By LYNN ELBER, Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An A-list cast of celebrities is joining a telethon to raise money and awareness to fight cancer.
Gwyneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Matt Damon, Samuel L. Jackson and Emma Stone are among the stars participating in the third Stand Up to Cancer telethon, the organization announced Wednesday.
Paltrow also is an executive producer for the fundraiser that will be carried commercial-free from 8-9 p.m. EDT Sept. 7 on the four major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, and more than a dozen cable channels.
Musical performances by Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Alicia Keys and Tim McGraw are planned, and more than 25 movie, TV and sports stars will be on hand to take phone pledges, said executive producer Joel Gallen.
Laura Ziskin, founder of Stand Up to Cancer and producer of its first two telethons in 2008 and 2010, lost her seven-year fight against breast cancer last year. The "Spider-Man" movie producer was 61.
Ziskin represents "tremendous shoes to fill," Gallen said. "I can't really replace Laura, but I'm coming from a different point of view, from a respectful point of view, and continuing the mission she was on."
Hope is the theme for this year's telethon, Gallen said. It will include information on how to prevent cancer and on the treatment research funded by Stand Up to Cancer, also known as SU2C.
The experiences of several patients who are part of Stand Up to Cancer trials will be explored in mini-documentaries that show the progress made in just a few years of effort, Gallen said.
The organization said it has awarded about $120 million in grant commitments to multidisciplinary research "Dream Teams" and to scientists seeking innovative approaches to end cancer's role as the world's leading cause of death.
Of the $180 million-plus that has been pledged, some larger donations are being made over a period of several years, a spokeswoman said.
Katie Couric, who joined with Ziskin and other women in the entertainment industry to found Stand Up to Cancer, will appear in the telethon. Others taking part include Jessica Biel, Jeremy Renner, Seth Rogan, Masi Oka, Simon Baker and Rashida Jones.
Couric lost her husband to colon cancer, while Paltrow's late father, director Bruce Paltrow, had oral cancer. Some participants, such as Michael Douglas, have fought the disease themselves.
Cable channels carrying the telethon are BIO, Encore, HBO, Showtime, HBO Latino, ION Television, LMN, Logo, MLB Network, mun2, Palladia, Starz, TBS, Smithsonian and VH1.
Stand Up To Cancer, which also receives corporate donations, is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the TV and movie industries.
The American Association for Cancer Research is the scientific partner of Stand Up To Cancer and conducts scientific oversight of its research projects in conjunction with the SU2C advisory committee.
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