Cancer kills more than 1,500 each day in America, and a total of 8 million people will succumb to the disease this year.
Tonight, hundreds of celebrities will join together for Stand Up To Cancer, a live fundraiser that will unfold across several major television networks.
The goal of the fundraiser that's also known as SU2C is to fund groundbreaking research and get new therapies to cancer patients as quickly as possible. The organization funds "dream teams" of clinicians who push the envelope of cancer research.
The hour-long televised event starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Stand Up to Cancer will be co-hosted by "World News" anchor Diane Sawyer, along with fellow evening news anchors Katie Couric and Brian Williams. The event will feature actors, athletes, journalists and musicians, along with musical performances and inspirational stories from survivors.
'Cancer Takes Too Much From Us'
In addition to ABC, CBS and NBC, the event will be simulcast commercial-free on FOX, Bio, Current TV, Discovery Health, E!, G4, HBO, HBO Latino, MLB Network, mun2, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, The Style Network, TV One, VH1 and the Armed Forces Network.
The fundraiser will be aired in 195 countries. Musical guests include Neil Diamond, The Edge, Herbie Hancock, Lady Antebellum, Leona Lewis, Martina McBridge and Stevie Wonder.
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There are more than 11.4 million cancer survivors in the Unites States. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the country after heart disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Since its launch in May 2008, Stand Up To Cancer has raised more than $100 million to find cures. Nearly $90 million of those funds have been channeled into research.
"Plain and simple, cancer takes too much from us," Laura Ziskin, event co-founder and executive producer of the broadcast, said in a statement.
"Loved ones lost to it, pain and suffering endured by those in treatment, even the recent report that cancer has the most devastating economic impact of any cause of death…this disease exacts a very high price," Ziskin, who is herself a cancer survivor, said. "We want people all over the country to rise up and say, 'Enough!'"
'GMA' Anchor Robin Roberts to Participate
Past broadcasts garnered donations from corporate and organizational donors, philanthropists, volunteer teams and the general public.
Celebrity participants include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Christina Applegate, Lance Armstrong, Cindy Crawford, Fran Drescher, Elizabeth Edwards, Donald Faison, Sally Field, Alyson Hannigan, Tony Hawk, Jon Heder, George Clooney, Gwyneth Paltrow, Will Smith, Denzel Washington and Renée Zellweger.
"Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, who is a breast cancer survivor, will be among participants.
Also participating will be Eric Stonestreet, an actor in the ABC sitcom "Modern Family." Stonestreet has a very personal connected to the cause: he lost his grandparents to cancer and an uncle to leukemia, and his mother is a survivor of both uterine and kidney cancer.
Stonestreet will be part of the celebrity phone bank that starts at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Stand Up To Cancer is a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a nonprofit organization that serves as the collective philanthropic arm of the television and film businesses.
According to a news release, EIF has distributed hundreds of millions of dollars to support programs addressing critical health, education and social issues.
ABC News' Emily Friedman and Laura Zaccaro contributed to this report.