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HSE NCCP and AICRI host EU Cancer Mission Day – Ireland

Friday, 13 October, 2023

Sharing insights and experiences of cancer and exploring innovative approaches to cancer challenges

The HSE (opens in a new window)National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and the (opens in a new window)All-Island Cancer Research Institute (AICRI) explored innovative approaches, knowledge and experience of cancer as part of the EU Cancer Mission Day – Ireland which took on Tuesday, 26 September 2023.

Following the keynote address by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, TD, Prof. Amanda McCann co-chaired a panel discussion on ‘The Lived Experience at the Heart of National and European Cancer Initiatives’ with Aidan McCormack, patient advocate and Chair of the NI CRCF. Panelists included Alan Pearson, Yvonne O'Meara, Jacqueline Daly & Roberta Horgan.

The discussion focused on how patients and their carers can advance cancer research and care within the island of Ireland and across Europe. There were insights from panelists on their experience of getting involved in European cancer networks and funded research project. The key themes reiterated by the panel members were around using plain language and working in partnership with communities.

EU Cancer Mission Day – Ireland aims to set the foundations for the creation of a future European Network of National Cancer Mission Hubs (NCMHs). Its ambition is to be a strong and cohesive network, aligned with the Cancer Mission and (opens in a new window)Europe's Beating Cancer Plan. It is a collaboration between the NCCP and AICRI through the (opens in a new window)ECHoS project, a three year European consortium supported by EU Mission on Cancer.

On this EU Cancer Mission Day at a hybrid event, academic researchers, clinician scientists and other healthcare professionals, charity partners and policymakers, as well as those with a lived experience of cancer, shared their insights, knowledge and experiences to explore innovative approaches to address cancer challenges.

Discussing the importance of the day for Ireland and all European citizens, Stephen Donnelly, Minister for Health, said:  “Cancer is a burden for patients but also for their families and caregivers, having wide-reaching societal implications.

“The establishment of a National Cancer Mission Hub in Ireland is in line with our (opens in a new window)Cancer Strategy 2017-26, which emphasises the importance of ensuring that cancer patients in Ireland receive care at the highest standard, and this EU Cancer Mission Day is a step forward in involving our patients in their own cancer care and further developing the role of research to improve our cancer services. As Minister of Health, I am delighted to support and welcome these initiatives.”

Professor Risteárd Ó Laoide, National Director of the HSE National Cancer Control Programme and National co-ordinator of the ECHoS project in Ireland, outlined: “EU Cancer Mission Day will serve as our platform for the exchange of ideas, working together to explore innovative solutions to the challenges we all face in beating cancer. We have an opportunity to make a difference to the lives of citizens, patients, carers, their families and all the professions involved in cancer care.  We have an opportunity to shape the future.”

Professor Donal Brennan, Professor of Gynaecological Oncology in University College Dublin and National Clinical Lead for Cancer Research in the NCCP, said: “The development of a National Cancer Mission Hub offers an opportunity to all stakeholders in cancer research - patients, advocates, charities, scientists and health care professionals to collaborate and work towards a common cancer goal. Working together, we can produce top quality research that can be translated into meaningful clinical improvements for Irish cancer patients and break down silos and barriers that may have hindered progress historically.”

Professor William Gallagher, Professor of Cancer Biology at University College Dublin and Co-Lead of AICRI, said: “Today is an exciting day for cancer research and care in Ireland as we discuss Ireland’s participation in EU Cancer Mission projects and explore how we can all benefit from Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan. EU funding can really help to advance translational and clinical research in Ireland. This is particularly relevant to the thousands of patients living with cancer in Ireland who will in turn benefit from better diagnostics and cancer treatment.”

Issued by (opens in a new window)HSE Press Office