• Ready. Raise. Rise. encourages everyone touched by cancer to create a personalized, virtual flag in honor of a loved one and help raise money for cancer advocacy organizations
  • New survey shows lack of understanding of Immuno-Oncology and underscores need for greater education on cancer research       

A new survey shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans (85%) report cancer research is important to them; however, only 15 percent are knowledgeable about Immuno-Oncology – a rapidly evolving area of research that seeks to harness the body’s own immune system to help fight cancer.

To raise awareness of this new area of science, two-time Emmy® award-winning actor Eric Stonestreet, of television’s hit comedy “Modern Family,” has teamed up with Bristol-Myers Squibb to launch Ready. Raise. Rise. – a national campaign that informs people of the rapidly evolving research and taps into the collective power of social media platforms to share information about Immuno-Oncology and raise money to support the cancer community.

“Like many Americans, my life has been touched by cancer too many times, and I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact the disease has on families and friendships,” said Eric Stonestreet. “Over the last several decades, we’ve seen great progress and innovation in cancer research, which is why I’ve joined Ready. Raise. Rise. This campaign aims to raise awareness of research like Immuno-Oncology and honors our friends, family members and loved ones who have fought so bravely against cancer."

As part of the campaign, Stonestreet is asking people to go to ReadyRaiseRise.com to create a flag in honor of someone who has been affected by cancer – whether it be themselves or a loved one. Each person who raises a flag can select a cancer advocacy organization they wish to support and share their flag on social media using the hashtag #raiseyourflag. The three advocacy groups with the most flags raised on their behalf will receive a charitable donation of $25,000, $50,000 and $75,000 from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

“Immuno-Oncology research has the potential to change our approach to fighting cancer today,” said Sanjiv Agarwala, MD, chief of medical oncology and hematology at St. Luke’s Cancer Center in Bethlehem, PA, and professor of medicine at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. “It is different from other options – surgery, radiation and chemotherapy – because Immuno-Oncology aims to work with the body’s own natural defenses to help fight the disease. It is important that this discussion continues to gain momentum so that more people learn about this innovative cancer research and the possibility to provide a longer life for patients.”

The national survey revealed that while 86 percent of Americans believe progress is being made in cancer research, nearly all (93%) believe more information needs to be available about different types of cancer approaches. Other survey results showed:

  • Only 39 percent know that the immune system can help to fight some cancers
  • Yet, one in three Americans (33%) find the concept of Immuno-Oncology research – harnessing the body’s immune system to help attack cancer – the most exciting approach to fighting cancer
  • The vast majority of Americans (87%) want to learn more about this research

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is dedicated to fighting cancer, both through our robust research and discovery programs in Immuno-Oncology and also by empowering patients and caregivers with the knowledge to make the most informed decisions,” said Joseph Leveque, MD, vice president, Oncology, U.S. Medical, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We hope that Ready. Raise. Rise. will help educate the public about advances in cancer research, recognize patients and scientists who have contributed to the tremendous developments in this area, instill hope throughout the cancer community and inspire continued progress for the future.”

Immuno-Oncology at Bristol-Myers Squibb

While surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy continue to represent the standard of cancer care, the potential for a longer life has remained elusive for patients with advanced cancer.

To address this unmet medical need, Bristol-Myers Squibb is leading research in an innovative field of cancer research known as Immuno-Oncology, which involves agents whose primary mechanism aims to work directly with the body’s immune system to help fight cancer. The company is exploring a variety of compounds and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with different types of cancer, including researching the potential of combining Immuno-Oncology agents that target different and complementary pathways in the treatment of cancer.

Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to advancing the science of Immuno-Oncology, with the goal of offering the potential for a longer life and a renewed sense of hope for patients with advanced cancer.

About Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global pharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit www.bms.com, or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.

About the Survey and TNS

TNS conducted the survey. TNS, the world’s largest custom research agency, is a well- recognized research group for their quality and authoritative research.

Participants in the 11-question, self-administered online omnibus survey were a nationally-representative sample of 2,500 Americans 18 years of age and older. The study was conducted from February 12, 2015 – February 16, 2015 using the field services of TNS. The margin of sampling error for total Americans at the 95% level of confidence is ±1.9%. The margin of sampling error for Americans who are cancer sufferers/survivors at the 95% level of confidence is ±6.7%. Data are weighted to reflect accurate representation of the population.

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Contacts

Media:
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Laurel Sacks, 609-897-2944
Laurel.sacks@bms.com
or
Ogilvy Public Relations
Kate Fisher, 917-301-8406
Kate.fisher@ogilvy.com