The Irish Cancer Society has announced it is on track to invest €30 million in cancer research in the decade up to 2020.
As it launched its 2019 Research Plan Averil Power, Chief Executive, said: “This decade has broken all records for cancer research in Ireland. Thanks to the generosity of the public, the Irish Cancer Society has invested more money in life-saving research than ever before, finding better ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer.
“In 2019 we intend to invest €2.3 million in cancer research, supporting the work of over 100 researchers around the country. This makes us the largest voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland, but we can still do even more.”
“Every year we have to turn away researchers who come to us with potentially life-saving projects, simply because we don’t have enough funds to support them. Unfortunately, this means we may have had to turn down a potential breakthrough or cure. If we’re going to stop cancer this has to change. That’s why Daffodil Day 2019 needs to be the biggest one yet.”
Daffodil Day 2019, proudly supported by Boots Ireland, will take place on Friday, 22 March. Members of the public are urged to get involved by volunteering as fundraisers and donating what they can on the day.
At the launch of the 2019 Research Plan, two of the Society’s recently-funded researchers spoke of the huge impact the Irish Cancer Society’s support has had on their work to stop cancer.
Dr Emma Allott, lecturer in the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast, was awarded prostate cancer research funding in 2016. The Dublin native carried out her research in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Trinity College Dublin as part of a partnership between the Irish Cancer Society, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
“Thanks to the Irish Cancer Society’s support, I’ve been able to find out potential links between cholesterol levels and advanced prostate cancer in men. The more we know about why men get advanced prostate cancer, the more we can do to stop it happening in the first place. Preventing prostate cancer means saving countless men from the often harsh treatment that comes with this disease. The Irish Cancer Society’s funding has allowed me to work with international experts and gain invaluable expertise. I plan to pass this knowledge on to future cancer researchers so that we can come even closer to stopping prostate cancer.”
Dr Aideen Ryan, lecturer in Tumour Immunology in the School of Medicine at NUI Galway, received funding from the Irish Cancer Society for research into bowel cancer in 2013. The Galway woman has worked on finding new ways to treat bowel cancer through immunotherapy – treatments that boost the body’s natural defences to fight cancer.
“Bowel cancer is the second biggest cause of cancer deaths in Ireland, so I feel privileged that my Irish Cancer Society funding has given me the chance to explore new ways to treat this disease and save lives. Through my Irish Cancer Society fellowship I wanted to give more hope to people going through the most advanced forms of bowel cancer by exploring better treatments. Since then I’ve used this experience to progress my research and continue the fight to stop this disease.”