Your money goes towards ‘academic-led’ trials (i.e. non-commercial trials) where the research questions are driven by patient need rather than commercial concerns.
The commercial model plays an essential role in modern medicines development, as the phenomenal response of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries to COVID has shown. But the academic-led approach allows for different kinds of scientific questions, like:
- Could patients reap the same benefits of chemotherapy, or radiotherapy, if we used less treatment?
- Which well-established, long-standing treatment(s) is, or are, best for treating a specific form of breast, or prostate, or lung cancer?
These important questions are mainly asked by the not-for-profit research sector. Through the support of the Health Research Board, the Irish Cancer Society – and other generous donors – doctors in Ireland can open trials that have the potential to change how cancer is treated.