Mary Coffey
Adjunct Associate Professor, Radiation Therapy

Biography

I established the School of Radiation Therapy at St. Luke's Hospital in 1982 and I led the discussions that culminated in the integration of the School into the University involving development of the academic and clinical curriculum and ensuring that current trends in radiotherapy are adequately reflected in the degree programme. I established the first European Committee for radiation therapists within the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and co-founder of the radiation therapy committee within the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO). I was a member of the first council of the Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy (IIRRT) and held both Secretary and President positions. I have worked extensively with the ESTRO and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to improve the standard of education of radiation therapists and the quality of treatment delivered to cancer patients. I was a member of the Irish Department of Health and Children's working party which developed the national plan for radiation oncology in Ireland.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Lievens Y, Defourny N, Coffey M, Borras JM, Dunscombe P, Slotman B, Malicki J, Bogusz M, Gasparotto C, Grau C, Kokobobo A, Sedlmayer F, Slobina E, Coucke P, Gabrovski R, Vosmik M, Eriksen JG, Jaal J, Dejean C, Polgar C, Johannsson J, Cunningham M, Atkocius V, Back C, Pirotta M, Karadjinovic V, Levernes S, Maciejewski B, Trigo ML, "egedin B, Palacios A, Pastoors B, Beardmore C, Erridge S, Smyth G, Cleries Soler R, Radiotherapy staffing in the European countries: final results from the ESTRO-HERO survey., Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, 112, (2), 2014, p178-86 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text DOI

Cai Grau, Noémie Defourny, Julian Malicki, Peter Dunscombe, Josep M. Borras, Mary Coffey, Ben Slotman, Marta Bogusz, Chiara Gasparotto, Yolande Lievens,, Radiotherapy equipment and departments in the European countries: Final results from the ESTRO-HERO survey, Radiotherapy and Oncology, 112, (2), 2014, p155-164 Journal Article, 2014 TARA - Full Text

Dunscombe P1, Grau C2, Defourny N3, Malicki J4, Borras JM5, Coffey M6, Bogusz M7, Gasparotto C3, Slotman B8, Lievens Y9; HERO Consortium, Kokobobo A, Sedlmayer F, Slobina E, De Hertogh O, Hadjieva T, Petera J, Grau Eriksen J, Jaal J, Bly R, Azria D, Baumann M, Takacsi-Nagy Z, Johannson J, Cunningham M, Magrini S, Atkocius V, Untereiner M, Pirotta M, Karadjinovic V, Levernes S, Reinfuss M, Trigo ML, Cernea V, Dubinsky P, egedin B, Lopez Torrecilla J, Pastoors B, Taylor R, Taylor S., Guidelines for equipment and staffing of radiotherapy facilities in the European countries: Final results of the ESTRO-HERO survey, Radiotherapy and Oncology, 112, (2), 2014, p165-77 Journal Article, 2014 DOI TARA - Full Text

Simulation in the Determination and Definnition of Treatment Volume and Treatment Planning in, editor(s)Seymour H. Levitt, James A. Purdy, Carlos A. Perez, Philip Poortmans. , Technical Basis of Radiation Therapy: practical clinical applications. 5th edition, Springer Verlag, 2011, pp133 - 156, [Sasa Mutic, Mary Coffey, James A. Purdy, Jeff M. Michalski and Carlos A. Perez] Book Chapter, 2011

Issues in patient safety in, editor(s)Pawlicki et al. , Quality and Safety in Radiotherapy, New York, Taylor and Francis Group, 2010, [Mary Coffey] Book Chapter, 2010

Aude Vaandering and Mary Coffey, Patient setup for PET-CT acquisition in radiotherapy planning, Radiotherapy and Oncology, 2010 Journal Article, 2010

Mary Coffey, Incident reporting and ROSIS system, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists/Australian Institute of Radiography/Faculty of Radiation Oncology/Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine Combined Scientific Meeting, , , Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre,Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 22-25 October, 2009, 53, (s1), 2009 Conference Paper, 2009

