Date Published: 19 September 2006

Cancer Research Ireland €2.6 million investment in cancer research and new funding strategy

Health News from Ireland

Cancer Research Ireland, the research division of the Irish Cancer Society today announced that it has committed ?2.6 million to cancer research in Irish hospitals and universities this year. Cancer Research Ireland also announced that it has formulated a new strategy for allocating cancer research grants. These announcements were made at the launch of the annual Terry Fox Runs in the University College Dublin Conway Institute today. The 2006 Terry Fox Runs will be held in approximately 60 locations around the country on Sunday 15th October in aid of cancer research.

Cancer Research Ireland (CRI), which aims to grow and develop the cancer research climate in Ireland to ultimately result in cancer prevention, better patient care, and the development of new therapies for cancer, funds a wide variety scientific and clinical research projects. ?2.3 million out of the overall funding of ?2.6 million is granted to scientific projects and psycho-oncology projects. Scientific projects are grouped by cancer type (bladder cancer, breast cancer, colo-rectal cancer, lung cancer etc.) and psycho-oncology projects relate to the study of the psychological care of people with cancer. An additional ?300,000 is granted to the Irish Clinical Oncology Research group (ICORG) to enable cancer clinical trials to be conducted in Ireland.

Speaking at the launch of the Terry Fox Runs, Professor Cliona O'Farrelly, Chairperson of Cancer Research Ireland and Research Immunologist at the Education & Research Centre in St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin said

Cancer Research Ireland invites applications from cancer researchers for funding in June every year, which are assessed by the CRI Board comprising eminent Irish and international cancer clinicians and scientists. When CRI puts out its next call for applications for funding, it will be inviting applications from groups of scientists and clinicians, rather than individuals to submit applications for grants for research around four key areas. These areas will focus on the common cancers and emerging technologies. With approximately 22,500 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Ireland every year, cancer research is a crucial activity as today's research creates tomorrow's approach to treatment, improving the outlook for patients with cancer.?

Two young cancer researchers presented their work at the launch of the Terry Fox Runs in the UCD Conway Institute today;

Dr. Amanda McCann, Senior Lecturer at UCD, presented on her progress in determining a reliable biological marker that will identify patients who are most likely to develop an invasive form of bladder cancer. CRI has invested ?140,000 in this three year project which is being conducted in the UCD Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research. Led by Dr. Amanda McCann the research group uses Tissue Micro Array technology to closely monitor patterns of a protein called alpha-T-catenin (CTNNA3), which is considered to play a key role in binding cells together.

Speaking at the launch Dr McCann said

This is a really exciting project, as we are comparing the levels of alpha-T-catenin from different patients to see if there is a pattern that can tell us which patients need to be more closely monitored. Currently we have samples donated by 350 patients being treated at the Mater Hospital in Dublin.?

Also speaking at the event, Dr. Graham Pidgeon, Research Lecturer at St. James' Hospital, Trinity College Dublin discussed his project, the first of its kind to examine the pathways of two proteins, Neuropilin-1 and 12 Lipoxygenase, which have been implicated in lung cancer tumour cell survival.

Speaking at the launch Dr Pigeon said

By furthering our knowledge of these critical regulatory mechanisms controlling tumour cell survival, it is anticipated that new interventional therapies may be designed to target lung cancer, either alone or in combination with conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy.?


Source: Cancer Research, Ireland

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