• Abnormal hCG levels in a patient with treated stage I seminoma: a diagnostic dilemma.

      Aherne, Noel J; Small, Cormac A; McVey, Gerard P; Fitzpatrick, David G; Armstrong, John G; Department of Radiation Oncology, St, Luke's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. noelaherne@eircom.net (BioMed Central, 2008)
      BACKGROUND: We report the case of a patient with treated Stage Ia seminoma who was found to have an elevated beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) on routine follow - up. This instigated restaging and could have lead to commencement of chemotherapy. CASE PRESENTATION: The patient was a bodybuilder, and following a negative metastatic work - up, admitted to injecting exogenous beta hCG. This was done to reduce withdrawal symptoms from androgen abuse. The patient remains well eight years post diagnosis. CONCLUSION: This case highlights the need for surgical oncologists to conduct vigilant screening of young male patients with a history of testicular germ cell tumours and who may indulge in steroid abuse.
    • Active surveillance for low-risk prostate cancer: diversity of practice across Europe.

      Azmi, A; Dillon, R A; Borghesi, S; Dunne, M; Power, R E; Marignol, L; O'Neill, B D P; St. Luke's Radiation Oncology Centre, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, aini.azmi@slh.ie. (2014-03-21)
      Active surveillance (AS) is a recognised treatment option for low-risk prostate cancer (PCa).
    • ADAM-17: a novel therapeutic target for triple negative breast cancer.

      McGowan, P M; Mullooly, M; Caiazza, F; Sukor, S; Madden, S F; Maguire, A A; Pierce, A; McDermott, E W; Crown, J; O'Donovan, N; et al. (2013-02)
      Validated targeted therapy is currently unavailable for patients with invasive breast cancer negative for oestrogen receptors, progesterone receptors and HER2 [i.e., those with triple-negative (TN) disease]. ADAM-17 is a protease involved in the activations of several ligands that bind to and promotes intracellular signalling from the EGFR/HER family of receptors.
    • Addressing the practicalities of PET-CT fusion in a remote PET centre for the purpose of a PET-CT lung radiotherapy clinical trial. [ICORG 06-35]

      Keaveney, M.; McCloy, R.; O'Shea, E.; O'Neill, L.; Lucey, J.; Rangaswamy, G.; Thirion, P.; St Luke's Radiation Oncology Network (2010-03)
      Oral presentation - 10th Annual All-Ireland Radiation Therapists Study Day, March 2010.
    • Alpha-interferon does not increase the efficacy of 5-fluorouracil in advanced colorectal cancer.

      Thirion, P; Piedbois, P; Buyse, M; O'Dwyer, P J; Cunningham, D; Man, A; Greco, F A; Colucci, G; Köhne, C H; Di Constanzo, F; et al. (2001-03-02)
      Two meta-analyses were conducted to quantify the benefit of combining alpha-IFN to 5FU in advanced colorectal cancer in terms of tumour response and survival. Analyses were based on a total of 3254 individual patient data provided by principal investigators of each trial. The meta-analysis of 5FU +/- LV vs. 5FU +/- LV + alpha-IFN combined 12 trials and 1766 patients. The meta-analysis failed to show any statistically significant difference between the two treatment groups in terms of tumour response or survival. Overall tumour response rates were 25% for patients receiving no alpha-IFN vs. 24% for patients receiving alpha-IFN (relative risk, RR = 1.02), and median survivals were 11.4 months for patients receiving no alpha-IFN vs. 11.5 months for patients receiving alpha-IFN (hazard ratio, HR = 0.95). The meta-analysis of 5FU + LV vs. 5FU + alpha-IFN combined 7 trials, and 1488 patients. This meta-analysis showed an advantage for 5FU + LV over 5FU + alpha-IFN which was statistically significant in terms of tumour response (23% vs. 18%; RR = 1.26;P = 0.042), and of a borderline significance for overall survival (HR = 1.11;P = 0.066). Metastases confined to the liver and primary rectal tumours were independent favourable prognostic factors for tumour response, whereas good performance status, metastases confined to the liver or confined to the lung, and primary tumour in the rectum were independent favourable prognostic factors for survival. We conclude that alpha-IFN does not increase the efficacy of 5FU or of 5FU + LV, and that 5FU + alpha-IFN is significantly inferior to 5FU + LV, for patients with advanced colorectal cancer.
    • Attitudes and experiences towards setting up a bibliotherapy service for the bereavement support service (EAHIL Conference)