World Health Organisation, WHO Radiotherapy Risk Profile, 2009, - Protocol or guideline, 2009

Broderick Maria, Leech Michelle, Coffey Mary., Direct aperture optimization as ameans of reducing the complexity of intensity modulated radiation therapy plans, Radiation Oncology, 4, (8), 2009 Journal Article, 2009

Leech M, Craig A, Poole C, Broderick M, Ni Chuinneagain S, Coffey M, Byrne J, Clinical Oral Examinations: Assessment of Competency in Radiation Therapy, Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 8, (3), 2009, p115 - 118 Journal Article, 2009 TARA - Full Text

Lynn Martin, Brian Marples, Mary Coffey, Mark Lawler, Donal Hollywood, Laure Marignol, Recognition of O6MeG lesions by MGMT and mismatch repair proficiency may be a prerequisite for low-dose radiation hypersensitivity., Radiation Research, 172, (4), 2009, p405 - 413 Journal Article, 2009

Marignol, L., Foley, R., Southgate, T.D., Coffey, M., Hollywood, D., Lawler, M., Hypoxia response element-driven cytosine deaminase/5-fluorocytosine gene therapy system: a highly effective approach to overcome the dynamics of tumour hypoxia and enhance the radiosensitivity of prostate cancer cells in vitro., The Journal of Gene Medicine , 11, (2), 2009, p169-179 Journal Article, 2009 DOI

Jarvinen H., Soimakallio S., Wigren T., Koobi T., Malicki J., Stankusova H., Coffey M., Bogusz-Czerniewicz M., Nischelsky J., Hilson A. , European Commission guidelines on clinical audit or medical radiological practices (diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine and radiotherapy), 2009, - Protocol or guideline, 2009

Mary Coffey, Supporting radiotherapy in SE Asia: Training the trainers, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists/Australian Institute of Radiography/Faculty of Radiation Oncology/Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine Combined Scientific Meeting, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre,Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 22-25 October, 2009, 53, (s1), 2009 Conference Paper, 2009

Julie Berridge and Mary Coffey, Measurable Efforts: how one workload study measured tasks, time and resources necessary to run a cancer clinical trial today, Applied Clinical Trials , 2008, p42 - 49 Journal Article, 2008

Marignol L, Coffey M, Lawler M, Hollywood D., Hypoxia in prostate cancer: a powerful shield against tumour destruction?, Cancer Treatment Review, 34, (4), 2008, p313-327 Journal Article, 2008 DOI

International Atomic Energy Agency, QUATRO: Comprehensive Audits of Radiotherapy Practices: A Tool for Quality Improvement, 2007, - Protocol or guideline, 2007

Marignol L, Coffey M, Hollywood D, Lawler M., Radiation to Control Transgene Expression in Tumors., Cancer Biological Therapy, 6, (7), 2007, p1005 - 1012 Journal Article, 2007 URL

Mary Coffey, Penelope Engels Hill, Mahmoud El Gantiry, Noureddine Benjaafar, Kate Wilkinson, Bhadrassain Vikram, A Core Curriculum for RTTs designed for developing countries under the auspices of the International Atomic Encergy Agency, Radiotherapy and Oncology, 81, (3), 2006 Journal Article, 2006

Marignol L, Lawler M, Coffey M, Hollywood D., Achieving Hypoxia-Inducible Gene Expression in Tumors., Cancer Biological Therapy, 4, (4), 2005, p359-364. Journal Article, 2005 URL

Mary Coffey, Andreas Osztavics, Guy Vandevelde, Judocus van Hedel and Jan Degerfalt, A Revised Core Curriculum for RTs., Radiotherapy and Oncology, 70, (2), 2004, p137 - 158 Journal Article, 2004

Geometric uncertainties in radiotherapy of the lung in, Geometric Uncertainties in Radiotherapy: Defining the planning target volume, London, UK, British Institute of Radiology, 2003, pp77 - 88, [O. Holmberg, M. Coffey and J. Armstrong] Book Chapter, 2003

