Groups join on cancer research

Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland to work with private sector partners

The Irish Cancer Society and research funder Science Foundation Ireland have joined to open a cancer research centre.

The Irish Cancer Society and research funder Science Foundation Ireland have joined to open a cancer research centre.

Mon, Apr 7, 2014, 07:00


In a unique collaboration the Irish Cancer Society and research funder Science Foundation Ireland have joined to open a cancer research centre. There will also be private sector partners who must cover 10 per cent of the €7.5 million cost of the centre, The Irish Times has learned.

The two bodies will this morning open a call to researchers and companies to put forward proposals for the creation of the Collaborative Cancer Research Centre. The successful consortium will decide on the main research theme for the centre, which must focus on unmet medical needs within the area of cancer.

Early diagnosis
This will be the society’s second such centre, with the first called Breast-Predict opened last August. It focuses on early diagnosis of breast cancer, the €7.5 million cost over the five-year life of the project was wholly funded by the society.

The new centre will receive similar financial support, worth €1.5 million a year for five years, but the cost will be backed by the society and the foundation, with at least 10 per cent of the cost contributed by the consortium’s private sector partners.

Each consortium must establish a research theme and then assemble an appropriate mix of research expertise across higher education institutions, teaching hospitals and companies.

The desired aim is to help move lab discoveries more quickly into better diagnosis, new treatments, and better clinical practice for the benefit of patients. Equally, the centres will allow clinicians to work backwards from a perceived clinical problem that can be solved by the consortium’s scientists and research physicians.

The centres are virtual in that academic and company participants do not invest in a lab. Rather the consortium members use the funds to conduct research and appoint postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows in support of this.

Five centres
The society plans to open five such centres, with the total cost running to €37.5 million.

The call opens this morning for applications from groups seeking to form the next Collaborative Cancer Research Centre. Further details will be available both from the society (cancer.ie) and the foundation (sfi.ie).