      Callinan, Joanne. (2011)
      Oral presentation at Best Posters Session at EAHIL Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 2011.
    • Being “Mindful” of Dignity in Dying: Developing Awareness, Fostering a Psychological Understanding, and Supporting Dignified Endings-To-Life

      Hession, Natalie; Elmer, Nicola; O'Kane, Aifric; Cotter, Pádraig; Psycho-Oncology Department, St. Luke's Radiation Oncology Network (IJEPP, 2019)
      Experiencing a sense of dignity when nearing end-of-life has been shown to be very important. There are many things that hospice and palliative nurses can do to support dignified endings-to-life. This paper explores the different aspects of this process from both the perspective of the person dying and in particular the individual in the caring role. Consideration is given to the different components of experiencing dignity in dying, especially those aspects that nursing staff can influence most. The importance of a sense of dignity to people who are dying is explored using two psychological models that provide an intrapersonal and transpersonal perspective. These include the Abandonment of Self Model and the Surface-Depth Model respectively. The types of obstacles to nursing staff providing this type of care and support are reflected upon, with particular emphasis placed on the practitioner’s own personal fears and anxieties and how these may manifest within the patient-nurse relationship. The final section explores the use of mindfulness practises as a way of interacting more fully with people diagnosed with terminal illnesses to support their experience of a dignified ending-to-life. This process is termed “mindful engagement”.
    • Cell death pathways in directly irradiated cells and cells exposed to medium from irradiated cells.

      Jella, Kishore Kumar; Garcia, Amaya; McClean, Brendan; Byrne, Hugh J; Lyng, Fiona M; Radiation and Environmental Science Centre, Focas Research Institute, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin. (2013-03)
      The aim of this study was to compare levels of apoptosis, necrosis, mitotic cell death and senescence after treatment with both direct radiation and irradiated cell conditioned medium.
    • Challenges in the Management of Pediatric Central Venous Access Devices in the Community.

      Wallace, Elaine; Twomey, Marie; O'Reilly, Maeve; Department of Palliative Medicine, Our Lady's Hospital for Sick Children , Crumlin, Dublin , Ireland. (2012-05-25)
      Central venous access devices (CVADs) play an essential role in the care of critically ill children. Significant challenges exist for teams in managing CVADs particularly in a community setting. The authors aimed to assess the experience of general practitioners (GPs) caring for children with CVADs. From 200 CVADs inserted in a pediatric hospital in 2009, 50 patients were randomly selected and 44 GPs were forwarded a questionnaire. Twenty (46%) GPs responded. The main reasons (n = 22) for using CVADs were medication administration (n = 11), nutrition (n = 6), and blood sampling (n = 5). Thirteen (65%) GPs had no education in CVAD management and 14 (70%) were unaware of existing guidelines. Those identified by GPs as having primary responsibility for care of CVADs in the community included hospital/pediatric teams (n = 9), parents (n = 3), GPs (n = 2), public health nurses (n = 1), and palliative care ("home care") teams (n = 1). The main challenges (n = 15) identified by GPs were lack of education (n = 4), line management difficulties (n = 3), infection risk (n = 3), infrequent exposure to CVADs (n = 3), and poor communication (n = 1). GPs felt that these challenges could be addressed through: education (n = 8), increased manpower and community support (n = 1), and improved communication (n = 1). This study highlights the inconsistency and challenges for GPs surrounding CVAD use in children. Further education and support is necessary to assist GPs in their use particularly when providing end-of-life care for children in the community.
    • Chromosomal radiosensitivity in breast cancer patients with a known or putative genetic predisposition.

