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Queen’s University Belfast Launches Ireland’s First Independent Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence

The first independent prostate cancer centre of excellence in Ireland has been inaugurated at Queen’s University Belfast. This facility, situated within the Patrick G. Johnston Centre for Cancer Research in Belfast, will conduct clinical trials and evaluate promising treatments with the aim of enhancing cancer outcomes while minimising treatment-related side effects.

Prostate cancer claims the lives of 276 men in Northern Ireland and 519 men in the Republic of Ireland annually, making it one of the most prevalent cancers among men throughout the island of Ireland.

This pioneering Prostate Cancer Centre of Excellence expands upon the collaborative efforts initiated with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester since 2016. Notably, this collaboration yielded a groundbreaking clinical trial that demonstrated the safety and efficacy of a novel combination of radiotherapies in treating advanced prostate cancer in men.

The establishment of this Belfast centre is also expected to contribute to the local economy by generating employment opportunities for clinical trial personnel, clinical fellows, laboratory scientists, and PhD students. This accomplishment was made possible thanks to a generous philanthropic donation of £1.6 million.

Professor Ian Greer, the Vice-Chancellor at Queen’s, remarked that this centre would revolutionise cancer research in Ireland, emphasising the university’s commitment to improving patient care and fostering groundbreaking treatments. Over 4,500 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Iain Creswell, a prostate cancer survivor who participated in a clinical trial at Queen’s, expressed the emotional impact of his diagnosis and the hope he found through the trial. His experience with the clinical trial and subsequent monitoring showed remarkable progress in his condition.

The newly established research centre is under the leadership of Professor Suneil Jain, specialising in clinical oncology, and Professor Joe O’Sullivan, an expert in radiation oncology. They are enthusiastic about launching the Centre of Excellence, aiming to build on Belfast’s strong track record of innovative clinical research to shape the future of cancer treatments.

The Prostate Cancer Centre of Excellence will serve as a hub for collaborations with industry partners, medical device and pharmaceutical companies and will concentrate on advanced radiotherapy, combination studies involving drugs and radiotherapy, and sophisticated data analysis to benefit men and their families affected by prostate cancer.

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