Trinity College Dublin and St. James’s Hospital welcome National Cancer Strategy

Trinity College Dublin and St. James’s Hospital jointly welcomed Wednesday’s announcement of the National Cancer Strategy as well as the key role that a new comprehensive cancer centre will have as part of its delivery.

The Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute, the first of its kind in Ireland, will seek to set a new standard for cancer care on a national level. This will include integrating medicine and science in cancer prevention, treatment and increasing current and future survivorship rates. The institute will be based on similar leading international models and located in a designated facility at St. James’s Hospital.

The Institute has recruited new clinical academic and research appointments in oncology and has become the latest member to join the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI).

Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr. Patrick Prendergast, applauded the key role St. James’s would play in helping the National Cancer Strategy succeed “The Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute will consolidate our strengths in clinical and scientific research for the ultimate benefit of patient care. It will deliver substantially improved outcomes for cancer patients by providing research-led diagnosis and treatment, and promoting a better understanding of cancer through interdisciplinary research. We will be educating the next generation of cancer clinicians, health professionals and scientists. With this new institute we intend to lead the way in innovative new cancer treatment along the lines of the world’s best known international institutions of this kind.”

When speaking about the Institute, the CEO of St. James’s Hospital, Loran Birthistle said that: “St. James’s Hospital is a centre of excellence for the delivery of cancer care in Ireland.” Birthistle continued by discussing the integration of science and medicine: “The best outcomes for patients are achieved in centres that combine high volume and highly specialised evidence based cancer care with scientific and technological advances. This exciting joint development between Trinity College and St. James’s Hospital will achieve this goal.”

Trinity Professor of Surgery, John Reynolds, echoed the Provost’s statements of the Institute’s role in furthering cancer research on both a national and international level: “It will build capacity to develop research, with broad links nationally and internationally […] and provide education and training for the cancer clinical care and research community.”

According to the National Cancer Registry, the incidence of cancer in Ireland will increase by 50% in 2025 (compared with 2010) and by 100% in 2040 based on population changes. Despite the improvements in cancer care in Ireland over recent years the majority of indicators show survivorship rates for many cancer types remain lower than in comparable developed countries.

Cian Mac Lochlainn

Cian Mac Lochlainn is an Economics and Politics student, and a Contributing Writer for Trinity News.