      Baeyens, A; Thierens, H; Claes, K; Poppe, B; Messiaen, L; De Ridder, L; Vral, A (London, Lewis, 2002-12-02)
      The chromosomal radiosensitivity of breast cancer patients with a known or putative genetic predisposition was investigated and compared to a group of healthy women. The chromosomal radiosensitivity was assessed with the G2 and the G0-micronucleus assay. For the G2 assay lymphocytes were irradiated in vitro with a dose of 0.4 Gy (60)Co gamma-rays after 71 h incubation, and chromatid breaks were scored in 50 metaphases. For the micronucleus assay lymphocytes were exposed in vitro to 3.5 Gy (60)Co gamma-rays at a high dose rate or low dose rate. 70 h post-irradiation cultures were arrested and micronuclei were scored in 1000 binucleate cells. The results demonstrated that the group of breast cancer patients with a known or putative genetic predisposition was on the average more radiosensitive than a population of healthy women, and this with the G2 as well as with the high dose rate and low dose rate micronucleus assay. With the G2 assay 43% of the patients were found to be radiosensitive. A higher proportion of the patients were radiosensitive with the micronucleus assay (45% with high dose rate and 61% with low dose rate). No correlation was found between the G2 and the G0-micronucleus chromosomal radiosensitivity. Out of the different subgroups considered, the group of the young breast cancer patients without family history showed the highest percentage of radiosensitive cases in the G2 (50%) as well as in the micronucleus assay (75-78%).
    • A clinical review of treatment outcomes in glioblastoma multiforme - the validation in a non-trial population of the results of a randomised Phase III clinical trial: has a more radical approach improved survival?

      Rock, K; McArdle, O; Forde, P; Dunne, M; Fitzpatrick, D; O'Neill, B; Faul, C; St. Luke's Radiation Oncology Network, Dublin, Ireland, and Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-01-03)
      Objective: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) accounts for up to 60% of all malignant primary brain tumours in adults, occurring in 2-3 cases per 100 000 in Europe and North America. In 2005, a Phase III clinical trial demonstrated a significant improvement in survival over 2, and subsequently, 5 years with the addition of concurrent and adjuvant temozolomide (TMZ) to radical radiotherapy (RT) (Stupp R, Hegi M, van den Bent M, et al. Effects of radiotherapy with concomitant and adjuvant temozolomide versus radiotherapy alone on survival in glioblastoma in a randomised phase III study: 5-year analysis of the EORTC-NCIC trial. Lancet Oncol 2009:10:459-66). The aim of this study was to investigate if the demonstrated improved survival in the literature translated to clinical practice.Methods: This was a retrospective study including all patients with histologically proven GBM diagnosed from 1999 to 2008 and treated with adjuvant RT at our institution. A total of 273 patients were identified. Statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS v18.Results: The median survival for the whole group (n = 273) over the 10-year period was 7.6 months (95% confidence interval 6.7-8.4 months). Overall, the cumulative probability of survival at 1 and 2 years was 31.5 and 9.4%, respectively. In total, 146 patients received radical RT. 103 patients were treated with radical RT and TMZ and 43 patients received radical RT alone. The median survival for patients receiving radical RT with TMZ was 13.4 months (95% CI 10.9-15.8 months) vs 8.8 months for radical RT alone (95% CI 6.9 - 10.7 months, p = 0.006). 2-year survival figures were 21.2 vs 4.7%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, independent predictors of survival included KPS, RT dose, TMZ and extent of surgery. The strongest predictors of poorer outcome based on the hazard ratio were palliative RT, followed by not receiving TMZ chemotherapy, then KPS <90 and a biopsy only surgical approach.Conclusion: This paper demonstrates improved survival outcomes consistent with those published in the literature for the addition of concurrent and adjuvant TMZ to radical RT for the treatment of GBM. Although 63% of patients seen in the clinic were suitable for a combined modality approach, the prognosis for the lower Radiation Therapy Oncology Group classes still remains poor.
    • Clinical supervision in oncology: A narrative review.

