Professor Tracy Robson
IACR President and Head of School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences
Dr Alex J Eustace
Honorary Secretary of the IACR, School of Biotechnology, Dublin City University
We believe that patients and research participants have rights to be equal partners with scientific researchers in the design and implementation of research projects and to have their contributions recognised.
Patients play a pivotal role in cancer research through not only the provision of biospecimens and their anonymised outcome data through their involvement in clinical trials, but more recently in the synthesis, design and implementation of cancer research projects.
Working towards common goals
By patients and scientists working together during the early-stage planning of research projects, we can ensure that research is driven by what matters most to the patient i.e. a better quality of life and improved survival outcomes.
Our mission at the IACR is to advance cancer research across the island of Ireland and generate a world-class environment for cancer research for public benefit. Every year, we hold the largest Irish cancer research conference which facilitates the sharing of research through communication, collaboration and education by bringing together cancer researchers, healthcare professionals and patient advocacy groups with the goal of conquering cancer.
Therefore, it is essential that we help early-stage scientific researchers to develop the skills required to communicate their scientific discoveries to the public. This is a key goal of the IACR and we believe it will ensure that the world leading research carried out in Ireland can be shared and celebrated by all. We also hope that by raising awareness we can increase funding for these partnerships by lobbying our national governments.
It is essential that we help early-stage scientific researchers to develop the skills required to communicate their scientific discoveries to the public.
Focusing on early diagnosis
At our recent annual conference, we highlighted the importance of early detection of cancer. It is estimated that there was a 10% reduction in the number of cancer diagnoses in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, equating to approximately 2,000 missed cancer diagnoses.
We need to work harder in the areas of early detection of cancer by expanding the cancer screening programs within Ireland to include both lung and gastric cancers, studies which are currently ongoing in the UK. Patients want this, need this and we can ensure that research is focused on providing meaningful outcomes and impact.
The Irish Association for Cancer Research (IACR) (www.iacr.ie) is an All-Ireland non-profit organisation for scientific and healthcare researchers across all oncology disciplines.