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

Wednesday 11th April 2007 - RCSI Showcases Medical Research at Annual Research Day

11 April 2007

Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Colorectal Cancer and emergency Caesarean sections are just some of the topics of research to be presented at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)’s annual Research Day today.

RCSI’s annual Research Day is an important date in the RCSI calendar providing its scientists with the opportunity to showcase their most recent research findings. As one of Ireland’s premier research institutions RCSI is internationally recognised for both education and research and is dedicated to improving human health through endeavour, innovation and collaboration in education, research and service.

Examples of the findings from some of the papers and posters that will be presented today include:

– Public remain largely unaware of the symptoms and causes of colorectal cancer

This study revealed that despite the fact that colorectal cancer is the leading type of cancer for both men and women combined and the second highest cause of cancer morbidity, many patients are still largely unaware of its symptoms and causes.

Researchers from the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery surveyed fourteen patients newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer and described their experiences from onset of symptoms to referral. Results confirmed a lack of awareness of specific protective factors, causative factors, symptoms and individual risks for colorectal cancer. The findings also revealed that delays in reporting symptoms occurred due to mistaking symptoms for a different cause and believing symptoms were not serious and that this was more common for males and those from a lower socio-economic group. The findings revealed that more public information on the disease should be made available.


Pictured at RCSI's annual Research Day is Kiva Brennan, Rathmines – Post Graduate Researcher at RCSI

- Embryonic Stem Cell Research in Ireland: An ethical dilemma

Ireland currently has no legislation specifically dealing with human embryonic stem cell research (hESC). This literature-based research identifies the predominant ethical issues facing Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) research. Carried out by Kevin Molloy in the Department of Bioethics, the findings from this study reveal that judgement on this controversial issue should not be influenced in any way by political or economic gain, but should be influenced by good science, philosophical consideration and sound ethics.


-  Prenatal diagnosis cuts almost half the number of emergency Caesarean sections

A cohort of 211,163 expectant mothers in three centres from 1995 – 2004 were analysed for perinatal death attributed to congenital malformation. Two comparative groups were created, comprising diagnosed and undiagnosed anomalies. The results showed that perinatal death attributable to congenital malformation occured in 692 pregnancies during the study period. The proportion in whom an anomaly was diagnosed prenatally was 62.1%. Perinatal death occurred in 37.4% of cases. In the group that died in the neonatal period, the emergency CS rate was significantly lower where anomaly was detected versus undetected. The results showed that an important aspect of prenatal diagnosis is the avoidance of emergency CS in fetal interest in cases where an infant will not survive. Where a diagnosis of congenital anomaly has been made in the prenatal period, the reduction in emergency CS rate by almost half in this study supports a pivotal role for prenatal diagnosis in optimizing maternal care.  


Dr. Ruth Barrington from the Health Research Board officially opens the annual RCSI Research Day

Pictured from l to r at RCSI Research Day are Dr. Nadia Ben Larbi, Dr. Eamon Breen, Dr. Joan Ní Gabhann.

Pictured at the poster exhibition are Dr. Anthony Chubb, Dr. Rodrigo Alzamora.

Mr. Gerard Kavanagh Lab. Technician, MCT Dept., Dr. Brendan Power, Post Doctoral Researcher MCT Dept.

Mr. Jasem Merza, Med. Student, Ms. Katrina Heng, Med. Student, Ms. Maura Wickham, Pharm. Student, Mr. Bendan Chia, Med. Student.