Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI)
Clinical research network for blood cancers brings fresh hope for Irish patients
A €2.2 million cancer research and clinical trials initiative is bringing fresh hope for blood cancer patients in Ireland. Funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland, Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) is a collaborative network of clinicians, scientists, and population health experts across Galway, Cork and Dublin with a shared interest in blood cancer research.
BCNI will provide blood cancer patients in Ireland with the opportunity to be among the first in the world to test new, potentially life-changing, drugs and treatments through early stage clinical trials. Blood cancers make up approximately 10% of all cancers and are the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Ireland.
This joint investment with Science Foundation Ireland comes on foot of the Irish Cancer Society’s strategy to establish and support collaborative cancer research initiatives to bring Irish clinicians, scientists and population researchers together to increase the pace of discovery. This new national cancer research initiative is also supported by the pharmaceutical industry.
Pictured at the launch of Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research in Galway in November 2015 were Director General Science Foundation Ireland, Professor Mark Ferguson; Minister for Skills, Research, and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD; BCNI Director Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway; and Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, Dr Robert O’Connor.
Who is involved in BCNI?
BCNI has been established across the country through clinical research facilities in NUI Galway, University College Cork, and St James’s Hospital/Trinity College Dublin.
The research initiative is being led by Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, and also involve Professor Mary Cahill, Clinical Professor of Haematology, University College Cork; Professor Paul Browne, Professor of Haematology, Trinity College Dublin; Dr Eva Szegezdi, NUI Galway, and Dr Harry Comber, National Cancer Registry of Ireland, as co-lead investigators.
Pictured at the launch of Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) at the Lambe Institute for Translational Research in Galway were Professor Paul Browne, Professor of Haematology, Trinity College Dublin; BCNI Director, Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway; Minister for Skills, Research, and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD; Professor Mary Cahill, Clinical Professor of Haematology, University College Cork; and Dr Eva Szegezdi, NUI Galway.
BCNI Clinical Trials
Over a five-year period, BCNI will provide Irish blood cancer patients with access to novel and innovative cancer treatments through early phase clinical trials (Phase I/II) in cancer care centres in Galway, Cork and Dublin.
Clinical trials are designed to develop and test new and improved ways to treat cancer patients; help prevent a return of cancer; and improve comfort and quality of life for people with cancer. Advances in treatments for blood cancers depend on clinical trials of new therapies or new combinations of therapies. Many of these trials will be conducted in collaboration with the Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG).
BCNI Biobank and Registry
BCNI will also collect information and samples from blood cancer patients in order to improve our understanding of blood cancers and to support future research. BCNI will establish a blood cancer biobank to collect and analyse patient samples and an enhanced registry, in association with the National Cancer Registry of Ireland, to collect information about the treatment, outcomes, and quality of life of patients with blood cancers in Ireland.
Please visit the Blood Cancer Network Ireland website