Feb 24 2016 Posted: 09:35 GMT

More blood cancer patients to benefit from research network expansion with the Mater and Beaumont hospitals joining Blood Cancer Network Ireland

The Irish Cancer Society has announced a further significant investment in blood cancer research that will benefit more patients across Ireland. The national cancer charity is committing €450,000 over the next five years to support the expansion of Blood Cancer Network Ireland, a new clinical research network for blood cancers, which is being led by NUI Galway.

Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BNCI) was established by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland in 2015 to provide blood cancer patients across Ireland with improved access to novel drugs and treatments through early stage clinical trials.

Clinical research facilities include 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 is being led by Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway.

On foot of that investment, the Irish Cancer Society has announced a further commitment of €100,000 per annum over the next four and a half years to support and facilitate the Mater University Hospital and Beaumont Hospital to join the clinical research network. As of February, both hospitals will join existing clinical research facilities in NUI Galway, UCC, and St James’s Hospital/ TCD to extend the reach of the network into all four Health Service Executive regions.

Commenting on the Irish Cancer Society’s funding commitment, BCNI Director Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Professor of Haematology at NUI Galway, said the expansion plans would benefit more blood cancer patients and put Ireland on the map in the field of blood cancer research. “The expansion of Blood Cancer Network Ireland will not only benefit more blood cancer patients right across the country but will also consolidate the investment to date by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland and make Ireland internationally competitive in blood cancer research.”

Commenting on the additional significant commitment by the Society to this national clinical research network, Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research at Irish Cancer Society said: “This additional investment in the expansion of Blood Cancer Network Ireland demonstrates our absolute commitment to innovative and life-changing cancer research and to ensuring that Irish patients benefit from the latest advances in cancer care and treatment.”

Every year more than 1,500 people across Ireland are diagnosed with blood cancer. Blood cancers are the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Ireland. For further information about BCNI visit www.bloodcancers.ie.

ENDS

Marketing and Communications Office

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