US stars who have battled cancer including actors Christina Applegate and Patrick Swayze have taken part in a charity telethon.

The hour-long Stand Up to Cancer event was broadcast simultaneously on three networks and starred more than 60 celebrities.

Jack Black, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry and Keanu Reeves were involved in the commercial-free fundraiser to help cancer research.

All the participants were either cancer survivors, or who had known someone affected by the disease.

"This is an absolutely historic night, thanks to the unbelievable generosity of the three networks," producer and cancer Survivor Laura Ziskin told the audience at Los Angeles' Kodak Theatre before the show began.

Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, Christina Ricci and Kirsten Dunst answered phones while Jennifer Garner, Halle Berry, Forest Whitaker and Casey Affleck, read personal accounts from those battling cancer.

Music was provided by Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Mary J Blige, Rihanna and others, who sang their new charity song, "Just Stand Up".

Everybody Loves Raymond star Brad Garrett underwent a prostate examination on the show to promote early detection and Homer Simpson underwent a colonoscopy in a short Simpsons cartoon.

Cancer kills 550,000 Americans and six million people worldwide each year.

06/09/2008 16:31:59