New Irish cancer institute to ‘set gold standard’

17 Oct 2016

Cancer studies. Image: Science photo/Shutterstock

Trinity College and St James’s Hospital have joined forces to develop a new cancer institute, with plans to create a “new standard for cancer care” across the country.

To be located on the campus at St James’s Hospital, the new Trinity College (TCD) collaboration was announced today to replicate similar projects around the world.

With incidents of cancer estimated to double by 2040 in Ireland, the cancer institute is hoped to build better tools to treat people in years to come.

Future Human

Cancer institute

The first of its kind in Ireland, both stakeholders claim the new cancer institute “will set a new standard for cancer care nationally, integrating medicine and science in cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship”.

TCD and St James’s Hospital have been scaling up for the new cancer institute with the recruitment of key new clinical academic and research appointments in oncology.

The plan is to get recognised by the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes, the body that sets the gold standard for leading cancer institutes in Europe. It will benchmark performance against international standards and direct the cancer services and research to the next level.

Dr Patrick Prendergast, provost of TCD, said the new institute should consolidate the strengths of both parties, with clinical and scientific research subsequently benefiting all.

“It will deliver substantially improved outcomes for cancer patients by providing research-led diagnosis and treatment, and promoting a better understanding of cancer through interdisciplinary research,” he said.

This all comes as cancer week kicks into gear, with TCD hosting a conference on the subject as part of an initiative now into its third year.

“This cancer centre will place research, education and treatment side-by-side,” said St James’s Hospital CEO Lorcan Birthistle, “which is in line with the model for the very best cancer centres internationally.

“The best outcomes for patients are achieved in centres that combine high volume and highly specialised evidence-based cancer care with scientific and technological advances. This exciting joint development between TCD and St James’s will achieve this goal.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic