Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Innovation within oncology Prof Michael O'Dwyer recently worked with Mediaplanet UK on the 2018 Innovation within oncology campaign to give an overview of how immunotherapy is providing an alternative to traditional cancer treatments.  On 23rd June a printed publication was enclosed within every copy of The Irish Independent newspaper and the content is available online also at http://www.healthnews.ie/cancer/immunotherapy-proving-vital-alternative-to-traditional-cancer-treatments Read features on new innovations that are improving patient pathways from key thought leaders online at http://bit.ly/2KdgnJoBCNI has worked on the Innovation within oncology campaign with @MediaplanetUK which features exclusive content from key figures advocating greater access to medicine in Ireland

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

The Young Cancer Researchers Networking (YCRN) Translational Cancer Research Conference  took place on 21-22 June 2018, University College Cork, Ireland. Prof Mary Cahill was one of the organisers of this meeting and Dr Eva Szegezdi was an invited speaker. The ideal was to inspire, connect  and promote the interactions of young cancer researchers with their peers and with the cancer research community. The scientific focus of the meeting was on translational cancer research and promoting a collaborative approach between the laboratory and clinical research. The YCRN event was aimed at postgraduate research students and provided a platform for PhD and MD/PhD students to report their scientific discoveries. Postgraduate students that presented their research at the YCRN event had the opportunity to increase their exposure and obtain feedback on their research.The meeting  also created an opportunity for Junior Cancer Researchers to identify and develop their future partnerships and to promote the advance of translational cancer research. It improved their visibility and inspired them to actively engage the public with their work.  

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

BCNI held its 3rd annual symposium at Beaumont Hospital Dublin on 8th June 2018 Our annual symposium is becoming ever more popular and is on its way to becoming one of the most important meetings nationally for clinical, reseach and industry personnel with an interest in translational amd clinical research in blood cancers.  The title of this year’s symposium was "Blood Cancer Research: Focus on immunotherapy and the tumour microenvironment" " and approx 100 people attended the event. The symposium provided the opportunity to hear about the latest research and hottest topics in blood cancer research from an excellent line-up of international experts. The symposium also stimulated great interactions between Irish and international blood cancer researchers and between academics and industry researchers helping to form collaborations and come up with novel ideas for blood cancer therapeutics development. Congratulations to Subhashis Sarkar of NUI Galway on winning the prize for best young speaker Shirley O'Dea from Avectas Ltd who won  the best poster prize Well done to all involved in organising such a great meeting.!! See some photos of the symposium below

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

BCNI is organsing a public lecture on "Blood Cancers and Advances in Treatment" in Beaumont Hospital Dublin on 8th June Blood Cancer is an umbrella term for different kinds of cancer that affect blood cells such as leukaemia, myeloma and lymphoma. Blood cancers account for about 10% of all cancers and every year approximately 1600 Irish patients are diagnosed with blood cancer and about 700 people die from this disease. This public lecture is aimed at giving the public, patients and their families information about blood cancers and about recent advances in the treatment of blood cancers. We have an excellent new addition to the programme -  Dr Jim Omel has lived with Multiple Myeloma for over 18 years. Jim lives in Nebraska USA and now works as a volunteer with the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, which oversees and helps design all clinical trials. Jim also works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as one of 160 patient representatives nationwide, three of which have myeloma. Those patient representatives represent various diseases and are called upon to serve on the FDA advisory panel to review the research behind new drugs being considered for approval so we are delighted that Jim has agreed to give a short talk at our event. For directions to Beaumont Hospital please click the link to follow Beaumont Hospital Directions The lecture will take place in the Richard Carmichael Lecture Theatre which is accessed though the main entrance to the hospital, turn to the left in the lobby area and left again for the entrance to the lecture theatre. Venue: Richard Carmichael Lecture Theatre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin  Time and Date: 4pm-5.30pm on Friday 8th June This event is open to all and there is a welcome Tea/coffee from 4pm- 4.15 ‌‌

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Blood Cancer Network Ireland is holding its annual symposium  on Friday 8th June in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin “Blood Cancer Research: Focus on immunotherapy and the tumour microenvironment” The aim of the symposium is to provide Irish researchers and clinical staff with the opportunity to hear about the latest research and hottest topics in blood cancer research from international experts and to present their own work in this area. This symposium will bring researchers in the fields of cancer drug discovery and hematological malignancies together with industry and clinical investigators interested in translating research findings into early clinical development. The scientific focus will be in two key areas: Immunotherapy Tumour microenvironment The focus of the symposium on cutting edge research and cancer therapeutics development will make this a highly significant and relevant meeting for all researchers interested in applying research findings for clinical development in blood cancers. There will be an opprotunity for researchers to present posters in the area of immunotherapy, the tumour microenvironment and targeted therapies and approx 3 posters will be selected for oral presentations. Prizes will be awared for the best poster and oral presentation. There will be an opportunity for young researchers to meet experts in the field at a "meet the experts" session There will be a session on "Advances in blood cancer research" directed towards patients and their families at the end of the symposium To register for the meeting please  see Registration form 2018 For imformation on submitting abstracts please see Symposium 2018 - announcement Updated draft symposium programmeBlood Cancer Symposium - June 2018- Final programme  

Friday, 1 June 2018

Prof Michael O'Dwyer writes for RTE Brainstorm RTÉ Brainstorm is where the academic and research community contribute to public debate, reflect on what’s happening in the world around us and communicate fresh thinking on a broad range of issues. Combining opinion, analysis and features and edited by RTÉ and sitting alongside their online journalism and content, RTÉ Brainstorm provides readers with informed views and perspectives on a vast range of topics Prof Michael O'Dwyer writes about cellular immunotherapy whcih aims to make the cells of the immune system much more effective at seeking out and killing cancer cells.  see here for article 

Friday, 1 June 2018

We have a new newsletter! Read it to find out more about our activites, our progress, our staff and our upcoming events BCNI newsletter June 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018

On 15th May the 2nd Cancer Clinical Trials Educational meeting will take place at  Cork University Hospital  BCNI Investigator Prof Mary Cahill, Consultant Hematologist at CUH and BCNI Clinical Trials Network Manager Dr Grainne Gannon will give presentations at the meeting. All are welcome so come along if you want to learn more about Cancer Clinical Trials Programme 13:00 - Brendan O’Reilly – A/Operations Manager CUH-opening the meeting.  13:05 - Dr Richard Bambury presenting: “Medical Oncology Trials - improving life for patients"  13:20 - Grainne Gannon- Clinical Trial Network Manager : BCNI clinical trial overview.  13:30 – Prof. Mary Cahill presenting - Blood Cancer Trials: How we can help current and future patients.  13:45 - Dr Paul Kelly: Clinical Trials – “Route to Radiotherapy Technology”  13:55 - Closing meeting  

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Why are cancer cells attracted to the bone marrow? Dr Eva Szegezdi's article for RTE brainstorm discusses how the Bone Marrow can act as a protective environment for cancer cells helping them grown and hide from chemotherapeutic drugs. Eva also discusses current research efforts to develop new drugs that (1) force cancer cells out of the bone marrow where they can be killed by chemotherapeutic drugs or (2) that stop the bone marrow producing signals that help the cancer cells to survive and grow. See her article here

Friday, 6 April 2018

The Munster Blood Club - Inaugural Summer Meeting will take place on Friday 11th May 2018 at the Strand Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick BCNI Investigators Prof Michael O'Dwyer and Prof Mary Cahill as well as BCNI Member Dr Dervla O'Shea will give presentations at this meeting Myeloma Research Update - Prof. Michael O’ Dwyer Galway University Hospital Innovation in the HSE – Comes at a Price- Dr. Derville O’ Shea, Cork University Hospital BCNI Update – Infrastructure for Translational Haematology - Prof. Mary Cahill, Cork University Hospital For the full agenda please see Munster blood group meeting

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

‌BCNI CyborD-DARA trial features in the Spring 2018 edition of Cancer Trails Irelands Disease Specific Sub Group digest. Read about the CyBorD-DARA trial which featured at the American Society of Haematology (ASH) meeting. ASH is the largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders. Pictured at the meeting with the CyBorD-DARA trial poster presentation (l to r) Dr Cian McEllistrim, (first author), Prof Michael O’Dwyer (Chief Investigator) and Dr Serika D Naicker (the researcher who conducts the translational research element of the trial). See CTI DSSG digest of ASH 2017

Friday, 23 March 2018

BCNI organised a coffee morning and cake sale in aid of the the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil day - 23rd March 2018 Well done to all the BCNI team at Clinical Research Facility at Galway University Hospital and at  Biomedical Sciences at NUI Galway for a great coffee morning and cake sale on Daffodil day in aid of the IRISH CANCER SOCIETY. Team members were supported by great colleagues at both sites to  produce a fantastic range of delicious cakes. Many thanks to all those who supported our efforts and enabled us to collect over €1000 in aid of the Irish Cancer Society!

Friday, 9 March 2018

‌Two of our BCNI researchers participated in a "Women in Science" event on International womens day! Well done to BCNI research nurse Liz Linehan who gave a presentation at the "Women in Science" event  and to Prof Mary Cahill who moderated the panel discussion. The event was organised by the Cork Cancer Research Centre.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Dr Grainne Gannon, BCNI Clinical Trials Network Manager took part in the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day Launch event on 9th Feb in Dublin. Grainne, along with collagues from IPCOR and Breast PREDICT, attended the event and were on hand to explain the activities of their Irish Cancer Society funded research networks.  The RTE broadcaster, Miriman O'Callahan who lost a sister to cancer, spoke at the launch which was attended by Minister for Health Simon Harris, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society Averil Power, RTE’s Aengus Mac Grianna, representatives from Boots Ireland and hundreds of Daffodil Day volunteers Daffodil Day is Friday, 23 March 2018! This year marks Daffodil Day’s 31st anniversary! Join thousands of volunteers around Ireland selling daffodil pins and flowers on streets, in businesses, homes and shopping centres; or hosting a Daffodil Day event to raise funds for the Society’s free, nationwide care services for those with, and affected by, cancer in Ireland.  For more information on how to get involved in daffodil day events please see here

