Publications by the National Cancer Control Programme & National Cancer Screening Service

Recent Submissions

  • NRG Oncology/NSABP B-47 menstrual history study: impact of adjuvant chemotherapy with and without trastuzumab.

    Ganz, Patricia A; Cecchini, Reena S; Fehrenbacher, Louis; Geyer, Charles E; Rastogi, Priya; Crown, John P; Thirlwell, Michael P; Ellison, David M; Boileau, Jean-Francois; Flynn, Patrick J; et al. (2021-05-20)
  • Using administrative health data for palliative and end of life care research in Ireland: potential and challenges.

    Kelly, Maria; O'Brien, Katie M; Hannigan, Ailish (2021-05-26)
    Background: This study aims to examine the potential of currently available administrative health and social care data for palliative and end-of-life care (PEoLC) research in Ireland. Objectives include to i) identify data sources for PEoLC research ii) describe the challenges and opportunities of using these and iii) evaluate the impact of recent health system reforms and changes to data protection laws. Methods: The 2017 Health Information and Quality Authority catalogue of health and social care datasets was cross-referenced with a recognised list of diseases with associated palliative care needs. Criteria to assess the datasets included population coverage, data collected, data dictionary and data model availability, and mechanisms for data access. Results: Nine datasets with potential for PEoLC research were identified, including death certificate data, hospital episode data, pharmacy claims data,  one national survey, four disease registries (cancer, cystic fibrosis, motor neurone and interstitial lung disease) and a national renal transplant registry.  The ad hoc development of the health system in Ireland has resulted in i) a fragmented information infrastructure resulting in gaps in data collections particularly in the primary and community care sector where much palliative care is delivered, ii) ill-defined data governance arrangements across service providers, many of whom are not part of the publically funded health service and iii) systemic and temporal issues that affect data quality. Initiatives to improve data collections include introduction of i) patient unique identifiers, ii) health entity identifiers and iii) integration of the Eircode postcodes. Recently enacted general data protection and health research regulations will clarify legal and ethical requirements for data use. Conclusions: Ongoing reform initiatives and recent changes to data privacy laws combined with detailed knowledge of the datasets, appropriate permissions, and good study design will facilitate future use of administrative health and social care data for PEoLC research in Ireland.
  • Enduring psychological impact of childhood cancer on survivors and their families in Ireland: A national qualitative study.

    Barrett, Peter M; Mullen, Louise; McCarthy, Triona; HSE National Cancer Control Programme, Dublin 1, Ireland. 2School of Public Health, Western Gateway Building, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. 3Wellcome Trust/HRB Irish Clinical Academic Training (ICAT) Programme, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. (Wiley, 2020-06-15)
  • Multi-parametric single cell evaluation defines distinct drug responses in healthy hematologic cells that are retained in corresponding malignant cell types.

    Majumder, Muntasir M; Leppä, Aino-Maija; Hellesøy, Monica; Dowling, Paul; Malyutina, Alina; Kopperud, Reidun; Bazou, Despina; Andersson, Emma; Parsons, Alun; Tang, Jing; et al. (2019-08-22)
    Innate drug sensitivity in healthy cells aids identification of lineage specific anti-cancer therapies and reveals off-target effects. To characterize the diversity in drug responses in the major hematopoietic cell types, we simultaneously assessed their sensitivity to 71 small molecules utilizing a multi-parametric flow cytometry assay and mapped their proteomic and basal signaling profiles. Unsupervised hierarchical clustering identified distinct drug responses in healthy cell subsets based on their cellular lineage. Compared to other cell types, CD19+/B and CD56+/NK cells were more sensitive to dexamethasone, venetoclax and midostaurin, while monocytes were more sensitive to trametinib. Venetoclax exhibited dose-dependent cell selectivity that inversely correlated to STAT3 phosphorylation. Lineage specific effect of midostaurin was similarly detected in CD19+/B cells from healthy, acute myeloid leukemia and chronic lymphocytic leukemia samples. Comparison of drug responses in healthy and neoplastic cells showed that healthy cell responses are predictive of the corresponding malignant cell response. Taken together, understanding drug sensitivity in the healthy cell-of-origin provides opportunities to obtain a new level of therapy precision and avoid off-target toxicity.
  • Weekly platinum-based chemotherapy versus 3-weekly platinum-based chemotherapy for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer (ICON8): quality-of-life results of a phase 3, randomised, controlled trial.

