Research to track progress of prostate patients
THE first research to track the progress of patients with prostate cancer is to get under way, giving new insights into the disease.
The Irish Cancer Society is giving €1.75m over five years to the study, which will monitor, benchmark and report publically every year on the treatment and outcomes for the patients.
Cancer specialist Prof John Fitzpatrick said it would the first time this kind of information on prostate cancer has been gathered by the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Research (IPCOR).
He said the aim was to improve the lives of men who develop the disease and the information would be collected from doctors involved in its treatment.
"The Irish Cancer Society's mission critical, as the National Cancer Charity, is to eliminate cancer. To achieve this, one of our primary goals is to lead excellent, collaborative research in Ireland that will improve the care and survival of patients."
It will be good news for the estimated 2,700 Irish men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer here every year. It claims around 500 lives.
An investigation by the Irish Independent previously revealed the huge divide in the amount of research money being pumped into investigating male and female cancers.
Data showed that the most common male-only form of the disease, prostate cancer, gets just a fraction of the funding that common forms of female cancers receive.
* One of the main funding bodies in the area, the Health Research Board (HRB), has spent just €62 on research per prostate cancer diagnosis over the past six years.
* This compares with €477 spent per ovarian cancer diagnosis, €453 for each new cervical cancer case, and €288 per each instance of breast cancer.
* Testicular cancer research has received no funding from either the Irish Cancer Society in the past two years or the HRB in the past six.
Prof Fitzparick said an annual report will be published "addressing the quality of treatment, care and survival for men diagnosed with prostate cancer, where appropriate data is available".
The society is calling for applications from suitably qualified organisations to submit a proposal by 3pm on Friday, September 6 to establish IPCOR, and successfully manage this grant. Eligible organisations include recognised research institutions and state agencies here. More information is available on www.cancer.ie/research/apply-for-funding.