Friday, 2 February 2018

8th INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MYELOPROLIFERATIVE NEOPLASMSSaggart, IrelandMay 15-17, 2018 The European School of Hematology is holding its 8th International Conference on Myeloproliferative Neoplasms from 15th -17th May in Dublin.  Topics include: Genetic and Cellular Pathogenesis of MPNs Novel MPN Therapy Mechanisms of Myeloid Transformation and Progression Murine Modelling of MPN Targeting the MPN stem cell Recent advances in Management To register and for more information on the conference please see www.esh.org

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Young Cancer Researchers Networking (YCRN) 2018  The Young Cancer Researchers Networking (YCRN) 2018 is a conference organised by a Cancer Research at CoMH, UCC. It is scheduled for 21-22 June 2018. Its main purpose is to assemble and support interdisciplinary translational cancer research community in Ireland and promote the profile of Irish cancer research in Europe. A need to stage an event where cutting-edge translational cancer research expertise can be readily disseminated with a focus on the next generation of researchers was identified and this conference will address this need by encouraging and showcasing talent from junior researchers in the cancer space in Ireland and abroad. The principal theme of the first YCRN event is dedicated to the current advances in translational oncology. It will be delivered in a form of oral and poster presentations of pioneering results in cancer research that is aligned with three Strategic Priority Areas of Opportunity: G – Therapeutics, E – Medical Devices and F – Diagnostics, as identified by the Report of the Research Prioritisation Steering Group.  BCNI participation:  Prof Mary Cahill is a Scientific Advisory Chair of YCRN  Dr Eva Szegezdi  has kindly agreed to give a talk at the meeting  Prof Michael O'Dwyer has agreed to chair a session at the conference and/ or give a talk For more information on registration, abstracts etc  see here

Friday, 19 January 2018

Prof Mary Cahill based at Cork University Hospital gave a presentation at the Acute Leukaemia Forum (ALF) annual meeting on 12th January in Dublin. The presentation was an "Update on extended data registration for AML- National Cancer Registry Pilot Programme’ Prof Cahill is very activiely involved in developing the BCNI data registration systems for all blood cancers and works very closely with our colleagues at the National Cancer Registry to drive progress in this research activity.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Highlights from the American Society of Hematology meeting 2017 - BCNI's CyborD-DARA study The World Myeloma Forum selected BCNI's Phase 1b CyborD-DARA study as one of the highlights of the American Society of Hematology (ASH)meeting in Atlanta in December. See Prof Michael O'Dwyer talk about  how weekly CyborD-Dara is a safe and effective upfront treatment for newly diagnosed multiple myeloma and the excellent progress being achieved in this study. See video here

Friday, 8 December 2017

BCNI visit The Jes primary school in Galway Blood in our bodies is pumped by the heart through a network of arteries and veins. Blood also carries carbon dioxide and other waste materials to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system; from there they are removed from the body. Without blood, we couldn't keep warm or cool off, we couldn't fight infections, and we couldn't get rid of our own waste products. So how exactly does blood do these things? How is it made, and what's in it? How does blood clot?  BCNI staff went along to The Jes school to tell the 6th class kids a little about the mysterious, life-sustaining fluid called blood. 

Friday, 8 December 2017

The Medical Independent recently spoke to Prof Michael O’Dwyer about exciting new Irish blood cancer research data to be presented at the upcoming 2017 American Society of Haematology (ASH) Annual Meeting. BCNI-related research to be presented at the ASH meeting will highlight the relationship of sialic acid and multiple myeloma, as well as clinical trial data on cyclophosphamide and daratumumab to treat the disease. Prof O’Dwyer said it is an exciting time for research in blood cancer in Ireland as a result of advances made by the BCNI.  To view the Medical Independent article - see here  

Friday, 8 December 2017

Dr John Quinn and Prof Michael O'Dwyer took part in this years Multiple Myeloma awareness day for patients and their families. The annual Multiple Myeloma Ireland Patient and Family Awareness day is an opportunity for patients and their families to benefit from the expertise and experience of health professionals working in the field, as well as hearing from peers about their own multiple myeloma journey. This year the event was held on 9th November at the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth. Danielle Barron spoke to Professor Michael O’Dwyer in advance of the Patient and Family Awareness Day who reviewed his presentation, which centres on new developments in multiple myeloma treatment- see review here  Dr Quinn gave an overview of future strategies for the treatment of Myeloma.  

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

BCNI at the  20th Galway Science and Technology Exhibition on Sunday 26th November at NUI Galway.  Blood in our bodies is pumped by the heart through a network of arteries and veins. But beyond those blood basics, what do you know about that red stuff beneath your skin? The body depends on a steady supply of fuel and oxygen to reach its billions of cells. Blood also carries carbon dioxide and other waste materials to the lungs, kidneys, and digestive system; from there they are removed from the body. Without blood, we couldn't keep warm or cool off, we couldn't fight infections, and we couldn't get rid of our own waste products. So how exactly does blood do these things? How is it made, and what's in it? How does blood clot? Is it time to learn a little about the mysterious, life-sustaining fluid called blood. BCNI was on hand to  to tell everyone some amazing facts about blood. Lots of kids (and their parents) in the Galway region got to know all about why we need blood, what its made of, what the different types of blood cells do and how blood cells and blood cancer cells look under the microscope! It was a hectic but very rewarding day with approximately 20,000 people attending and a huge thanks to all of the BCNI staff and students that participated!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The 4th Cancer Research Team Site Development Day was held at the Cancer Trials Ireland Head Office, Innovation House, Glasnevin, on Friday 24th November 2017. Dr Grainne Gannon, BCNI Clinical Traials Coordinator,  was there to tell attendees about her  role in managing a national phase I network. Overall all it was an interesting meeting and helped to diseminate news of our phase 1 activities to relevant personnel nationwide.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

BCNI  held a  "Blood Cancer Information Evening" on Monday 6th November. This event was free and open to patients, their families and members of the public with an interest in learning more about blood cancers.   We had a great turn out for the event which included patients, their families as well as medical and research staff and students and the venue was full to capacity! Prof Michael O'Dwyer started off the evening with an overview of the different types of blood cancers and current treatments and then he described the exciting developments taking place in immunotherapy for blood cancers. In particular he explained about CAR-T therapy which involves engineering patients own immune cells to treat their blood cancer. This is a rapidly emerging immunotherapy approach and dramatic progress has been seen lately pushing the boundaries of what many people thought was possible and it holds great promise for the future. Mary Coyne, a patient with Multiple Myeloma then described her experience of having a blood cancer and the effect it had on her and her family. Mary is currently a participant in a BCNI Phase 1 clinical trial and she shared her experience of being on a clinical trial with the audience. Mary's positive attitude and willingness to tell her story was greatly appreciated and we wish her and her family all the best.  Dr Grainne Gannon the BCNI Clinical Trials Coordinator spoke about the importance of clinical trials and this was followed up by Research Nurse Jessica Walsh who explained what it means to be a participant on a clinical trial and the pros and cons for patients. Finally Dr Sandra Healy finished up the evening by explaining what a blood cancer biobank and registry are and why we need them. Tea/coffee,  a tour of the Clinical Research Facility and a chance to speak to the BCNI staff and were on offer after the talks  and all-in-all it was a very successful information evening.        


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

A MDS Patient and Family Forum organised by the  MDS UK Patient Support Group & MDS Support Group for Ireland & Northern Ireland will be held on 17th Nov in Dublin. Where: MDS CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE, TALLAGHT HOSPITAL, DUBLIN 24 When: 17th Nov 2017 Who: MDS patients and their guests For more information see MDS patient forum

Thursday, 26 October 2017

 Prof Michael O'Dwyer, Director of BCNI, talked to Keith Finnegan on Galway Bay FM about Blood Cancers on Friday 27th Oct 2017 Download the audio file of the interview  here Galway Bay FM radio interview to learn more about Blood cancers such as Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma  BCNI's research and clinical activities that aim to increase understanding of blood cancers and to improve treatments for blood cancer patients

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

BCNI investigators and staff attended the  annual Hematology Association of Ireland meeting on 13th-14th Oct in Belfast and were available to answer questions from clinicians and nursing staff about BCNI activities and how to get involved in our clinicla trial, biobanking and registry activities. 

Friday, 6 October 2017

‌Hundreds of cancer survivors, their families, friends and carers travelled from all over Ireland to attend the Irish Cancer Society’s annual conference on cancer survivorship which was held in the Aviva Stadium on 29th and 30th  September. The aim of the conference was to provide information and support to enable people to live well after a cancer diagnosis. BCNI cliniclal research nurse Jessica Walsh and clinical trials coordinator Grainne Gannon were on hand to tell patients and their families about BCNI and our efforts to increase understanding and improve treatments for blood cancer patients. The conference was opened by the Minister for Health Simon Harris and  Grainne and Jessica spoke about our network and about BCNI clinical trails  that are allowing patients to access treatments that would otherwise not be available to them.  Patients also heard from a range of speakers  including cancer patients, seeking to understand and address not just the cancer itself but the huge range of needs that accompany a diagnosis.

Friday, 6 October 2017

On wednesday 27th Sept Dr Grainne Gannon, the BCNI Clinical trials coordinator participated in an information event for people living with blood cancer in the Davenport Hotel on Merrion Street Lower, Dublin 2. The event was part of the overall" Make Blood Cancer Visible" campaign. The patient event was open to all people, along with their family and friends, who are living with blood cancer. Speakers included Donal Buggy, Head of Services and Advocacy, Irish Cancer Society, Dr Paul D’Alton, Head of Psycho-Oncology Department, St Vincent’s Hospital, Eric Low, former CEO of Myeloma UK and two haematology nurse specialists.  Cancer Trials Ireland also attended the event to promote their "Just Ask" campaign encouraging patients to access clinical trials. BCNI had a stand with information leaflets and Grainne was available to chat to Patients and their families about BCNI clinical trials.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

September is blood cancer awareness month.   Prof Michael O'Dwyer, Director of BCNI has been taking part in a media awareness campagin to highlight the signs and sympotoms of Blood Cancers and explain the research we are doing to develop new treatments for patients.  There are over 140 different types of blood cancers, which can be classified into three main groups – leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Together, they comprise nearly 10% of all cancers and are the fourth most common cause of cancer-related deaths in Ireland. Despite this, many people are unaware of the symptoms associated with blood cancer, or often put them down to something else.  The Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign aims to change this by raising awareness about the disease. It was launched by former professional boxer Barry McGuigan, whose father Pat died from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – a rare type of blood cancer – in 1987. Pat died within 10 weeks of his diagnosis. He was just 52 years old at the time. To learn more please see  Make Blood Cancer Visible campaign TV3 Ireland AM http://www.tv3.ie/3player/show/809/131627/1/Ireland%20AM Independent.ie - http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/health/barry-mcguigan-my-dad-was-diagnosed-with-a-rare-blood-cancer-he-died-nine-weeks-later-36100818.html Journal.ie http://www.thejournal.ie/blood-cancer-barry-mcguigan-3580768-Sep2017/  Or listen in to Sean O'Rourke program on RTE1 interviewing Prof O'Dwyer and Barry McGuigan Sean O'Rourke RTE1 interview

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Prof Michael O'Dwyer, Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland recently talked to Myeloma Crowd Radio about how sugar molecules can act as a smokescreen for myeloma cells. He explained how normal sugars found on the surface of cells can be altered in cancer cells helping them to hide from the immune system. His research is trying to find new ways to detect these altered sugars to improve diagnostic tests and to use our understanding of this aberant process in cancer cells to develop new treatments for myeloma. You can listen to a recording of this show on www.blogtalkradio.com/myelomacrowdradio/2017/08/25/myeloma-crowd-radio-michael-odwyer-md-national-university-of-ireland        

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

‌ Blood Cancer Network Ireland recently held its annual symposium on 9th June in St James Hospital Dublin. The title of this year’s symposium was "Advances in translational and early clinical research in blood cancers" and over 80 researchers and clinical staff attended the event. The symposium provided the opportunity to hear about the latest research and hottest topics in blood cancer research from an excellent line-up of international experts. The symposium also stimulated great interactions between Irish and international blood cancer researchers helping to form collaborations and come up with novel ideas for blood cancer therapeutics development. Among the highlights of the symposium were: Dr Alessandra Larocca, Citta' della Salute e della Scienza di Torino, highlighted key results from the European Multiple Myeloma network trials. Dr Armand Keating, Cell Therapy Program, Ontario Cancer Institute, Canada, presented findings from a phase 1 study which showed the potential of irradiated NK92 cells for the treatment of blood cancers. Professor Daniela Krause, Institute for Tumour Biology and Experimental Therapy, Frankfurt, discussed the role of the bone marrow microenvironment in blood cancer development and treatment. Professor Hermann Einsele, Julius Maximilians University, Würzburg, discussed multiple approaches for the immunotherapeutic treatment of Multiple Myeloma. An interesting talk from Dr Tony McElligott, Trinity Translational Medicine Institute, St James Hospital, Dublin, on the role of STAT3 in micro-environmental interactions in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Dr Karen Keeshan, Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, highlighted differences in cancer stem cells in adult and paediatric Acute Myeloid Leukeamia (AML) and how it could affect treatment for paediatric AML. Dr Serika Naicker, Biomedical Sciences, National University of Ireland Galway, showed how daratumumab could be more potent in combination with low dose chemotherapy via macrophage mediated ADCP. Professor Tuna Mutis, Dept. of Hematology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, presented his work on understanding immune escape in the Multiple Myeloma microenvironment and strategies to overcome it. Congratulations to Alessandra Di Grande of RCSI on winning the best poster prize and Dr Serika Naicker, NUI Galway, on winning the prize for best young presenter at the blood cancer symposium, and well done to all involved in organising a great event.  ‌

Friday, 28 April 2017

BCNI researchers based in Galway and their collaborators have published significant new findings in the journal "Leukemia". The researchers have shown that Myeloma cells that express high levels of the E-selectin ligand give rise to a more aggressive  disease and were more resistant to chemotherapy. They also found that relapsed patients had higher levels of E-selectin expressing cells.Significantly they went on to demonstrate that by using an E-selectin antogonist (GM1271) they could prevent the cells becoming resistant to chemotherapy. This work work is important because it provides a rational for targeting E-selectin receptor/ligand interactions to overcome metastasis and chemoresistance in Multiple Myeloma. Leukemia paper accepted article

Monday, 3 April 2017

The Information and Advocacy group for CLL Patients and Carers are organising a meeting on Sat 29th of April in the Ashling Hotel in Dublin. This is a great opportunity for patients and their families to come together to share information,   become involved and become informed. The meeting is open to all and you can find a link to the program and the meeting flyer below. CLL meeting porgram

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Irish cancer patients with multiple myeloma are the first in the world to be treated with a new potentially life-saving drug combination 27th Feb 2017: Irish patients with the blood cancer ‘multiple myeloma’ are the first patients worldwide to take part in a new drug trial to develop more effective treatment for the cancer. This innovative Phase 1 clinical trial being led by researchers at NUI Galway will investigate for the first time, whether the addition of a new multiple myeloma treatment, Daratumumab (DARA), to a standard care chemotherapy containing the drugs Cyclophosphamide and Bortezomib (CyBorD), is beneficial for treating newly diagnosed patients. DARA by itself is a very promising new therapy for this particular cancer and has recently been approved for treating relapsed patients. This new trial is the first study worldwide to combine DARA with Cyclophosphamide and will determine whether this combination results in a more effective treatment. Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) has already recruited the first six patients at University Hospital Galway and Cork University Hospital and the study will soon be extended to BCNI centres in Dublin, thereby giving multiple myeloma patients nationwide access to the trial. BCNI is a €2.7 million cancer research and clinical trials initiative funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland which brings together clinicians, scientists, and population health experts across Galway, Cork and Dublin with a shared interest in blood cancer research. Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer arising from a type of white blood cell called a plasma cell. Plasma cells normally produce antibodies which help fight infection. In multiple myeloma the plasma cells become cancerous and are called myeloma cells. These can produce an excess of a single antibody which is harmful and stops the blood from working properly. Each year in Ireland approximately 250 people are diagnosed with the cancer and 170 succumb to the disease. Notably this clinical trial is the first homegrown (investigator initiated) trial to be conducted by BCNI. It is the culmination of collaborative research efforts between BCNI scientists and Janssen pharmaceuticals which show that Cyclophosphamide treatment can potentially make DARA more effective. It represents a bench-to-bedside approach where scientific insights from the laboratory are applied to developing new and improved ways to treat patients. This is the first cancer clinical trial to be sponsored by NUI Galway on behalf of BCNI and it demonstrates the University’s commitment to supporting clinical cancer research. Irish patients on this trial will receive additional benefits, including state of the art monitoring and access to this new treatment free of charge. Commenting on the new trial, Professor Michael O’Dwyer, BCNI Director, lead investigator and Consultant Haematologist at NUI Galway said: “It is an exciting time for blood cancer research in Ireland. This new trial, a first for BCNI, is another step forward in developing new treatment options for patients living with multiple myeloma. The study is the result of collaborations across a broad range of partners including NUI Galway, Cancer Trials Ireland, the Irish Cancer Society, Science Foundation Ireland, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, the Health Research Board and BCNI investigators and staff. The successful launch of the study is a testament to our shared commitment to finding better treatment options for patients through clinical trials.” Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, Dr Robert O’Connor, welcomed this new Phase 1 clinical trial and praised the work of researchers linked to Blood Cancer Network Ireland: “ This latest clinical trial highlights the importance of investing in world class innovative and potentially life-changing Irish cancer research and we hope that the patients taking part will help identify even more improvements in care and outcomes for this disease. The Irish Cancer Society is proud to be partnering with Science Foundation Ireland on the funding of BCNI, ensuring that Irish blood cancer patients benefit from the latest advances in cancer care and treatment. Ireland has many world class cancer researchers but it’s only through the public’s generous donations that we can continue to invest in such vital cancer research. For that, we thank the public, and hope that they can continue to support us this Daffodil Day, March 24th.” The past two decades have seen major advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma with approval of several new treatments resulting in a doubling in survival over this period.  Carefully conducted clinical trials based on bench to bedside research have been critical for these developments. This trial exemplifies this approach and is an important contribution by Irish researchers and patients to the global fight against multiple myeloma. For more information on the study please visit www.bloodcancers.ie or www.clinicaltrials.gov (search: NCT02955810). If you would like to refer a patient or have any queries please contact Amanda Bray, the National Research Coordinator for BCNI by email amanda.bray@nuigalway.ie or contact BCNI@nuigalway.ie

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

BCNI are currently recruiting for:  Research Assistant (part-time) - Cancer Niche Group. Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a part-time, fixed term contract as a research assistant for the Cancer Niche Group of Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI) and Apoptosis Research Centre based in the Biomedical Sciences Building at NUI Galway. The position is available from April 2017 to March 2019 subject to an initial one year probationary period. This position is funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish Cancer Society.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

‌‌‌ BCNI had a stand at the  19th Galway Science and Technology Exhibition on Sunday 27 November at NUI Galway.  Companies, schools, colleges (including NUI Galway and GMIT), and research institutes exhibited over 80 interactive STEM demonstrations and projects for all ages to enjoy. BCNI was on hand to  to tell everyone some amazing facts about blood. Now lots of kids (and their parents) in the Galway region know all about why we need blood, what its made of, what the different types of blood cells do and they got to see what  blood cells and blood cancer cells look like under the microscope! Great fun was had by all our team and the many visitors to the stand!

Friday, 30 September 2016

The Galway team of Blood Cancer Network Ireland are organising an information event on blood cancers and clinical trials. If you or a loved one has blood cancer, or if you just want to learn more  about blood cancers or the clinical trials that the network is running, please come along to our free event. Venue: Room 305, Clinical Sciences Institute, University Hospital Galway. See map to CSI Date: Thursday 20th October from 7-9pm Blood Cancer information evening flyer: Professor Michael O’Dwyer, Consultant Haematologist, Galway University Hospital:  “Overview of blood cancers and recent advances in treatment” Christopher McEvilly, Blood Cancer Patient: “My experience with blood cancer” Amanda Bray, Clinical Trials Coordinator, Clinical Research Facility, GUH :“What it means to be a clinical trial participant” Dr Sandra Healy, Blood Cancer Network Ireland programme manager :"What is a blood cancer biobank and registry and why we need  them?" TEA/COFFEE and tour of the Clinical Research Facility at GUH If possible please register by dropping us an email at BCNI@nuigalway.ie For more information and directions please see www.bloodcancers.ie

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tuesday 27 September 2016: An Irish patient with the blood cancer ‘multiple myeloma’ has become the first in the world to take part in a new drug trial for patients with the disease who respond poorly to standard treatment. The clinical trial, looking at a new medicine called GMI-1271, is being run by Blood Cancer Network Ireland and has recently recruited its first patient in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, under the supervision of Dr John Quinn, Consultant Haematologist and Associate Investigator with Blood Cancer Network Ireland. Blood Cancer Network Ireland is a €2.7 million cancer research and clinical trials initiative funded by the Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland which brings together clinicians, scientists, and population health experts across Galway, Cork and Dublin with a shared interest in blood cancer research. The drug was first tested in Ireland, the US and Australia in patients with acute myeloid leukaemia and early results are very promising for treating patients with this form of blood cancer. Blood Cancer Network Ireland will now lead the way in evaluating whether the therapy is also effective in patients with multiple myeloma. Blood cancer is an umbrella term for cancers that affect the blood, bone marrow, and lymphatic system. Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the blood arising from a type of white blood cell which is called a plasma cell. Plasma cells normally produce antibodies which help fight infection. In myeloma the plasma cells become cancerous and are called myeloma cells. These can produce an excess of a single antibody which is harmful and stops the blood from working properly. In both acute myeloid leukaemia and multiple myeloma, some of the cancer cells can hide out in the bone marrow, where they stick to blood vessels, rendering chemotherapy less effective. This means that, even after chemotherapy has killed the majority of cancer cells, the cells in these ‘sanctuary sites’ survive and then go on to grow and multiply once again, causing the patient to relapse. If successful, GMI-1271 will prevent or delay this relapse. By testing the drug in tandem with standard chemotherapy, it is hoped that cancer cells will be unable to anchor themselves to the bone marrow, allowing chemotherapy treatment to kill all cancer cells in the patient. The opportunity to open the trial in Ireland is due to the research carried out by members of Blood Cancer Network Ireland and their strong collaboration with Glycomimetics, the biotechnology company which produced the drug. The GMI-1271 trial for multiple myeloma patients will also open in University Hospital Galway where Professor Michael O’Dwyer (Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland) is leading the study. Commenting on the new trial, Professor O’Dwyer said: “This new clinical trial highlights the huge strides in cancer research and clinical trials which Blood Cancer Network Ireland has been a part of since our establishment in November 2015. “There are approximately 1,500 people in Ireland living with blood cancer. Blood cancers account for about 10% of cancer deaths and it is the relapsed drug resistant cancer that is the cause of most deaths. The fact that this new trial provides hope for multiple myeloma patients is an exciting development that puts Blood Cancer Network Ireland at the forefront of blood cancer research on a global scale.” Consultant haematologist at Beaumont Hospital, Dr John Quinn, joined Blood Cancer Network Ireland in February of this year after the Irish Cancer Society committed to an increased investment of €450,000 over the next five years to support the expansion of the network into Mater and Beaumont Hospitals. Speaking on his entry into the network, Dr Quinn said at the time: “We have been developing our clinical trial practice in haematology at Beaumont over the past five years, however, this major investment by the Irish Cancer Society will open up even greater access to blood cancer clinical trials and the latest treatments for our patients, and also strengthen the network as whole”. Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, Dr Robert O’Connor, welcomed this new Phase 1 clinical trial and praised the work of researchers linked to Blood Cancer Network Ireland: “The work being carried out by this country-wide network of clinicians, scientists, and population health experts highlights the importance of investing in such innovative and potentially life-changing cancer research. The Irish Cancer Society is proud to be partnering with Science Foundation Ireland on the funding of Blood Cancer Network Ireland, ensuring that Irish blood cancer patients benefit from the latest advances in cancer care and treatment.” Each year in Ireland approximately 250 people are diagnosed with multiple myeloma and 170 succumb to their disease.  In the past a multiple myeloma diagnosis meant that a patient could only expect to survive for three to five years, with chemotherapy the only treatment available. Today, that average survival time has increased very significantly, and the introduction of new medicines in the coming years will likely see patient outcomes improve even further.

Friday, 26 August 2016

We were very saddened to learn of the death of Paul Daly who passed away after a long and courageous battle with Leukemia.  Paul recognised the importance of research in continuing the fight against cancer and he gave willingly of his time and support to promote blood cancer research in Ireland. We are very grateful to Paul for his contribution as a patient to our Blood Cancer Network and our sympathies are with his family in this difficult time. ‌‌

