Christmas message from Irish Cancer Society's Research Team

We would like to thank all of our subscribers for their support for Irish Cancer Society Research over the last year.

Over the past 12 months, the public donations that make all of our research possible have allowed us to fund the work of over 100 talented professionals in top Irish Institutions to undertake research focused on a range of cancer types across a number research priority areas including prevention, early detection, better treatments, clinical trials, and survivorship. We would like to thank all the researchers that we have funded in 2019 for all their hard-work and dedication to improving the lives of those affected by cancer.

Notably, we said goodbye to our flagship Collaborative Cancer Centre, BREAST-PREDICT. This highly successful €7.5million multidisciplinary breast cancer research programme ran from 2013-2019 and during its time employed over 50 researchers from all across the country. Key outputs from the programme included 90 original research articles, 17 potential new therapies and the development of 7 breast cancer diagnostic tests. Importantly, through Cancer Trials Ireland, BREAST-PREDICT were involved with 9 clinical studies across 15 hospitals, and accrued over 3400 women onto trials. The Irish Cancer Society are sad to see BREAST-PREDICT come to an end but we are excited to be in a position to further support many of the BREAST-PREDICT team in their new research endeavour as part of Precision Oncology Ireland, a new €11.9 million research collaboration aimed at improving cancer patient outcome using personalised medicine. 

This year also saw the Society invest heavily in cancer research aimed at social, nursing and allied health professionals. These professionals work directly with cancer patients, addressing their needs on a daily basis, yet research among this community is significantly underdeveloped in Ireland. The lack of opportunity and interaction in these fields inhibits research innovation, evidence-based clinical practice, and in turn, patient care and outcomes. The Irish Cancer Society are therefore committed to ensuring further development and investment in these areas.

This year, in collaboration with the NCCP, the HRB and the ONMSD, we launched our Cancer Research Nursing Award aimed at developing future research leaders among oncology nurses. We also ran our Psycho-Oncology Award, in collaboration with the NCCP, which was focused on building capacity in this field in Ireland. Watch this space next year for further opportunities for this community!

Excitingly in 2019 the Irish Cancer Society greatly ramped up its Public and Patient Involvement (PPI) in Research activity. In addition to taking part in a number of PPI workshops and events, we also ran a highly successful PPI workshop for cancer researchers in collaboration with the Patient Voice in Cancer Research, aimed at educating early career researchers on how to incorporate PPI into their grant applications. We embedded PPI sections in the all of our competitive grant calls, and recruited and trained 30 PPI reviewers all across the country to review the PPI sections of our research applications. We would like to express our gratitude to all our PPI reviewers this year for all their hard work reviewing our grant call. We very much appreciate your contribution!

None of our work would be possible without the generous donations we receive from members of the public. As Ireland’s leading voluntary investor in cancer research, we are eternally grateful for the faith people place in us every time they organise a fundraising event, set up a direct debit or put their hand in their pocket to support us.
We hope to have your support again in 2020, and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
The Irish Cancer Society Research and PPI Team:
Robert, Claire, Rachel, Chris, Michelle, Sháuna and Deirdre