A new national clinical research network has been launched yesterday by Minister for Skills, Research & Innovation, which will bring fresh hope for blood cancer patients in Ireland.
The newly established Blood Cancer Network Ireland represents a multimillion euro investment in cancer research by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland.
The €2.2 million amount has established a new virtual clinical research network that will offer early stage haematology clinical trials, providing 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.
This investment 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 discoveries. This new national cancer research initiative is also supported by the pharmaceutical industry.
Commenting on this significant investment in cancer research, Minister for Skills, Research, and Innovation, Mr Damien English TD commented :
“The establishment of Blood Cancer Network Ireland by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society will bring real and tangible benefits to Irish cancer patients by helping to develop new treatments for blood cancer. It is in line with the Government’s policy of investing and focusing excellent scientific research that impacts positively on Ireland’s economy and society.”
Over the next five years, Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) hopes to make novel drugs and treatments available to patients with all types of blood cancers across Ireland.
BCNI will be established across the country through clinical research facilities in NUI Galway, University College Cork, and St James’s Hospital/ Trinity College Dublin and the Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG) will also be a partner in this national network.
The research initiative will be led by Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, and will also involve Professor Mary Cahill, Clinical Professor of Haematology, University College Cork. Professor Paul Browne, Professor of Haematology at Trinity College Dublin is also part of the project, as well as Dr Eva Szegezdi from NUI Galway, and Dr Harry Comber, from National Cancer Registry of Ireland as co-lead investigators.