Trinity College Dublin and St. James’s Hospital jointly welcomed today’s announcement of the national cancer strategy and the key role that a new comprehensive cancer care centre will have as part of its delivery. The planned Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute is being developed as such a centre.
The first of its kind in Ireland, the Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute will set a new standard for cancer care nationally, integrating medicine and science in cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship. Based on similar leading international models, it will be located in one designated facility at St. James’s Hospital.
Trinity and St. James’s Hospital have been scaling up for the new Cancer Institute with the recruitment of key new clinical academic and research appointments in oncology. It also became a member this month of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) that sets the gold standard for leading cancer institutes in Europe. The Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute is going through a formal OECI accreditation that will take some time to complete. The accreditation will benchmark performance against international standards and direct the cancer services and research to the next level.
Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast said: “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.”
St James’s Hospital CEO, Loran Birthistle said: “St. James’s Hospital is a centre of excellence for the delivery of cancer care in Ireland. In this new Cancer Institute we will bring together clinicians, cancer carers, researchers and educators on the St. James’s Hospital campus where patients will benefit from an integrated approach to cancer care which is best practice internationally. This approach will allow cancer patients to access our oncology doctors, specialist nurses, and a full range of expert health and social care professionals in a patient-centred environment, and link all patients with advances in research and clinical trials. 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, said: “The Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute will link cancer medical care for all patients with the major modern advances in cancer research. It will build capacity to develop research, with broad links nationally and internationally, and on the same campus to the new Children’s Hospital. Modelled on the best institutes in Europe, it will integrate molecular diagnostics, genomics, and clinical trials into the care pathway of all patients, and provide education and training for the cancer clinical care and research community. We anticipate improved cure rates and outcomes for cancer patients with this initiative, and it will provide a unique model that will greatly enhance the capacity to further develop high-quality cancer research in Ireland."
Cancer – the Irish context
Cancer in Ireland is projected to double by 2040 with increases in all types of cancer. The population need for the development is therefore acute. The National Cancer Registry estimates that the incidence of cancer in Ireland will increase by 50% in 2025 (compared with 2010) and by 100% in 2040 based on population changes. While there have been improvements in cancer care in Ireland over recent years, most indicators show survivorship rates for many cancer types remain lower than in comparable developed countries.