      Hession, Natalie; Habenicht, Andrea (2020-05-26)
      The aim of this narrative literature review is to (a) review all empirical studies of clinical supervision (CS) in oncology and to (b) highlight some CS practice issues distinctive to cancer care. This review identified empirical studies related to qualified professionals and published in English since 1995 that connected to CS and oncology. A total of 15 studies were identified with the majority as small scale, exploratory and qualitative. Psychologists were predominantly utilised as facilitators of the CS with varied sample sizes ranging from 5-230 participants. The studies were grouped into three main categories; the impact of supervision on staff, impact of supervision on professional care/development and impact of supervision in existential exploration. This review highlighted the positive impact of CS while demonstrating the need for more methodologically sound programmes of research into CS in cancer settings so detailed models of effective supervision can develop and thereby inform practice.
    • A comparison of multimodal therapy and surgery for esophageal adenocarcinoma.

      Walsh, T N; Noonan, N; Hollywood, D; Kelly, A; Keeling, N; Hennessy, T P (1996-08-15)
      Uncontrolled studies suggest that a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy improves the survival of patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma. We conducted a prospective, randomized trial comparing surgery alone with combined chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.
    • Development of a label-free LC-MS/MS strategy to approach the identification of candidate protein biomarkers of disease recurrence in prostate cancer patients in a clinical trial of combined hormone and radiation therapy.

      Morrissey, Brian; O'Shea, Carmel; Armstrong, John; Rooney, Cathy; Staunton, Lisa; Sheehan, Martina; Shannon, Aoife M; Pennington, Stephen R; Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland. (2013-06)
      Combined hormone and radiation therapy (CHRT) is one of the principle curative regimes for localised prostate cancer (PCa). Following treatment, many patients subsequently experience disease recurrence however; current diagnostics tests fail to predict the onset of disease recurrence. Biomarkers that address this issue would be of significant advantage.
    • DNA mismatch repair protein MSH2 dictates cellular survival in response to low dose radiation in endometrial carcinoma cells.

      Martin, Lynn M; Marples, Brian; Davies, Anthony M; Atzberger, Ann; Edwards, Connla; Lynch, Thomas H; Hollywood, Donal; Marignol, Laure; Radiation and Urologic Oncology, Prostate Molecular Oncology Research Group, Academic Unit of Clinical and Molecular Oncology, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 8, Ireland. (Elsevier Ireland Ltd, 2013-07-10)
      DNA repair and G2-phase cell cycle checkpoint responses are involved in the manifestation of hyper-radiosensitivity (HRS). The low-dose radioresponse of MSH2 isogenic endometrial carcinoma cell lines was examined. Defects in cell cycle checkpoint activation and the DNA damage response in irradiated cells (0.2 Gy) were evaluated. HRS was expressed solely in MSH2+ cells and was associated with efficient activation of the early G2-phase cell cycle checkpoint. Maintenance of the arrest was associated with persistent MRE11, γH2AX, RAD51 foci at 2 h after irradiation. Persistent MRE11 and RAD51 foci were also evident 24 h after 0.2 Gy. MSH2 significantly enhances cell radiosensitivity to low dose IR.
    • Duration of short-course androgen suppression therapy and the risk of death as a result of prostate cancer.

      D'Amico, Anthony V; Chen, Ming-Hui; Crook, Juanita; Armstrong, John G; Malone, Shawn; Steigler, Allison; Dunne, Mary; Kantoff, Philip W; Denham, James W; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA. adamico@partners.org (2011-12-10)
      We evaluated whether the duration of androgen suppression therapy (AST) had an impact on the risk of prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) in men with unfavorable-risk prostate cancer (PC) within established Gleason score (GS) categories.
    • The effect of short term neo-adjuvant androgen deprivation on erectile function in patients treated with external beam radiotherapy for localised prostate cancer: an analysis of the 4- versus 8-month randomised trial (Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group 97-01).

