Author Archives: Claire

2022 Cancer Conference and Accreditation Event

As Ireland’s newly accredited European Cancer Centre, the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, will hold its first conference in Dublin on Thursday, 22 September 2022.

The conference is the first of its kind to be held by the Centre, which is an innovative collaboration between Beaumont Hospital, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network.

The Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre has recently been accredited by the OECI, Europe’s accreditation body for standards in cancer research, education and clinical care.

The inaugural cancer conference will bring together healthcare professionals, academics and key stakeholders to celebrate the accreditation and present the Cancer Centre’s vision for comprehensive cancer care in Ireland.

International key note speakers include Professor Alastair Thompson, Breast Cancer Surgeon and Professor and Chief, Section of Breast Surgery, Baylor College of Medicine and Dr Jean-Benoît Burrion, Chair of the OECI Accreditation and Designation Programme.

The Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre is a partnership between Ireland’s leading healthcare professionals, academics, biologists, epidemiologists and statisticians across the disciplines of medicine, radiation, surgery and palliative care. The Centre specialises in the treatment of a wide range of cancers including breast, colorectal, lung, endocrine, head & neck, neuro oncology, urology, skin, haematology and upper gastro intestinal.

Commenting on the significance of the event, Professor Patrick Morris, Medical Director of the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre said: “The establishment of the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre formalises the alliance and commitment to cancer care that has long existed between the three partners involved, combining our expertise to create a centre of excellence with the scale and breadth to drive improvements nationally and through our international networks.”

Professor Leonie Young, Scientific Director of the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, said: “A key goal of Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre is to integrate world-class research and clinical education into the treatment of patients across all types of cancer. This conference is an important part of this strategy and will be of interest to the vast number of people who have been affected by cancer and their families as well as everyone in involved in the research and treatment of all forms of cancer in Ireland and worldwide.’

For further information on how to register and submit abstracts visit the conference webpage


Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre awarded OECI Cancer Centre status

The Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre has been accredited for the quality and standards of cancer care and research by the OECI, a European organisation who set comprehensive standards for cancer centres and networks.

In January 2021 we at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre elected to participate in the OECI Accreditation and Designation Programme, a quality assessment programme focused on multidisciplinary integrated cancer care and research. The Cancer Centre was independently evaluated by a team of experts from centres across Europe in October 2021 and assessed across a number of domains including governance; research; multidisciplinary working; patient involvement and empowerment; organisational quality; prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The Cancer Centre has received official accreditation by the OECI, which recognised it as a ‘patient centred organisation’ with ‘well-coordinated research structures’ and ‘a dynamic education system’.

Responding to the designation, Ian Carter, CEO of Beaumont Hospital, said: “We are very proud to be accredited as a Cancer Centre by the OECI; it is high recognition of our commitment to delivering high standards of quality care to patients with cancer and to accelerating developments in  cancer research.”

The establishment of the Centre formalises the alliance and commitment to cancer care that has long existed between the three partners, combining their expertise to create a centre of excellence with the scale and breadth to drive improvements nationally and through its international networks.

Through its collaborative approach, the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre aims to further develop the clinical treatment pathways for patients to improve their experience and outcomes and also extend into local communities to support health and well-being programmes aimed at prevention.

Professor Patrick Morris, Medical Director, Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, explained: “Statistics from the WHO tell us that cancer represents the second most reported cause of death and morbidity in Europe. In Ireland, there are approximately 40,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed each year and over 3500 of these patients are treated in Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre. Cases of cancer are expected to double in Ireland by 2040.

“The only way to tackle this disease is through research and collaboration. This Centre brings together some of Ireland’s most informed and experienced cancer experts to provide an innovative approach to cancer research that will inform the treatment of cancer and improve patient care into the future, not only in Ireland, but worldwide. The OECI accreditation and designation is a significant milestone for the Cancer Centre and represents our commitment to delivering the highest standards of patient care informed by innovative research.”

Professor Leonie Young, Scientific Director, Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, added: “The accreditation from the OECI is testament to the international significance of the work performed at the Centre and our focus on delivering the highest international standards in cancer research, that will bring maximum benefit to cancer patients and ensure that Ireland is at the forefront of excellent patient care now and in the future.”

The Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre brings together Ireland’s leading healthcare professionals, academics, biologists, epidemiologists and statisticians across the disciplines of medicine, radiation, surgery and palliative care. The Centre specialises in the treatment of a wide range of cancers including breast, colorectal, lung, endocrine, head and neck, neuro oncology, urology, skin, haematology and upper gastro intestinal.

Professor Cathal Kelly, Vice Chancellor and CEO / Registrar, RCSI, said: “Collaboration between academic research and practice is vital in the fight against cancer. RCSI is proud to be involved with this internationally accredited cancer centre at Beaumont Hospital. Together with our partners at Beaumont Hospital and St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network we are combining scientific research with patient treatment that in the long-term will contribute to the improvement of cancer treatment for patients throughout the world.”

