€7.5m project to pool breast cancer data
The country's top breast cancer experts are being brought together in a €7.5m project to find better and personally tailored treatments for the condition.
This is a world first in cancer research collaboration and it is being coordinated and funded by the Irish Cancer Society.
'Breast-Predict' will bring together over 50 leading Irish and world experts in breast cancer and will link in with six research institutions and the country's eight cancer centres of excellence. Precision therapy is the project goal to give more accurate and personalised treatments to individual patients.
The group will build up a database tracking patients' prognosis and their response and resistance to different forms of treatment to see which ones work best. Tumour samples will be collected from the same patient over time to look at how the tumours adapt and to improve insight into signalling networks within the tumours.
Head of Research at the Society, Prof John Fitzpatrick says "the Collaborative Cancer Research Centre is by far the biggest thing the Irish Cancer Society has ever done in the area of cancer research.
"I'm very proud to say that the €7.5m investment by the Society will come entirely from fundraising, in part due to our Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign 'Get the Girls'."
Director of Breast-Predict, UCD Prof William Gallagher said the new project would "for the first time in Ireland harness the wealth of data available on breast cancer from around the globe to inform new clinical trials and treatments."
It would allow them to link in with world leading scientists and institutions like the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the Cambridge Research Institute in the UK. "The ultimate goal of this research is personalised medicine, which allows us to tailor therapy towards individual patients based on the characteristics of their particular tumour and thus improve outcomes for breast cancer patients both in Ireland and worldwide."
The Irish Cancer Society has contributed more than €30million to cancer research since 1963 and during that period more than 650 important research findings have been made.