte