The Republic of Ireland Registry & Bio Bank for Barrett’s Oesophagus Patients.
Every year, a large portion of your Lollipop Day donations are invested in Ireland’s national Registry & Biobank for Barrett’s Oesophagus Patients. Fully funded by OCF, this essential database was established in 2009 to meet our aim of combating Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma (OAC) through early detection. To date, close to €1.6,200,000 (over €1.6 million) in Lollipop Day funding has gone towards keeping the Registry alive, employing five full-time Registry personnel and linking five national hospitals: St. James’s, St. Vincent’s, Beaumont, Mater Misericordiae, Dublin and Mercy Hospital, Cork.
Since 2009 we have recorded over 6,500 patients on the Barrett’s Registry. Though not cancerous, Barrett’s Oesophagus is a condition that is frequently a precursor to full-scale Oesophageal Cancer. Our Registry helps us identify at-risk patients earlier and track their progress using endoscopies and bioscopies. Cellular changes such as dysplasia and or cancer can be diagnosed much earlier, meaning Oesophageal Cancer can be addressed in its early and most treatable phase.
Our data manager records and monitor a range of follow-up data for all Registry patients across all five hospital sites, such as stage of condition, length of Barrett’s, symptoms, treatment, and alcohol and smoking history. Barrett’s patients who show progression in their disease are offered Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) therapy, a highly effective Halo procedure that eradicates diseased tissue and allows healthy new tissue to regenerate. We are now part of the UK Radio Frequency Ablation Registry that covers 26 hospitals of which St. James’s Hospital Dublin is the third largest contributing centre.
OCF donations also finance a National Barrett’s Bio Bank that operates in tandem with the National Barrett’s Registry. Tissue and blood samples from consenting Barrett’s patients are collected, stored and used for vital patient-focused research that is helping us better understand what factors drive progression to Oesophageal Cancer. Three scientific studies which have utilised this national biobank have been submitted for publication and are currently under review.
Thanks to your funding, scientists can now draw upon this invaluable collection of in excess of 800 tissue, and more than 600 blood samples collected at St. James’s and Beaumont hospitals. Some samples are used on the day fresh; some are preserved frozen at -80 ̊C and some are preserved in parafilm wax blocks to be used for future experiments. Our goal in the near-term is to extend this unique Registry & Bio Bank to other hospitals around the nation. We also aim to develop an island-wide resource that links with the Northern Ireland Barrett’s Registry.
(Original report authors: Prof. John Reynolds and Prof. Jacintha O’Sullivan)