    Blagden, Sarah P; Cook, Adrian D; Poole, Christopher; Howells, Lesley; McNeish, Ian A; Dean, Andrew; Kim, Jae-Weon; O'Donnell, Dearbhaile M; Hook, Jane; James, Elizabeth C; et al. (2020-07-01)
    In this open-label, randomised, controlled, phase 3, three-arm, Gynecologic Cancer Intergroup (GCIG) trial done at 117 hospital sites in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, South Korea, and Republic of Ireland, women (aged at least 18 years) with newly diagnosed, histologically confirmed International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics stage IC-IV ovarian cancer and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-2 were randomly assigned (1:1:1) centrally using minimisation to group 1 (intravenous carboplatin area under the curve [AUC]5 or AUC6 and 175 mg/m2 intravenous paclitaxel every 3 weeks), group 2 (carboplatin AUC5 or AUC6 every 3 weeks and 80 mg/m2 paclitaxel weekly), or group 3 (carboplatin AUC2 weekly and 80 mg/m2 paclitaxel weekly). Randomisation was stratified by GCIG group, disease stage, and outcome and timing of surgery. Patients and clinicians were not masked to treatment assignment. Patients underwent immediate or delayed primary surgery according to clinicians' choice. Patients were asked to complete European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer QLQ-C30 and QLQ-OV28 questionnaires at enrolment, before each chemotherapy cycle, then 6-weekly up to 9 months, 3-monthly up to 2 years, and 6-monthly up to 5 years. Quality of life was a prespecified secondary outcome of the ICON8 study. Within the quality-of-life study, the co-primary endpoints were QLQ-C30 global health score at 9 months (cross-sectional analysis) and mean QLQ-C30 global health score from randomisation to 9 months (longitudinal analysis). Data analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis. The trial is registered on, NCT01654146 and ISRCTN Registry, ISRCTN10356387, and is currently in long-term follow up.
  • Change in public awareness of colorectal cancer symptoms following the Be Cancer Alert Campaign in the multi-ethnic population of Malaysia.

    Schliemann, Désirée; Paramasivam, Darishiani; Dahlui, Maznah; Cardwell, Christopher R; Somasundaram, Saunthari; Ibrahim Tamin, Nor Saleha Binti; Donnelly, Conan; Su, Tin Tin; Donnelly, Michael (2020-03-25)
    Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) cases are detected late in Malaysia similar to most Asian countries. The Be Cancer Alert Campaign (BCAC) was a culturally adapted mass media campaign designed to improve CRC awareness and reduce late detection in Malaysia. The evaluation of the BCAC-CRC aimed to assess campaign reach, campaign impact and health service use. Methods: Participants aged ≥40 years (n = 730) from randomly selected households in Selangor State Malaysia, completed interview-based assessments. Campaign reach was assessed in terms of responses to an adapted questionnaire that was used in evaluations in other countries. The impact of the campaign was assessed in terms of awareness, confidence to detect symptoms and self-efficacy to discuss symptoms with a doctor as captured by the Cancer Awareness Measure (CAM). CAM was administered before-and-after campaign implementation and responses by BCAC recognisers (i.e. participants who recognised one or more of the BCAC television, radio or print advertisements when prompted) and non-recognisers (i.e. participants who did not recognise any of the BCAC advertisements) were compared analytically. Logistic regression analysed comparative differences in cancer awareness by socio-demographic characteristics and recognition of the BCAC materials. Results: Over 65% of participants (n = 484) recognised the BCAC-CRC. Campaign-recognisers were significantly more likely to be aware of each CRC symptom at follow-up and were more confident about noticing symptoms (46.9% vs 34.9%, p = 0.018) compared to non-recognisers. There was no difference between groups in terms of self-efficacy to see a doctor about symptoms. Improved symptoms awareness at follow-up was lower for Indians compared to Malays (adjusted odds ratio (OR) 0.53, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 0.34, 0.83, p = 0.005). Health service use data did not indicate an increase in screening activity during or immediately after the campaign months. Conclusion: Overall, the findings of the evaluation indicated that the culturally adapted, evidence-based mass media intervention improved CRC symptom awareness among the Malaysian population; and that impact is more likely when a campaign operates a differentiated approach that matches modes of communication to the ethnic and social diversity in a population.
  • Targeting promiscuous heterodimerization overcomes innate resistance to ERBB2 dimerization inhibitors in breast cancer.

    Kennedy, Sean P; Han, Jeremy Z R; Portman, Neil; Nobis, Max; Hastings, Jordan F; Murphy, Kendelle J; Latham, Sharissa L; Cadell, Antonia L; Miladinovic, Dushan; Marriott, Gabriella R; et al. (2019-03-21)
  • Design-functionality relationships for adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins.

    Ludwig, Anna-Kristin; Michalak, Malwina; Xiao, Qi; