St James's Hospital is getting a new cancer research institute

State-of-the-art facility is said to be the first of its kind in Ireland

st james's hospital

St James's Hospital in Dublin | Photo: PA Images

Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and St James’s Hospital have announced plans to develop a new cancer institute in the capital.

The centre, which is said to be the first of its kind in Ireland, will be located on the grounds of the hospital in Dublin 8.

It will aim to set a new standard for cancer care nationally, integrating medicine and science in cancer prevention and treatment.

Cancer in Ireland is projected to double by 2040, with increases in all types. Survival rates remain lower here than in comparable developed countries.

TCD and St James's say they have been scaling up for the institute with the recruitment of key new clinical academic and research appointments in oncology.

Accreditation for the centre is being sought from the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes, which sets the gold standard for leading cancer institutes in Europe.

This will allow its performance to be benchmarked against international standards.

The facility is expected to provide around: 

  • 25% of the national service for gynaecological cancers;
  • 25% of lung cancers and over half of curative lung resections;
  • 28% of oesoago-gastric cancers;
  • 55% of oesophageal cancer surgeries;
  • 10% of breast cancers;
  • 8.5% of prostate cancers.

Provost of TCD, Patrick Prendergast, said the institute would strengthen the university's clinical and scientific research.   

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

The CEO of St James’s, Lorcan Birthistle, said: “This cancer centre will place research, education and treatment side by side, which is in line with the model for the very best cancer centres internationally.

"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 will achieve this goal."

The announcement was made at the opening of International Cancer Conference at Trinity College Dublin as part of Cancer Week 2016.