June 13, 2024 – The Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) and Overwatch 2 team up again to unveil “Mercy for a Cause,” a campaign to support BCRF’s mission to prevent and cure breast cancer. Overwatch 2 is releasing two limited edition skins, including the original Pink Mercy (price: $15) and a new Rose Gold Mercy Bundle (price: $20) between June 25–July 8. One hundred percent of the purchase price (excluding any applicable platform fees and taxes) will be donated to support lifesaving breast cancer research.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women and the number one cause of cancer death in women globally. Thanks to powerful partnerships, including with Overwatch in 2018, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation has made tremendous progress in improving care. The original collaboration between Overwatch and BCRF, which first revealed Pink Mercy over a two-week period, was a massive hit with Overwatch players. The campaign garnered an astounding $12.7 million in support for research and fueled key breakthroughs in breast cancer prevention. It was the largest single donation ever made to BCRF. The donation fueled research across the entire spectrum of the disease from prevention, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, and metastasis—including clinical trials. Now, the two organizations stand poised to further propel research.

“Blizzard is thrilled to be working alongside BCRF once again, bringing attention and funding to such an important cause,” said Johanna Faries, President of Blizzard Entertainment. “Overwatch recently crossed the 100 million lifetime player milestone, and we hope that our amazing community will once again rally to help support the critical work of BCRF, all while showcasing these beautiful skins in-game.”

“Overwatch launched one of the first charity partnerships in the gaming space with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation seven years ago—their innovation in the gaming industry mirrors the innovation BCRF is spurring in research to eradicate breast cancer,” said BCRF President and CEO Donna McKay. “Thanks to the unprecedented funds raised by passionate gamers in 2018, we also launched the first initiative designed to pinpoint exactly how to prevent breast cancer in each individual person—what we’ve dubbed The Precision Prevention Initiative (PPI). We are at a critical inflection point as incidence of breast cancer continues to rise and there is still more work to be done. We are thrilled to renew this collaboration to see how we can continue driving change, and saving lives, together.”  

BCRF’s Precision Prevention Initiative aims to:

  • Accurately predict risk of breast cancer
  • Detect breast cancer as early as possible
  • Develop early interventions beyond preventative surgery

Fueled by funding from Overwatch in 2018, the Initiative has already spurred:

  • The development of advanced AI methods applied to mammogram images, which support more accurate breast cancer risk assessment as compared to the standard.
  • Models that can more specifically predict the development of the most aggressive form of breast cancer, triple-negative disease.
  • Identify drugs that could potentially delay tumor formation
  • The development of a gene classifier that strongly predicts the risk of invasive breast cancer for patients with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), otherwise known as Stage 0, which often leaves too many patients wondering if the noninvasive cells known as DCIS will progress to breast cancer.

The ultimate goal of BCRF’s PPI is to translate the incredible power of precision medicine—tailoring treatments to each individual—to the field of cancer prevention in order to stop breast cancer before it starts. Because every person’s breast cancer, and biology, is unique, BCRF is building a future where every person’s prevention plan can be unique too.

“If we can determine which patients are at highest risk, we can develop interventions tailored to that patient—so that we can stop breast cancer before it strikes,” said BCRF Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Dorraya El-Ashry. “The support from Overwatch helped us launch this vision and now the 2024 Overwatch 2 Campaign will help us propel this work even further.”

In the U.S., new reports indicate that breast cancer is on the rise specifically in younger women, with diagnoses in women under 40 increasing by eight percent over the last decade. The only way to reduce the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer is to prevent the disease from ever taking root in the first place.

The Breast Cancer Research Foundation has been unwavering in its commitment to support the brightest minds pursuing big, bold ideas in cancer research. Indeed, that is most often how meaningful impact is achieved. BCRF and its community of supporters have helped drive every major breakthrough in cancer research, leading to better treatments and millions of lives saved. While BCRF is pursuing better personalized treatments for those facing breast cancer today, the organization is simultaneously working to prevent the disease from take root in the first place.

SCIFI Radio Staff
SCIFI Radio Staff

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