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

On Friday 27th May BCNI held a “Blood Cancer” Symposium for researchers and healthcare professionals with an interest in translational and clinical blood cancer research. This event had an excellent line-up of international speakers. Speakers Prof Donald Harvey,   Director, Phase 1 Clinical Trials, Winship Cancer Institute Emory University, Atlanta, USA  "The recent evolution of phase 1 trials in drug development"- See presentation Dr Jim Omel,  Patient Advocate, USA "Myeloma....still much to be done" - See presentation Prof Alan Burnett,  Emeritus Prof  and Head of Haematology Department of Medical Genetics, Cardiff, Wales , "Can we do trials better?"-See presentation Prof Henk Lokhorst, Prof of Hematology, VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, "Evolving immunotherapeutic strategies in myeloma" -See presentation Dr Caroline Heckman, Institute for Molecular Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland, "From biobanks and big data to precision medicine strategies in hematology" -See presentation Margaret Doyle, Global Medical Affairs Director, Hematology, Janssen, "BCNI- an industry perspective"     - See presentation     Presentations on the vision and activities of Blood Cancer Network Ireland were given by Prof Michael O'Dwyer, BCNI Director "Development of early phase clinical trials in Ireland" - See presentation Dr Eva Szegezdi, BCNI Biobank leader "Introducing Blood Cancer Biobank Ireland" - See presentation Dr Harry Comber, BCNI Cancer Registry "Establishing an enhanced blood cancer registry for Ireland" - See Presentation ‌ Approximately 100 people attended the symposium coming from Universities (TCD, UCC, NUIG, QUB, GMIT, RCSI, UCD, UL, DCU) Hospitals and Clinical Research Facilities (Mater, Beaumont, Cork University Hospital, University Hospital Galway, MRH Tullamore, St James, Clinical Trials Ireland) Funding agencies (Science Foundation Ireland, Irish Cancer Society and Enterprise Ireland) Industry (Amgen, Novartis, Janssen, AbbVie, BMS, SuprTec Box). Overall it was an excellent symposium that generated a lot of excitement about the latest developments in Blood Cancer research at both national and international levels. ‌

Monday, 4 April 2016

BCNI in the news - March 2016.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Blood Cancer Network Ireland - Launch 25th Nov 2015 Blood Cancer Network Ireland was launched by Mr Damien English, T.D. Minister for Skills, Research and Innovation on Wednesday 25th Nov at the Lambe Institute at NUIG/University Hospital Galway. The Irish Cancer Society and Science Foundation Ireland have partnered together to fund this new collaborative cancer network that will offer early stage clinical trials to blood cancer patients in Ireland. Michael O'Dwyer, Professor of Hematology and Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland, Paul Daly and Minister of State for Skills, Research, and Innovation Damien English.   ‌ BCNI team based at NUI Galway: Michael O'Dwyer, Professor of Hematology and Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland, Dr Eva Szegezdi, Blood Cancer Biobank leader, Dr Sandra Healy BCNI Program Manager and Professor Lokesh Joshi, VP of Research at NUI Galway with Minister of State for Skills, Research, and Innovation Damien English   ‌ BCNI principal Investigator team : Paul Browne (Professor of Hematology -Trinity College Dublin), Michael O'Dwyer (Professor of Hematology - NUI Galway), Mary Cahill  (Professor of Hematology - University College Cork), Eva Szegezdi (Lecturer - NUI Galway) with Minister of State for Skills, Research, and Innovation Damien English(middle)   ‌ Dr Mark Ferguson (Science Foundation Ireland), Damien English (Minister of State for Skills, Research, and Innovation), Professor Michael O'Dwyer  (Director of Blood Cancer Network Ireland) and Dr Robert O'Connor (Irish Cancer Society)

Friday, 6 October 2017

‌Hundreds of cancer survivors, their families, friends and carers travelled from all over Ireland to attend the Irish Cancer Society’s annual conference on cancer survivorship which was held in the Aviva Stadium on 29th and 30th  September. The aim of the conference was to provide information and support to enable people to live well after a cancer diagnosis. BCNI cliniclal research nurse Jessica Walsh and clinical trials coordinator Grainne Gannon were on hand to tell patients and their families about BCNI and our efforts to increase understanding and improve treatments for blood cancer patients. The conference was opened by the Minister for Health Simon Harris and  Grainne and Jessica spoke about our network and about BCNI clinical trails  that are allowing patients to access treatments that would otherwise not be available to them.  Patients also heard from a range of speakers  including cancer patients, seeking to understand and address not just the cancer itself but the huge range of needs that accompany a diagnosis.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Dr Grainne Gannon, BCNI Clinical Trials Network Manager took part in the Irish Cancer Society's Daffodil Day Launch event on 9th Feb in Dublin. Grainne, along with collagues from IPCOR and Breast PREDICT, attended the event and were on hand to explain the activities of their Irish Cancer Society funded research networks.  The RTE broadcaster, Miriman O'Callahan who lost a sister to cancer, spoke at the launch which was attended by Minister for Health Simon Harris, Chief Executive of the Irish Cancer Society Averil Power, RTE’s Aengus Mac Grianna, representatives from Boots Ireland and hundreds of Daffodil Day volunteers Daffodil Day is Friday, 23 March 2018! This year marks Daffodil Day’s 31st anniversary! Join thousands of volunteers around Ireland selling daffodil pins and flowers on streets, in businesses, homes and shopping centres; or hosting a Daffodil Day event to raise funds for the Society’s free, nationwide care services for those with, and affected by, cancer in Ireland.  For more information on how to get involved in daffodil day events please see here