Technical Overview of Geometric Uncertainties in Radiotherapy in, Geometric Uncertainties in Radiotherapy: Defining the planning target volume, London, UK, British Institute of Radiology, 2003, pp11 - 27, [A. L. McKenzie, M. Coffey, A.G. Greener, C. Hall, M. van Herk, B. Mijnheer and A. J. L. Harrison] Book Chapter, 2003

J. Berridge and Mary Coffey, Guidelines for radiotherapy technologists in the management of clinical trials involving radiotherapy, 2002, - Protocol or guideline, 2002

Mary Coffey, Clinical Audit, Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology, Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists/Australian Institute of Radiography/Faculty of Radiation Oncology/Australasian College of Physical Scientists & Engineers in Medicine Combined Scientific Meeting, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre,Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 22-25 October, 2009, 53, (s1) Conference Paper,

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Mary Coffey and Joanne Cunningham, Accident reporting system: the ROSIS experience, International Coference on Modern Radiotherapy: Advances and Challenges in Radiation Protection of Patients, Versailles, France, 2nd-4th Dec 2009, edited by Autorite de Surete Nucleaire , Autorite de Surete Nucleaire, 2009, pp98- Conference Paper, 2009

Quinn M, Maher L, Craig A, Coffey M, Menezes G, Image Properties in Videconference Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings, 12th Annual Conference and Scientific Symposium, HISI, Dublin, 21-22 November 2007, 2007 Meeting Abstract, 2007

Kenny J, Maher L, Craig A, Coffey M, Menezes G, Organisational Needs Analysis of Videoconferenced Oncology Multi-Disciplinary Team Meetings, 12th Annual Conference and Scientific Symposium, HISI, Dublin, 21-22 November 2007, 2007 Meeting Abstract, 2007

Cronin B, Menezes G, Coffey M, Continuous Professional Development in Radiation Therapy within Ireland, Radiotherapy & Oncology, 8th Biennial ESTRO Meeting on Physics and Radiation Technology for Clinical Radiotherapy, Lisbon, Portugal, 24-29 September 2005, 76, (Supplement 2), Elsevier, 2005, ppS81 Meeting Abstract, 2005

Menezes G, Craig A, Coffey M, Gillham C, Hollywood D, Development of an Oncology Teleconferencing System in Ireland, Radiotherapy & Oncology, ESTRO 23, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 24-28 October 2004, 73, (Supplement 1), Elsevier, 2004, ppS538-S539 Poster, 2004

