Precision Oncology Clinical Trials
High-quality, patient-focused cancer research is a priority for Cancer Research @UCC, with the ultimate goal of preventing cancer and individualising cancer therapy. Clinical investigation and clinical trials are coordinated by the HRB-funded UCC Cancer Trials Group and supported by:
Clinical Research Facility UCC (CRF-UCC)
Blood Cancer Network Ireland (BCNI)
Our investigators have expertise in the development of predictive biomarkers of response to anti-cancer therapies, and the design and conduct of precision oncology clinical trials. This approach involves cancer clinicians, pathologists, laboratory-based cancer researchers and data scientists amongst others, working side by side to tailor the right therapy for the right patient in order to maximise anti-cancer efficacy, but while minimising side effects of treatment. This research thus moves innovative research findings from the bench to the bedside through a multidisciplinary team science-based approach. Collection of biospecimens (e.g blood, tissue and stool samples) from patients receiving cancer therapies are used to predict a patient’s response to therapy and inform their treatment plan. Current efforts span molecular targets including EGFR, MYC, HER2, and immuno-oncology.
Immunotherapy has fast become a standard oncology treatment for many cancers. However, there is still a lack of understanding why some cancers respond to these therapies and other cancers do not. Cork University Hospital, in collaboration with Cancer Research @UCC, gives patients receiving immunotherapy, irrespective of the cancer subtype, the option of enrolling onto translational immunotherapy biomarker studies. These translational research projects analyse blood, tumour and stool samples before, during and after immunotherapy to identify biomarkers of response and resistance to treatment. Discovering these markers may aid in selecting patients best suited for immunotherapy and reveal novel therapeutic strategies to overcome innate or acquired resistance mechanisms (Principal Investigator: Dr. Dearbhaile Collins).
Our cancer research centre houses the Cork arm of the BCNI Biobank. Our team took part in the successful BCNI initiated national trial -early phase study of CyBorD-Dara treatment in Myeloma. It has resulted in this treatment moving to first line therapy and trial patients have had long remissions, some patients in Minimal Residual Disease (MRD) negative disease states (3 publications and numerous presentations).
Living Beyond Lymphoma Cancer; views and experiences of patients is a research study that is being conducted as part of the BCNI initiative, exploring the general experiences of lymphoma patients during the survivorship phase with a focus on patient self-management during the pandemic.
Find out more about the Blood Cancer Network of Ireland and Cancer Research @UCC here.