Professor Clare Faul, Netwoek Director of St Lukes Radiation Oncology Network acknowledged the importance of this partnership: “Having the three pillars of cancer treatment collaborating on the Beaumont Hospital campus and working in partnership with the RCSI to achieve OECI accreditation ensures we are reaching the highest standards for patients with cancer at every point of their pathway.”

Cancer research at the Centre focuses on a wide variety of strategies to identify new ways to improve outcomes for cancer patients through prevention, diagnosis and therapy. It is involved in large-scale collaborative cancer research programmes and clinical trials involving partners from industry, academia and clinical organisations.

The Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre is aligned with the strategic priorities of the National Cancer Strategy (2017-2026), EU Cancer Mission and Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. The Centre is one of nine designated cancer centres nationwide and is the second only OECI accredited cancer centre in the country.

To mark its accreditation and commitment to public engagement, experts from the Centre are hosting a special online webinar today. The RCSI MyHealth Series discussion, ‘Navigating cancer – prevention, treatment and support’, features Prof. Patrick Morris, Prof. Leonie Young and Dr Maeve Mullooly (Research Fellow, Data Science Centre, School of Population Health, RCSI). In this discussion the speakers address some of the most commonly asked questions about risk factors and prevention measures, treatments options and preparing for treatment, as well as the latest in cancer research.

Part of RCSI’s free series of public lectures, this MyHealth discussion aims to educate people about cancer prevention, lifestyle choices, risks and treatments which characterise the full patient-support journey provided by the Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre.

Watch the Navigating cancer – prevention, treatment and support webinar here

Photographed above from left to right: Mr Ian Carter CEO Beaumont Hospital, Professor Clare Faul Network Director St Lukes Radiation Oncology Network; Professor Cathal Kelly Vice Chancellor and CEO / Registrar, RCSI

Supporting Daffodil Day at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre

March 25th is the day we “take back cancer” and today staff across Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre including our Medical Oncologists  showed full support for the Irish Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Day. The Irish Cancer Society make a difference to thousands of people affected by cancer across Ireland through advocacy, support and research. The Daffodil Centre at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre is a hub of information and support for staff, patients and visitors from prevention of cancer through to enhancing survivorship. Cancer Nurse Phil Harford from the daffodil centre works closely with our highly skill nursing teams across the Cancer Centre.

Pictured above: Medical Oncologists from Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital and RCSI gathered outside the hospital to show their support for today’s event. From left, Professor Liam Grogan, Dr Adrian Murphy, Dr Jarushka Naidoo, Dr Oscar Breathnach and Prof Patrick Morris. Pic: Ray Lohan/RCSI

Pictured below: Nurses and care staff from out day cancer services.

To find out more about our Daffodil Centre click here

To find out more about Daffodil Day or to make a donation click here


Clinical Research Updates from the Cancer Centre

The M11 089 study was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre contributed to the 970 patients that were randomised to receive platinum-based chemotherapy with veliparib or placebo. The study concluded that there was no therapeutic benefit of adding veliparib to first-line chemotherapy for patients with squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). The researchers did however find a signature in archival tissue samples that may identify a sub group of patients likely to derive benefit from veliparib in combination with chemotherapy.

J Clin Oncol. 2021 Nov 10;39(32):3633-3644. doi: 10.1200/JCO.20.03318. Epub 2021 Aug 26. PMID: 34436928; PMCID: PMC8577684

The final results of the long running phase III SOLE study (Study of Letrozole Extension) were recently published in the Annals of Oncology.  Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre contributed to the 4851 patients that were randomised globally. The study concluded that extended adjuvant endocrine therapy by intermittent administration of letrozole did not improve disease free survival (DFS) compared with continuous use. However, the similar DFS coupled with previously reported quality-of-life advantages suggest intermittent extended treatment is a valid option for patients who require or prefer a treatment interruption.

Ann Oncol. 2021 Oct;32(10):1256-1266. doi: 10.1016/j.annonc.2021.07.017. Epub 2021 Aug 10. PMID: 34384882

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

February 11th 2021 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Despite the significant contributions made by women in the fields of science and research a significant gender gap persists. At Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre we are proud to have women who are leading innovation in science and research and support full and equal access for women and girls to science, technology and innovation.