      Daly, Patricia E; Dunne, Mary T; O'Shea, Carmel M; Finn, Marie A; Armstrong, John G; Department of Radiation Oncology, St. Luke's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. trish_daly@eircom.net (Elsevier, 2012-07)
      Erectile dysfunction is a common consequence of external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) for prostate cancer. The addition of neo-adjuvant androgen deprivation (NAD) has an indeterminate additive effect. We examined the long-term effect on erectile function (EF) of two durations (4 months: arm 1 and 8 months: arm 2) of NAD prior to radiation (RT) for patients with localised prostate cancer from the Irish Clinical Oncology Research Group (ICORG 97-01) 4- versus 8-month trial. In this study we aimed to (1) analyse the overall effect on EF of NAD in an EBRT population, (2) compare the probability of retained EF over time in an EBRT population treated with either 4 or 8 months of NAD and (3) identify any variables such as risk group and age which may have an additive detrimental effect. This analysis provides unique long term follow up data.
    • Endobronchial cryotherapy facilitates end-stage treatment options in patients with bronchial stenosis: A case series.

      Fitzmaurice, Gerard J; Redmond, Karen C; Fitzpatrick, David A; Bartosik, Waldemar; Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin 7, Ireland. (2014-04)
      In keeping with international trends, lung cancer incidence and mortality are increasing among the Irish population with many patients presenting with advanced disease that excludes the potential for curative management. Consequently palliative treatment options for this patient group are being increasingly explored with various degrees of success. Endobronchial stenosis represents a particularly challenging area of management among these patients and a number of techniques have been described without the identification of a single gold standard. We report our experience of the first time use of endobronchial cryotherapy in Ireland with reference to a case series, including an example of its use in the management of benign disease, in order to support patients with borderline lung function and enable definitive palliative treatment.
    • Escalated dose for non-small cell lung cancer with accelerated hypofractionated three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. [ICORG 99-09]

      Thirion, P.; Brennan, S.; Fitzpatrick, D.; Armstrong, J.; Dunne, M.; O'Shea, C.; McElroy, A.; St. Luke's Radiation Oncology Network (2009-09)
      Radiother Oncol 2009;S48 (Oral presentation, Abstr, 10th Biennial ESTRO Conference, Maastricht, Sept. 2009)
    • A European survey relating to cancer therapy and neutropenic infections: Nurse and patient viewpoints.

      Leonard, Kay; Saint Luke's Radiation Oncology Centre, St James's Hospital, St James's Street, Dublin 8, Ireland. (2011-09-25)
      PURPOSE: Severe neutropenia and febrile neutropenia (FN) are the major causes of morbidity, treatment interruptions and dose reductions in patients undergoing chemotherapy. The European Oncology Nursing Society (EONS) conducted an European survey to evaluate nurse perspectives on prevention of infection and FN in this setting, and how much they educate their patients about this. A separate survey explored these issues in patients receiving chemotherapy. METHODS: 217 nurse participants were identified by EONS from the membership database and 473 cancer patients who were receiving/had received chemotherapy were identified through patient advocacy groups. Questionnaires were completed anonymously online for both surveys. RESULTS: More than 90% of the nurses agreed that preventing infections including FN is extremely/very important for a successful chemotherapy outcome and said that they, or other health professionals in their practice, advised patients about these issues. Most (90%) indicated that they favoured giving treatment to protect against FN and infections in chemotherapy patients at risk, rather than treating infection after it develops, but 82% expressed concern over patient concordance with measures employed. A substantial proportion of patients reported emergency room visits, hospitalization and/or chemotherapy delays or changes as a result of neutropenia, infection or FN. However, only 44% said that their infection risk was discussed with them before starting chemotherapy. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that nurses recognise the importance of reducing the risk of infection and FN in patients undergoing chemotherapy, as well as the need to educate patients. However, results of the patient survey suggest a need for better patient education.