Belfast Telegraph

High hopes for breast cancer scheme

A groundbreaking research project to develop more accurate ways of treating breast cancer patients will save lives worldwide, a leading academic has claimed.

The Irish Cancer Society will invest 7.5 million euro over five years in Breast-Predict, which will be the country's first collaborative cancer research centre.

Funded through donations raised by the charity, it will involve more than 50 Irish and international breast cancer researchers from a range of disciplines and academic institutions pooling resources and expertise to make treatment more accurate and personalised.

Professor William Gallagher, director of Breast-Predict, said for the first time Ireland will harness the wealth of data available from around the globe to inform new clinical trials and treatments and link in with world leading scientists and institutions.

"The ultimate goal of this research is personalised medicine, which allows us to tailor therapy towards individual patients based on the characteristics of their particular tumour and, thus, improve outcomes for breast cancer patients both in Ireland and worldwide," he said.

"We are most grateful to the Irish Cancer Society for their incredibly generous support as we strive to work together as a critical mass in the battle against breast cancer, and deliver initial and hopefully important research findings in our first year."

Professor John Fitzpatrick said the centre is by far the biggest project the Irish Cancer Society has ever backed.

"Breast-Predict is the first in a series of such centres that will lead large-scale international collaborative projects in the oncology area," said the head of research at the society.

"I'm very proud to say the 7.5 million euro investment by the society will come entirely from fundraising, in part due to our Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign 'Get the Girls'.

"We need the public's support to fulfil our strategy to introduce these new centres that will deliver excellent research for the benefit of patients."

The society has contributed more than 30 million euro to cancer research since 1963, funding some 650 important findings.

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