In November 2015, MMI hosted a Public Information Day on Prostate Cancer Research in association with Men Against Cancer (MAC) to highlight the breadth of research in prostate cancer being carried out in Ireland and to encourage patients to participate in clinical trials. The event was chaired by Barry Cahill of MAC and featured talks by rugby legend, Tony Ward and Roger Brownlee, both patients of prostate cancer. It was very well attended by patients, representatives from patient bodies and cancer charities, as well as clinicians and researchers.
Following the welcome address from Paul Barry, CEO of MMI, Dr Derek Mitchell spoke about importance of the involvement of patients and the public in research, not only by contributing their biological samples and data but also through their input into formulating research questions that are important to patients and society.
Mr David Galvin, Consultant Urologist and PI of the Irish Prostate Cancer Outcomes Research (IPCOR) study, focused on the development and future uses of a national prostate cancer registry which will collect clinical and patient reported information on men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. Dr Áine Murphy is Project Manager of the IPCOR study and is based at MMI.
Tony Ward used his talk to spread the message that men should not ignore their symptoms and should go to a doctor at the earliest opportunity. He recounted his own experience of being diagnosed with prostate cancer and undergoing treatment for the disease.
Dr Ray McDermott, Consultant Medical Oncologist, spoke about the Irish Programme for Stratified Prostate Cancer Therapy (iPROSPECT) study, which is coordinated and managed by Dr Suzanne Bracken in MMI. iPROSPECT aims to develop and implement informed patient stratification based on a greater understanding of the intra- and inter-cellular signalling pathways driving disease progression, and to deliver a programme of stratified oncology for patients with prostate cancer. Drs Orla Casey, Karen O’Leary and Suzanne Bracken spoke about the individual research projects that are being conducted as part of the iPROSPECT programme within the MMI partner institutions of TCD, UCD and NUIG.
Vittorio Marchesin from the Irish Cooperative Oncology Research Group (ICORG) highlighted the clinical trials available to prostate cancer patients through ICORG while Mr Roger Brownlee gave a moving account of being diagnosed with and treated for metastatic prostate cancer, including his participation in a clinical trial currently being carried out by Dr Ray McDermott and ICORG.
The day ended with a talk from Prof Bill Watson of UCD who spoke about the National Prostate Cancer Research Consortium and the work it has being carrying out over the past ten years. Prof Watson highlighted the requirement for patient involvement in research, without which no advances in the understanding of why prostate cancer develops or treatments to combat the disease could be developed.
Marie Keating Foundation, the Irish Cancer Society and the National Cancer Control Programme hosted exhibit stands at the event providing information on prostate cancer detection and treatments as well as information on healthy living.
MMI coordinates and manages a number of national prostate cancer research studies including IPCOR and iPROSPECT and participates in national and international prostate cancer networks.