Prostate Cancer Consortium

Inter-Institutional Collaboration

This collaboration of scientists and clinicians from UCD, TCD and their affiliated teaching hospitals was established in 2004 with funding from the Irish Cancer Society.  The group has secured additional funding from Science Foundation Ireland, British Urological Foundation and the Health Research Board, has delivered significant research outputs and has positioned Irish scientists at the forefront of a major international research collaboration.

The Prostate Cancer Research Consortium (PCRC) is a co-ordinated group of researchers and clinicians whose aim is to improve the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer. The group has built a bioresource of tissue, serum/plasma, urine and DNA from 600 patients which fuels a series of ongoing discovery and validation research programme.

The Consortium's achievements include:

  • The establishment of a prostate cancer biobank, the first biobank in Ireland to be approved and licensed by the Data Protection Commissioners. Over 550 patients have been recruited to the biobank in the last five years. 
  • The publication of over 30 articles in international peer-review journals.
  • Researchers in the Consortium have received 19 awards and have made a number of significant discoveries.  For example, PCRC researchers have identified a new panel of biomarkers which could be used to help diagnose the prostate earlier.  
  • The PCRC has been involved in the training of 33 young dedicated prostate cancer researchers and doctors.
  • The development and fostering of key international collaborations with prostate cancer groups in Europe, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Co-led by Professor Bill Watson, the consortium now includes:

  • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital
  • St James’s Hospital, Beaumont Hospital
  • Adelaide & Meath incorporating the National Children’s Hospital
  • UCD Conway Institute 
  • Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin
  • Education and Research Centre, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
  • National Centre for Sensor Research, Dublin City UniversityThis research programme aims to :-

The Consortium's research focus has focused on:

  1. Establishing a prostate cancer tumour bank to support ongoing research and evaluate patient attitudes to tumour banking
  2. Applying genomic and proteomic technologies to identify novel biomarkers allowing the early detection and prognosis of prostate cancer cases
  3. Correlating these molecular characterisations with disease progression phenotypes
  4. Evaluating novel therapies in pre-clinical & potentially Phase I/II studies