Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI President Addresses Perdana University Clinical Forum

29 September 2011

RCSI President, Professor Eilis McGovern, Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon at St. James Hospital Dublin and Professor of Surgery at Trinity College Dublin was the guest speaker at the second Clinical Forum Meeting in Perdana University (PU), Putrajaya, Malaysia, on Tuesday 13 September 2011.

Perdana University is home to the PU-RCSI School of Medicine which saw the first intake of undergraduate students this month.

PU RCSI Clinical Forum
Pictured is Professor Eilis McGovern, President, RCSI, delivering her lecture at the Clinical Forum

In her address, Professor McGovern outlined the incidence of Lung cancer, a condition which is the third most common cancer and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths.  Typically associated with men over 65 years who smoke, she highlighted how the condition has increased recently in females.  The male/female incidence rate ratio decreased from 4 to 1.7 over the past 3 decades.  She alluded to the well-established association with active and passive smoking as well as exposure to radon, asbestos and, alarming in recent times, radiation.

Small and non-small cell lung cancers differ in clinical presentation and patient outcome.  Professor McGovern highlighted the roles of chest X rays, CT-guided biopsies and bronchoscopic washings in diagnosis and the value of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in TNM staging.

PU RCSI Clinical Forum
Pictured is Professor Anthony Cunningham, PU-RCSI Foundation Dean (right), making a presentation to Professor Eilis McGovern, President, RCSI (left), following her lecture at the Clinical Forum.

Management options include chemo/radiotherapy and surgery.  However, only 20% of lung cancer patients are suitable for curative surgery. Surgical considerations include histology, tumour stage and the patient’s functional status as determined by activities of daily living and pulmonary function tests. Unfortunately, recent Irish studies report a low 10.9% overall 5-year survival.  Prevention in terms of reduced smoking and screening of at-risk patients offers some hope as well research including EGFR genetic mutation and targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) treatment.

Faculty from Perdana University RCSI and RCSI alumni working in Putrajaya hospitals attended the meeting.

Clinical Forum
Attendees at the Clinical Forum.

Professor McGovern, a University College Dublin graduate and Mayo Clinic Fellow, was appointed as a consultant cardiothoracic surgeon to the Mater and Royal City of Dublin Hospitals in 1987.  She transferred to St James’s Hospital in Dublin in 1999 to oversee the opening of a new cardiac surgery unit.  She chaired the Irish Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board from 2003-2007 and currently sits on the National Medical Education, Training and Research Committee.

Professor McGovern was elected President of RCSI, for a two year term, in June 2010 having been a Council Member since 1993.