Expert believes cancer will be eliminated in our lifetime

Prof Gerard Evan of Cambridge university to speak at Dublin event

Gerard Evan, professor of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, said Ireland had “a relatively small scientific community but one which is world class”. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Gerard Evan, professor of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, said Ireland had “a relatively small scientific community but one which is world class”. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 01:13


Ireland has an opportunity to become a forerunner in the treatment of cancer, according to an expert who will tell an event in Dublin this week that cancer will be eliminated in our lifetime.

Gerard Evan, professor of biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, said Ireland had “a relatively small scientific community but one which is world class”. He said the international scientific community saw the development of collaborative centres by the Irish Cancer Society involving research teams with complementary skills as a “door-opening” initiative.

The first of these centres, Breast-Predict, was launched in 2013, while plans for a second €7.5 million cancer research group set up jointly by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland were announced earlier this month.

Prof Evan, who has worked in cancer research for the past 15 years, said he had “never been so excited” at the prospect that current research and treatments would see cancer eliminated in our lifetime. He said developments in the coming decades would be such that “I can pretty confidently say that my children will never have to worry about dying from cancer” .

He added: “Things are moving so fast now that if you can give someone an extra five years, new drugs many have developed in that time period.”

Prof Evan is a speaker at Can Research Eliminate Cancer?, organised by the Irish Cancer Society, at the Hilton hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2, at 5pm on Wednesday.