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New cancer institute to be developed by TCD, St James’s Hospital

First centre of its kind in State will aim to ‘set a new standard’ for cancer care nationally

St James’s Hospital: Minister for Health Simon Harris welcomed the joint initiative between Trinity College Dublin and the hospital. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

A new cancer institute is to be developed in a joint initiative between Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital.

The first of its kind in the Republic, the new facility 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.

Cancer in Ireland is projected to double by 2040 with increases in all types of cancer.

Trinity College Dublin provost Patrick Prendergast said the cancer institute would “consolidate our strengths in clinical and scientific research” for the ultimate benefit of patient care.

Patient outcomes

“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,” he said.

“We will be educating the next generation of cancer clinicians, health professionals and scientists.

“Both Trinity and St James’s Hospital share a long history together training medical doctors, nurses and health professionals who have treated the people of Dublin and Ireland with expertise and dedication.”

St James’s Hospital chief executive Lorcan Birthistle said the centre would place research, education and treatment side by side.

Evidence-based care

“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,” he said.

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.

Minister for Health Simon Harris welcomed the association between the health sector and third-level education on cancer care. “Such combined working holds great potential to ultimately benefit the patient experience,” he said.

The announcement was made at the opening of International Cancer Conference at Trinity College Dublin as part of Cancer Week. It was made ahead of the Government publication of the National Strategy on Cancer.

The new institute will serve a population of 1.4 million. It will provide approximately 25 per cent of the national service for gynaecological cancers, 25 per cent of lung cancers, 10 per cent of breast cancers and 8.5 per cent of prostate cancers.