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

RCSI Raises €627,500 for Breast Cancer Research

08 November 2006

The RCSI/ VIVAS Health Race Against Breast Cancer took place in Leopardstown on Sunday, 5th November raising €627,500 for Breast Cancer research - the largest amount ever raised at a single fundraising event in Ireland.

Pictured from L to R at the RCSI/ VIVAS Health Race Against Breast Cancer Day at Leopardstown are Professor Arnold Hill, Professor of Surgery, RCSI and Mr Michael Horgan, CEO of RCSI.

There are approximately 1,800 new cases of breast cancer in Ireland each year. As such, women living in Ireland have a 1 in 10 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. 650 women in Ireland die from breast cancer each year. RCSI is committed to reducing the number of deaths from this disease through a combination of early detection and improved treatment methods, which are central to the facilities translational approach to medicine.

The RCSI is the leading authority in breast cancer research in Ireland and has been commended for its translational approach to cancer treatment, offering a ‘bench to bedside’ solution. The college’s research team is led by Professor Brian Harvey, Director of the RCSI Research Institute, who later this year will be awarded the “Knight of the Order of Merit” by French President, Jacques Chirac, in recognition of his work promoting scientific collaboration between France and Ireland over the last 25 years.

In relation to his scientific progress in the field of breast cancer research, Professor Harvey and his team have recently identified a novel cell signalling mechanism, by which oestrogen can stimulate proliferation (tumour progression) in breast cancer cells. The clinical significance of these findings is that it will help to develop effective neutralising agents in breast cancer chemotherapy.

This scientific research team works closely with the consultant’s team, led by Professor Arnold Hill, Professor of Surgery RCSI and leading Irish breast cancer consultant, to ensure that the latest research is translated into treatment for cancer patients nationally. A new Symptomatic Breast Unit, launched by the Tánaiste last month, located at RCSI’s main teaching hospital, Beaumont Hospital, will provide a timely and efficient service leading to earlier diagnosis and an improved outcome for women with breast cancer. In addition, Professor Hill directs the RCSI Breast Cancer Group (BCG) caring for 600 breast cancer patients annually in the north east region through to Waterford. This group will provide a leadership role in developing the National Quality Assurance Standard for breast cancer care within Ireland.

Speaking at the event, Professor Hill said “The prevalence of breast cancer in this country means that everybody knows somebody who is affected by this disease. Events like the race day are important as they provide a platform to highlight the work that is being done currently to treat breast cancer as well as raising much needed funds for further research into the disease. There is a more unified approach to breast cancer treatment throughout Ireland and the RCSI have made breast cancer research one of its main strategic goals,” he said.

Thanks to the support of the main sponsor, VIVAS Health and associate sponsors, Vincent and Beatty Solicitors, all monies raised through the sale of tables, the raffle and auction will go directly towards RCSI’s programme of breast cancer research.