Unwanted weight loss in oesophageal cancer to benefit from research funding by Irish Cancer Society

Unintentional weight loss in oesophageal cancer is one of the research areas to benefit from a new scholarship grant by the Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society has announced funding for two new major cancer research scholarships, all made possible through the public’s generous support.

Researchers Dr Conor Murphy and John Daly have been awarded grants for their projects which will look at ways to treat cancer and survive and thrive after diagnosis.

Based between UCD and St James’s Hospital, Dublin, Conor’s research will pioneer a personalised approach to dealing with the harsh effects of treatment which an oesophageal cancer patient can go through. Each year in Ireland almost 400 people are diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus (gullet).  Approximately 1,000 people in Ireland are currently living with, or have survived, this cancer.

For many oesophageal cancer patients, their treatment will involve the removal of all or part of their oesophagus. Such surgery can have a huge impact on a survivor’s quality of life long after the cancer has gone. In particular, digestive problems can lead to unwanted weight loss.

Conor plans to set up a research clinic in St James’s to aid people living with and beyond oesophageal cancer. He anticipates that the clinic will have important benefits for those involved, both physically and emotionally, and can establish a structure for survivorship care that in future can be applied to care post-treatment for a range of cancers where similar problems can arise.

Based in NUI Galway, John’s research will search for a new, better way to treat multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer. Each year in Ireland approximately 250 people are diagnosed with multiple myeloma and 170 people die from the disease. 

Conor studied medicine in NUI Galway before moving to Dublin, spending one year as a medical intern in St. Vincent’s University Hospital, followed by a year as a Surgical SHO in St James’s Hospital.

John and Conor were awarded their research grants from the Irish Cancer Society after a competitive and thorough application process, with proposals strenuously vetted and reviewed by an international, external panel of research professionals to ensure the very best research gets funded.

The Irish Cancer Society will continue to monitor Conor and John’s progress throughout their four-year research projects, ensuring their research is carried out to world-class standards.

Commenting on the scholarships announcement, Dr Robert O’Connor, Head of Research at the Irish Cancer Society, said:

“Fostering the development of strong Irish cancer research careers in key to ensuring that Ireland continues to play an ever more important part in efforts to overcome cancer. We want the donations we receive from the public to go towards world-class cancer research, and so have developed a stringent three-tier review process that research applicants must get through before receiving funding for their work. To apply you must be a cancer expert. To be awarded you must stand out in this very competitive field. 

“I would like to congratulate John and Conor for their outstanding research proposals, and wish them well for their scholarships. In truth, we received a number of excellent applications. Our review panel commented on the exceptional calibre of several of the top applications that made it to the final selection round. With the public continuing to support us with their generous donations, I hope the Irish Cancer Society will be in a position to work with these talented researchers as we continue the race to stop cancer.”

Read more – Irish Cancer Society