The HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI) have explored innovative approaches, knowledge and experience of cancer as part of the EU Cancer Mission Day – Ireland on the 26th of September 2023.
EU Cancer Mission Day – Ireland aimed to set the foundations for the creation of a future European Network of National Cancer Mission Hubs (NCMHs). Its ambition is to be a strong and cohesive network, aligned with the Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan (EBCP). It is a collaboration between the HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and the All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI) through the ECHoS project, a three year European consortium supported by EU Mission on Cancer.
On this EU Cancer Mission Day, academic researchers, clinician scientists and other healthcare professionals, charity partners and policymakers, as well as those with a lived experience of cancer, shared their insights, knowledge and experiences to explore innovative approaches to address cancer challenges.
Discussing the importance of the day for Ireland and all European citizens, Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Health, said: “Cancer is a burden for patients but also for their families and caregivers, having wide-reaching societal implications.”
“The establishment of a National Cancer Mission Hub in Ireland is in line with our Cancer Strategy 2017-26, which emphasises the importance of ensuring that cancer patients in Ireland receive care at the highest standard of care, and this EU Cancer Mission Day is a step forward on involving our patients in their own cancer care and further developing the role of research to improve our cancer services. As Minister of Health, I am delighted to support and welcome these initiatives.”
Professor Risteárd Ó Laoide, National Director of the HSE National Cancer Control Programme and National co-ordinator of the ECHoS project in Ireland, outlined: “EU Cancer Mission Day will serve as our platform for the exchange of ideas, working together to explore innovative solutions to the challenges we all face in beating cancer. We have an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of citizens, patients, carers, their families and all the professions involved in cancer care. We have an opportunity to shape the future.”
Professor Donal Brennan, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology in University College Dublin and National Clinical Lead for Cancer Research in the NCCP, said: “The development of a National Cancer Mission Hub offers an opportunity to all stakeholders in cancer research – patients, advocates, charities, scientists and health care professionals to collaborate and work towards a common cancer goal. Working together we can produce top quality research that can be translated into meaningful clinical improvements for Irish cancer patients and break down silos and barriers that may have hindered progress historically.”
Professor William Gallagher, Professor of Cancer Biology at University College Dublin and Co-Lead of AICRI, said: “Today is an exciting day for cancer research and care in Ireland as we discuss Ireland’s participation in EU Cancer Mission projects and explore how we can all benefit from Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. EU funding can really help to advance translational and clinical research in Ireland. This is particularly relevant to the thousands of patients living with cancer in Ireland who will in turn benefit from better diagnostics and cancer treatment.”
Left to right: Prof. Maeve Lowery, Trinity St. James’s Cancer Institute, Prof. Donal Brennan, UCD Professor of Gynaecological Oncology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Ms Eibhlin Mulroe, CEO, Cancer Trials Ireland, Prof. William Gallagher, UCD and AICRI. Prof. Risteárd Ó Laoide Director, National Cancer Control Programme, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly TD, Prof. Mark Lawler, Queen’s University Belfast, Ms Averil Power, CEO, Irish Cancer Society, Mr Ciaran Briscoe, CEO, North East Cancer Research & Education Trust, Mr Aidan McCormick, Patient Advocate, AICRI and Chair of Northern Ireland Cancer Research Consumer Forum, Dr Amanda Drury, Dublin City University and Dr Rosemarie Gannon, UCD and AICRI.