Breast cancer is the second most common cancer affecting women in Ireland. Every year more than 3,000 women are diagnosed with the disease. Four in ten women diagnosed with breast cancer are aged between 50-64 (41%), but younger women are also affected, with 23% of diagnosis occurring in women under 50.

The number of breast cancer survivors are increasing, with 83% of those with a breast cancer diagnosis now living 5 years and beyond. But there's still much more we can do in our race to stop breast cancer. The Irish Cancer Society‘s first Collaborative Cancer Research Centre is called BREAST-PREDICT.



BREAST-PREDICT is a country-wide collaboration between experts in the area of breast cancer research, funded by the Irish Cancer Society. This ‘virtual Centre’ was launched in October 2013 and will run initially for a period of five years.

BREAST-PREDICT brings together a team of expert Irish researchers from six academic institutions across Ireland: UCD, TCD, RCSI, DCU, NUIG and UCC, as well as nationwide clinical trials group Cancer Trials Ireland. As a multi-disciplinary centre it unites breast cancer experts with different skills to work towards a common goal.

The centre collects information and tumour samples from nearly every breast cancer patient in the country, with their consent. Using these valuable resources, researchers will improve our understanding of how this disease can spread and become resistant to treatment, and find ways to combat this with new and better therapies. 

BREAST-PREDICT Achievements So Far

  • More than 2,500 patients have joined nine BREAST-PREDICT-affiliated clinical and translational studies to date across 13 Irish hospitals. These patients have consented to their samples being used for research studies. These trials are run through Cancer Trials Ireland. Patients and the public can access information on them through

  • BREAST-PREDICT currently have 7 breast cancer diagnostic tests in development, and 16 novel drug therapies in pre-clinical testing.

  • BREAST-PREDICT was pivotal, together with other key entities, in the launch of a new Irish biobank of data that marks a major step forward in breast cancer research here. The National Breast Cancer Resource contains tissue, blood, DNA and RNA samples provided by breast cancer patients. The database currently holds information for more than 7,000 breast cancer cases. Cancer researchers in Ireland and elsewhere can request access to these specimens through, so as to generally advance knowledge in the breast cancer area.

  • Its 50-plus researchers have produced 87 BREAST-PREDICT scientific publications to date, comprising of 56 original and 31 review articles published in high-profile journals, several of which describe promising research advances likely to improve patient care.

  • The BREAST-PREDICT team are also working to ensure that this important work will continue long after the Irish Cancer Society’s initial five-year investment. Already more than €40 million in additional funding has been leveraged from other sources in academia, industry and state and EU grants, while its researchers and staff have been given training, education and career development support to the next generation of Irish cancer research leaders.


For more information see the BREAST-PREDICT website.


  • BREAST-PREDICT Day sees launch of new research on potential vitamin-D link to breast cancer. Read more.
  • BREAST-PREDICT scientists find new hope in fight against hard to treat form of breast cancer. Read more

  • More than 2,500 breast cancer patients participate in trials linked to Irish Cancer Society Research. Read more.

  • New Irish Cancer Society research offers hope for breast cancer patients resistant to treatment. Read more.

  • Irish Cancer Society researchers discover potential new way to treat aggressive type of breast cancer. Read more

  • Irish scientists find new hope in overcoming potentially deadly form of breast cancer. Read more.

  • 83% of women now survive breast cancer over five years compared to less than 50% in 1976. Read more.