So much of what we do in terms of patient support is not easily quantifiable, but research funding is another matter.
The OCF has raised €3 million to date and has provided almost €1.8 million of these funds for clinical research in the main Clinical Academic Cancer Centres for upper gastrointestinal cancers across Ireland.
So far, we’ve allocated well over €1 million for public awareness programmes to drive awareness of the symptoms.
In partnership with our four Centres of Excellence (St. James’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, Galway University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital, Cork) our grants have made significant inroads in allowing us to better understand, combat and manage this tricky-to-treat-cancer.
Through a large programme grant funded by the OCF in 2010, that still continues today, we saw the creation of the first ever national Barrett’s Registry in Ireland, directed by Professor John V. Reynolds, Upper GI Consultant, St. James’s Hospital.
Apart from the goal of increasing the diagnosis of early cancer, this registry will help improve services and information for patients. It also allows Consultants to see if changes in the management of patients should be altered. In parallel with the registry, is the development of the first ever Barrett’s Oesophagus National Bio Bank where tissue and blood samples are collected with patients’ consent, used for research studies.
This Bio Bank infrastructure supported by the OCF, students and fellows have applied to funding bodies to conduct Barrett’s research using this collected material, to great success. Through this OCF-funded programme, collaborations have been formed with leading international groups in Barrett’s Oesophagus and Oesophageal Cancer.