Cancer impacts all of us — our friends and family, ourselves, coworkers and neighbors, celebrities, and strangers alike. This group of diseases does not discriminate.
The World Health Organization affirms that cancer is the second-leading cause of death globally, taking the lives of an estimated 9.6 million people in 2018 alone. One in six deaths globally is a result of cancer. These statistics are powerful, but so are we. There is no limit to what the world can accomplish if we come together in both spirit and action.
And we’re doing it $5 at a time.
That’s where 5 For The Fight comes in. In honor of World Cancer Day, Qualtrics is excited to announce that SAP SE is signing on as a 5 For The Fight company. SAP will begin with a pilot campaign for employees in five countries: Australia, Germany, India, Singapore, and the U.S.
Not only are SAP employees invited to personally take part in giving their 5 For The Fight, the campaign focuses on raising money for cancer researchers in these geographies through the SAP Together program.
What is 5 For The Fight?
As a crowdfunding campaign for cancer research, 5 For The Fight is simple. Instead of a few people donating large sums of money to support this cause, the campaign suggests that everyone can help to fund the fight against cancer by donating $5, €5, or any currency. Alone, $5 may not buy much, but together our $5 donations have raised more than $24 million and has funded 10 cancer researchers globally since the program’s inception in 2016.
“So many of us in the SAP family have been impacted by cancer. When that diagnosis comes in, you can feel so helpless. We want to give people a way to do something — and 5 For The Fight gives people a way to say ‘We can fight this disease,'” said 5 For The Fight and Qualtrics Co-Founder Ryan Smith. “One-hundred percent of donations go directly to fighting cancer. Every year we are hiring more researchers who are helping create a cure for cancer.”
Get to know the 5 For The Fight-funded research that SAP is helping to support around the world.
U.S.: Elephants Don’t Get Cancer, Why Should You?
Huntsman Cancer Institute
Dr. Joshua Schiffman focuses on childhood cancers. A childhood cancer survivor himself, he learned a few years ago that elephants rarely get cancer and it changed everything. “Nature’s figured it out,” said Dr. Schiffman. “Why can’t we? Elephants have millions more cells than [humans] and should get cancer at much higher rates, but they have evolved past it.”
Now, instead of focusing on why people get cancer, he’s focusing on why elephants do not. Dr. Schiffman and his collaborators focus on the gene p53, a tumor suppressor. Elephants have 20-times more of it than humans. Dr. Schiffman has partnered with a team of nanotechnologists testing new ways to target drug delivery by inserting synthetic elephant p53 into microscopic particles that will directly attack cancer cells.
Australia: New Path for Breast Cancer Treatment
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Cancer occurs when cells multiply too rapidly, forming a mass or lump. Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women, with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) accounting for 70 percent of all diagnoses. Hormone therapy is an effective treatment for ER+ breast cancer, but patients can develop a resistance over time to treatment.
“Treatment resistance is a significant health problem that leads to a third of all patients on hormone therapy relapsing within 15 years,” says Dr. Joanna Achinger-Kawecka of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.
For the first time, Garvan researchers have shown that the 3D structure of DNA is “rewired” in ER+ breast cancers that have developed a resistance to hormone therapy. This rewiring alters which genes are activated and which genes are silenced in the cells, shining a light on how ER+ cancers evade hormone therapy.
Cancer cells are always trying to outsmart therapy and it only takes one cell to evolve a different way to bypass a drug to cause a relapse in cancer. This study shows just how much impact a change in the epigenome can have on cancer cell behavior. The next step is to investigate whether epigenetic changes could be reversed to stop hormone resistance, using existing drugs that are already in clinical trials for other cancers.
Germany: Developing New Drugs for Children with Recurring Cancer
Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg
Dr. Sina Oppermann at Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) passionately works to develop new innovative drugs for children with high risk and relapsed cancers. KiTZ is a joint institution of the German Cancer Research Center (DFKZ), the Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD), and Heidelberg University.
As a therapy and research center for oncologic and hematologic diseases in children and adolescents, KiTZ is committed to scientifically exploring the biology of childhood cancer and to closely linking promising research approaches with patient care – from diagnosis to treatment and aftercare.
Singapore: Fighting the Most Common and Deadly Disease, Breast Cancer
National Cancer Centre Singapore
Breast cancer is the most common and deadliest complex disease that afflicts Singaporean women. Based on the latest cancer registry report released in 2017, it was estimated that one in 14 women in Singapore will develop the condition before the age of 75. It creates a huge socioeconomic impact by affecting women in their economically productive years, disrupting childcare and daily function as a family unit where women are traditionally the linchpin. To add, breast cancer incidences have increased three-fold in the past four decades.
Breast cancer research at National Cancer Centre Singapore, which sees 65 percent of the public sector oncology cases, is crucial to improve breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, detection, and prevention.
Join SAP and Qualtrics: Give Us Your 5
- Think of someone you know who is fighting or has fought cancer
- Write their name on your hand
- Take a picture like the examples in this article
- Post it to your social media account alongside: #5ForTheFight #sap4good
- Check out more information on 5 For The Fight
The World Health Organization estimates one-third of cancer cases can be linked to five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use. What can you do? Learn how to prevent cancer and embrace opportunities for healthy diet and exercise. And save the date for the upcoming global and virtual 5K For The Fight, May 15-16, 2020.
Lori Morency Kun is the head of Social Impact for Qualtrics.