On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I call on everyone to create an environment where women can realize their true potential and today’s girls become tomorrow’s leading scientists and innovators, shaping a fair and sustainable future for all.”  António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations

Find out more @

Immune-related Adverse Events and The Balancing Act of Immunotherapy

Michael Conroy1, Jarushka Naidoo1,2

  1. Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  2. Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Centre at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD,United States of America

Oncology treatments have historically been based around ‘cytotoxic’ chemotherapy, which targets cancers by killing rapidly dividing malignant cells. This is associated with a cadre of side effects caused by similar harm to rapidly dividing normal cells – hair loss, mouth ulcers, and infertility. One of the greatest recent developments in cancer care has been the use of immunotherapies – treatments that harness the body’s own immune system to kill cancer cells. These have been proven remarkably effective in some cancers, including lung cancer and melanoma, and show promise in many others.

These treatments tend not to cause significant hair loss, sores or nausea like traditional chemo. However, they are associated with a unique class of side effects termed ‘immune-related adverse events’, or irAEs. These are harms, which can affect any organ in the body, resulting from one’s own immune system being inadvertently driven to target body tissues.

These events are diverse in type, ranging from an underactive pituitary gland in the brain to inflammation in the muscle of the heart. They are also variable in time of onset, severity and mechanism. Some aspects are well-understood, such as the fact that these conditions typically respond to treatment with steroids – medications which reduce the activity of the immune system. However, some issues are less clear. The best means of diagnosing these problems are not known in many cases, and practice can vary among hospitals. It is not certain whether giving steroids for irAEs will lead to the cancer becoming active again, whether irAEs will be more common in patients who already have an autoimmune disease (like rheumatoid arthritis), and how to manage irAEs that do not respond to steroids.

More recently, evidence has been published to suggest that the micro-organisms that live in our gut (the gut microbiome) can influence whether tumours respond to immunotherapy, but also whether irAEs respond to treatment. In one interesting example, a transplant of stool from a healthy patient to two patients with severe immunotherapy-related colitis (bowel inflammation) led to the colitis resolving in both patients. It was suggested that the healthy micro-organisms from the donor led to improvement in the condition.

Therefore, this is an area of research with some areas of agreement but many areas of uncertainty. Knowledge regarding irAEs is developing very rapidly and this should help us in future to provide patients with the best available treatments while minimising their side-effects.

Click here to read the full article.

Momentous day for cancer clinic trials in Ireland as HRB announce €21 million investment

Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre have welcomed the €21 million investment in cancer clinical trials announced by the Health Research Board. The National Clinical Trial Network will be hosted by RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences led by Professor Ray McDermott (Chief Scientific Investigator, Cancer Trials Ireland).

Beaumont Hospital – RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences Cancer Trials Group led by Professor Patrick Morris and hosted at RCSI is one of six Cancer Clinical Trials Groups to receive funding as part of this momentous investment.

The HRB funding will tackle childhood and adult cancers, making a real difference to the lives of cancer patients, allowing them more access to cancer trials by increasing the resources and expertise required to conduct them. Click here for further information on the HRB announcement

Advancing treatment for oesophageal cancer in Ireland

October 8th 2021 was a significant day for the treatment of oesophageal cancer in Ireland. The first totally robotic assisted oesophagectomy was performed successfully at Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre, the first surgery of its kind to be performed in the country.

The surgery was performed by Mr. Will Robb and his team using the da Vinci X robotic surgical platform. Mr Robb and his team have built a depth of experience with minimally invasive surgery for resection of oesophageal cancers  which applies the latest technology to minimally invasive surgery.

The benefits of minimally invasive surgery for oesophageal cancer resections are clear. This technique greatly reduces the trauma of this operation, reduces complications and makes recovery easier.

Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre are the only hospital in Ireland with a team delivering robotic surgery for oesophageal cancer and 1 of only 3 units in the United Kingdom and Ireland with a team and the surgical expertise able to provide this surgery.

For more information about our Upper GI service including minimally invasive surgery and Enhanced Recovery Programme click here

OECI Cancer Accreditation Peer Review Visit

Beaumont RCSI Cancer Centre welcomed members of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) for a peer review visit on October 19th and 20th. Peer review is performed by experts from OECI cancer centres/institutes across Europe and this visit was one of the steps in our Cancer Centre Accreditation & Designation journey. The OECI quality assessment programme is a supportive voluntary measure for cancer centres/institutes which has been designed and developed by a wide range of European experts from European Oncology Societies, Patient Organisations and staff from OECI members.

Pictured above are the members of our Cancer Centre Board, Cancer Centre Executive, members of the  Executive Management Team and the OECI Peer Review Team.

Photograph: Marta Staszak

Decoding Cancer Podcast – How does Immunotherapy work?

Tune in to the Irish Cancer Society’s Decoding Cancer podcast on September 27th. Dr Robert O’Connor is joined by our Dr Jarushka Naidoo & lung cancer patient advocate Seamus Cotter to discuss the ins-and-outs of immunotherapy as a cancer treatment, what types of patients it is being proven to benefit, and the latest developments in promising new immunotherapy treatments, including studies being supported by the Irish Cancer Society.

Click Here to register for this event.