ICORG forms groundbreaking alliance with worlds leading US cancer research group

ICORG first research organisation in Europe to achieve such affiliation – (4th September 2003)

The Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG), which continues to attract major international oncology research programme to Ireland, has announced today that it has become affiliate members of one of the premier American cancer research organizations; The National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP).

NSABP is a clinical trials, not-for-profit cooperative group supported by the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) which has more than 40-year experience in the design and conduct of world-renowned clinical trials. NSABP has pioneered cancer research that has led to the establishment of breast conserving surgery, where just a small part of the breast (lumpectomy) is removed followed by radiation treatment, rather then removal of the whole breast (radical mastectomy). NSABP has also proved that chemotherapy given to patients with early breast cancer reduces the rate at which the breast cancer can relapse and therefore has improved survival rates. They have also designed and completed the first study to show that the drug tamoxifen could prevent breast cancer occurrence.

Professor John Armstrong, Chairman ICORG and Professor of Radiation Oncology at University College Dublin explained that this exciting alliance between ICORG and NSABP "will inevitably lead in time to earlier access to the latest treatments for more Irish cancer patients by way of participation in clinical trials".

ICORG has been in existence for over six years and in that time has provided access to the latest research treatments to over 1000 Irish patients.

"What pleased me most about this process was that the NSABP approached ICORG. A number of dedicated Irish doctors have been doing ground-breaking work in recent years that has often gone unnoticed locally so it was wonderful to get this type of international recognition", said Dr. Brian Moulton, Chief Executive Officer ICORG.

The NSABP had noted ICORGs high-quality contributions in recent International research initiatives. ICORG has also recently formed an alliance with the Cancer Research Support Centre of Northern Ireland to form an all-Ireland co-operative group.

Key contributors to this research included: Dr. John Crown, St. Vincent’s University Hospital; Dr. John Kennedy, St. James Hospital; Dr. Maccon Keane, University Hospital Galway, Dr. John McCaffrey, Mater Hospital; Dr. Gordon Mullins Bons Secours Cork; and Dr. Liam Grogan, Beaumont Hospital.

ICORG is the first organisation in Europe to achieve NSABP affiliation. The Group is excited about the state of-the-art treatments this alliance will enable it to bring to Irish patients from all parts of the island. ICORG is also encouraged by the way the NSABP has, in early discussions, indicated that they foresee the incorporation of Irish ideas into their future research plans.