NECRET are very proud and excited to have played a significant role in contributing towards a significant development in lung cancer diagnosis. This new test which was advanced in collaboration by Dr Rob Smyth under Professor Bryan Hennessy will mean that some cases of lung cancer will be able to be monitored from microscopic breath particles. Lung cancer is the cause of approximately a fifth of all cancer deaths in Ireland and unfortunately the number of cases continues to increase by 3% annually.
As with the introduction of any new drug treatment for cancer or other diseases, this new approach will go through the strictly monitored Clinical Trial Process. With encouraging results to date it will begin the final part of the process which is Phase 3 shortly, when it will be open to patients from across Ireland and in locations Internationally. (more details at bottom)
NECRET have also funded research that has realized advances in other cancer types such as breast, bowel and stomach cancer. With these studies recognised and receiving prestigious awards from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and European Journal of Medical Oncology (ESMO).
In its fight against cancer NECRET aims to deliver the highest quality cutting edge care and treatment for patients through a number of activities. In addition to clinical cancer research into new treatment methodologies and approaches mentioned above, it uses funds to enhance the support and care provided to cancer patients by the unit to make their stay as comfortable as possible. The other activities are educating and training its nurses and medical staff so they can use all new techniques as they are introduced so as to be in a position to offer tailored treatments to all cancer patients along with purchasing of equipment that is vital to the delivery of quality patient care.
Professor Bryan Hennessy would like to take the opportunity to express his heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everybody who contributes and supports NECRET in its Mission. With the generosity of the public and all those who organise fundraising events, our Necret volunteers and the local businesses and sponsors, who together make a big difference in our fight against cancer.
This breakthrough approach means a number of potential patient benefits including it being non-invasive versus standard tissue biopsies where a sample (s) of the tumour are taken which can cause complications like collapsed lungs. As the fight against cancer moves towards increasingly personalised patient treatments, “liquid biopsies” where a sample of blood or another type of fluid sample is used to not only detect lung cancer and reveal if treatment methods are working, but also for genetic testing. This testing can help determine if a patient might benefit from targeted more precise therapies or immunotherapy treatments. This lung cancer diagnostic which we helped fund comes under this umbrella by adding another important tool for cancer doctors.
The goal is an operational method to identify and monitor lung cancer that is non-invasive, accurate, inexpensive and widely accessible. The latter two are key for Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) where access to affordable quality care is difficult. “We hope these developments will lead to providing more people across the world with more information about their cancer and thus better treatment options and lives saved” – Dr Smyth.
Thousands of people in Ireland are taking part in cancer trials. People with cancer who would like to know more about whether there is a cancer trial suitable for them are encouraged to ask their doctor if there’s a cancer trial that may be suitable for them. Potential questions that may be relevant can be found here https://www.cancertrials.ie/questions-for-your-doctor/