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Wednesday, April 30, 2008 –

Safeway Foundation gives UCSF $2M for breast cancer research, new web site
San Francisco Business Times – by Chris Rauber

The Safeway Foundation has donated $2 million to University of California, San Francisco, to help fund breast cancer research and the anticipated June launch of a web site matching patients with clinical trials, UCSF and Safeway Inc.’s philanthropic arm said Wednesday.

Safeway (NYSE: SWY) and UCSF said the Safeway Foundation’s donation would go to the UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center to support various research initiatives and help launch the UCSF-developed web site, designed to match breast cancer patients with clinical trials nationwide.

The new web site “represents a major advance in the ability of individuals to conveniently find appropriate breast cancer trials,” the April 30 statement said, and the research initiatives will benefit people who have or are at risk of developing breast cancer by supporting prevention, early detection, decision support tools and “survivorship” research. The latter refers to efforts to help breast-cancer survivors as they move from acute stages of the disease to recovery.

This year, more than 182,460 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the United States, and more than 40,000 women will die from the diseases, according to the American Cancer Society.

UCSF also will provide Safeway’s approximately 200,000 employees and their families with a suite of educational products and services relating to breast cancer, officials said.

Laura Esserman, M.D., a UCSF professor and director of the Carol Franc Buck center, said the foundation showed visionary leadership by committing to the gift, helping raise awareness about breast cancer and “taking an active role to improve the care of their customers and employees.”

The clinical trials web site is intended to help boost awareness of the availability of such trials among thousands of breast cancer patients nationally, officials said. Currently, only 3 percent to 5 percent of eligible breast cancer patients participate in trials. Approximately half of the $2 million Safeway gift will be used to help launch the Breast Cancer Trials web site, a national clinical trial matching service developed by UCSF and operated by the nonprofit Quantum Leap Healthcare Collaborative.

The other half will support research and education efforts involving Safeway employees and their immediate families.

The Safeway Foundation was started in 2001, with a grant from Safeway Inc.

Safeway, which had fiscal 2007 sales of $42.3 billion, operates 1,740 stores in the United States and Canada.