Calling clinical trials of new cancer treatments “the brightest torch researchers have to light their way,” actress and Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador Sonequa Martin-Green is featured in a new public service announcement (PSA) urging patients to participate in trials that could help make new treatments available and give new hope to the patients themselves.
“Clinical trials are a fundamental path to progress and the brightest torch researchers have to light their way to better treatments,” Martin-Green says in the PSA to be distributed nationwide. “And if you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, they may be your brightest ray of hope. That’s because clinical trials allow researchers to test cutting-edge and potentially life-saving treatments while giving participants access to the best options available.”
The “Stand Up For All of Us” PSA, which will run in English and Spanish beginning in February, is designed to increase awareness about the critical importance of participating in cancer clinical trials, which allow researchers to study innovative and potentially life-saving new drugs with the goal of finding cancer treatments that improve upon what’s currently available. The therapies doctors currently prescribe for treatment have been studied and made possible by people participating in clinical trials. However, fewer than five percent of cancer patients enroll in clinical trials nationally.
“I’m proud to join Stand Up To Cancer in this critically important campaign,” said Martin-Green, who stars as Michael Burnham on “Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS All Access. She previously appeared on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” as Sasha Williams. “Participation in clinical trials is so important, and I’m honored to lend a voice to this message so that more patients can be aware of their options,” she added, noting that she has lost several family members to cancer and has others, including her mother, who are cancer survivors.
The broadcast PSA is an infographic directed by Noma Bar, animated by Ale Pixel Studio and produced by Dutch Uncle NYC with a script written by creative agency, Wondros. Noma Bar is one of the world’s most inventive and provocative illustrators, whose innovative, incisive approach to illustration has won him countless accolades and awards. Martin-Green provides the voice-over for both the broadcast and radio PSAs.
The PSA encourages patients and their loved ones to visit StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials to learn more about clinical trials and begin the conversation with their doctor to find out which clinical trial may be right for them. The campaign and online resources aim to include people from all ethnicities and backgrounds, as it is important that clinical trials include diverse participants so researchers can see how different people respond to a study treatment.
Visitors to StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials will find easy-to-understand content (in English and Spanish) explaining what clinical trials are and the many terms one may hear when discussing trials; the benefits of participating; and what to expect if you or a loved one participates in a clinical trial. The website also provides a list of questions that can be printed for reference during discussions with a healthcare provider.
Additionally, StandUpToCancer.org/ClinicalTrials provides a free and confidential Clinical Trial Finder service through EmergingMed allowing patients or their caregivers interested in finding an appropriate clinical trial to submit an online form, or call a toll-free number, to begin the process. Links are also provided to several organizations which help with financial, transportation, lodging and other needs for patients participating in clinical trials. With support from the digital agency, D-2 Creative, the website provides short animated videos to help illustrate many aspects of clinical trials.
The print, online and out-of-home PSAs developed by Wondros also feature Martin-Green, together with cancer survivors who have participated in cancer clinical trials, including: Alvin Clary; Connor Coughenour; Jose de Jesus; Lisa Dias; Marshella Griffin; Shelby Nish; Marlo Palacios; Nicole Papadopoulos; Joseph Rick; and Lori Turner.
“We are so grateful to Sonequa Martin-Green for lending her voice to this campaign and to the survivors who appear in it,” said Stand Up To Cancer President and CEO, Sung Poblete, Ph.D., RN. “Stand Up To Cancer’s goal is to make everyone diagnosed with cancer a survivor, and we can only reach it with increased participation of patients in cancer clinical trials. Sonequa has been touched profoundly by this disease, making her a powerful ambassador. She is helping us raise awareness for clinical trials in the hope of providing patients with a resource to discover which clinical trial may be right for them.”