“Killing Cancer” doc generates $2 million in donations to the Mayo Clinic

By on May 29, 2015

We learned this week that three months after airing on HBO in late February, the VICE Special Report documentary Killing Cancer helped the Mayo Clinic generate more than $2 million in cancer research donations — $1 million was received from more than 10,000 donors, and that amount was personally matched by VICE media CEO Shane Smith.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Killing Cancer campaign set a record for online donations at the Mayo Clinic, located in Rochester, Minnesota, with thirty percent of the gifts made online. Many of the donations came from new supporters, which the Mayo Clinic attributes to VICE’s younger audience. Smith had previously stated that, until April 28, he would match every gift to cancer research at the Mayo Clinic – up to $500,000.

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Shane Smith talks to a doctor on the HBO documentary “Vice Special Report: Killing Cancer”

The 40-minute documentary, which is hosted by Smith, explored exciting, groundbreaking research into how cancer can be cured by using viruses. In it, three clinical trials were featured, including the promising high dose measles vaccine for multiple myeloma.

In the trial, Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Stephen Russell isolated and protected the patient’s healthy cells while sending the destructive and disruptive measles virus into their body in order to kill only the bad cells. Unlike chemo and other treatments that poison the body, the measles virus infects and kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.

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The documentary actually explored three cutting-edge cancer research labs — including one at the Mayo Clinic — and the money received will have have an immediate impact, “helping advance cancer research and finding cures for patients,” according to Mayo Clinic president and CEO John Noseworthy, who added that “Shane’s reporting on the emerging field of viral therapies to treat cancer, combined with his generous philanthropy, will have a positive impact on the lives of many patients.”

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About Bryan

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide and a dozen other websites and zines, most of them long gone. He’s also worked for over twenty years at reissue record labels, and penned scads of liner notes -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He is now somewhat reclusive and bides his time quietly in his dusty Miracle Mile hermitage in Los Angeles, CA.