Research Expertise

Projects

  • Title
    • Best Practice in Radiation Oncology: Training RTT Trainers
  • Summary
    • An initiative supported by ESTRO in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)chaired by Mary Coffey. It has been increasingly recognised that across much of Europe insufficient time and focus is given to the practice of radiation therapy as an integral part of the education of radiation therapists. This has an impact on both recruitment and retention of staff in the clinical departments and on the level of additional training required following qualification. To attempt solving this issue, ESTRO and the IAEA supported this project which was structured to provideparticipants with the skills to be able to design, prepare and present a short course on a topic that they identified as an important area for radiation therapists in their own country. The first element of the project was a short course designed to cover all aspects of course preparation and presentation including the definition of academic content and the practical issues such as venues, cost, faculty etc. The project is divided into four phases: the first week an introductory workshop during which the participants defined the topic and began to prepare their individual course. The second phase, the presentation of the first short course in their own country monitored by a member of the teaching faculty; the third a three day feedback session for the full group and the fourth is the presentation of two further short courses. The long term aim is integration of the topic into the basic education programme for radiation therapists and a raising of the academic content relating to radiation therapy. The first project commenced in 2008 with the short course held in Vienna from 31st August - 4th September, 2008 attended by 24 participants representing 8 countries. Ideally, three participants from each country were invited representing clinical, academic and professional society. It was felt that this would give weight to the courses designed and presented and ensure that all interested parties would support the initiative. This course was a mixture of lectures, workshops and interactive feedback sessions. The lectures focused on the best approach to preparation of academic content and on the factors that must be considered from a practical perspective when organising a local course. This was a learning experience for both participants and faculty and was therefore flexible in terms of ensuring the maximum benefit gained. participants identified the topics most appropriate for their country and, together with the faculty, agreehow this could be best constructed within the confines of a three day course. In some instances the aim might be to develop and present a single course to three different kinds of participants, for others the three courses developed would be presented as a continuum to the same audience. The topics covered a wide range of topics including practical implementation of patient management systems, site specific management and professional development. The second phase is the delivery of the first short course monitored and if necessary supported by input from the faculty and the delivery of a further two courses within a two year period. Discussions with the educational facilities in the country should commence to address issues of curriculum relevance and development.
  • Funding Agency
    • Supported by the ESTRO and the IAEA
  • Date From
    • August 2008
  • Title
    • Revision of the European core curriculum for radiation therapists including scope of practice
  • Summary
    • Education programmes for radiation therapists vary widely both internationally and across the European member states. Many programmes have very limited radiation therapy content focusing mainly on diagnostic imaging or, in some instances, general nursing. The technological aspects of radiotherapy are constantly evolving and the level of responsibility taken by the radiation therapists is frequently not supported by academic knowledge or clinical education. The original European core curriculum published in 1995 attempted to address this issue by recommending the introduction of a minimum standard across the then member states. This met with only minimal success and the revision of the European core curriculum in 2004 gave more specific guidelines relating to the educational experience, recommended academic content and duration and quality of clinical education. With the development of technology and raised public profile of the high level of risk associated with radiotherapy there is a increased acknowledgement of the need for appropriate education programmes for the staff involved in treatment delivery. The second review of the European core curriculum has therefore included an extensive survey of scope of practice and will aim to link the academic and clinical content to the scope of practice and level of responsibility undertaken by radiation therapists across the member states
  • Funding Agency
    • European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
  • Date From
    • end 2008
  • Date To
    • end 2010
  • Title
    • Accuracy requirements and uncertainties in radiotherapy
  • Summary
    • The preparation of an IAEA human health publication on accuracy and safety in radiotherapy. A working group met initially to define the areas and draft a table of contents. Sections for writing and second checking were defined and a second workshop will review the draft document and allocate further review tasks in preparation for publication.
  • Funding Agency
    • International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Date From
    • July 2009
  • Date To
    • Beg 2011
  • Title
    • Education and professional development for Radiation Therapists
  • Summary
    • A working group was established in May 2010 to review the professional profile, working practices and education level of radiation therapists internationally. A preliminary draft document was outlined and will be circulated for discussion prior to task allocation and review
  • Funding Agency
    • International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Date From
    • May 2010

Keywords

Adult & Continuing Education; Allied Health Education; AUDIT; Basic Skills Education; CANCER; CLINICAL-TRIAL; CLINICAL-TRIAL METHODOLOGY; CLINICAL-TRIALS; Continuing Professional Development; EDUCATION; Education and training; EDUCATION LEVEL; EDUCATION, DENTAL/STANDARDS; Education/Instructional Programs; Educational Improvement; EDUCATIONAL MEASUREMENT; EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH; Educational Reform; Educational Restructuring; Educational Studies--Developing Countries; ETHNIC GROUP; ETHNIC MINORITIES; Evidence based practice; Higher Education; International Education/Training; Learning Motivation; Lifelong Learning; QUALITY ASSURANCE; QUALITY CONTROL; QUALITY MANAGEMENT; RISK MANAGEMENT; Therapeutic and Clinical oncology

Recognition

Awards and Honours

ESTRO Emmanuel van der Schueren award for contribution to education and the profession September 2009

First fellowship of the Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy for contrbution to the profession November 2007

Gunilla Bentel award for service to radiotherapy awarded by the Indian Association of Radiation Therapists 2006

Memberships

Member of Board of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) September 2011 – 2014

Member of the Board of Trinity College 2005-2008 2009 – 2012

European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology Radiation Therapy Committee past Chairperson 1992 – 2010

Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy President 1998/9 1996 – 2008

Irish Institute of Radiography and Radiation Therapy Qualifications Recognition Board 2000 – 2010

Board member of the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland 2000 – 2004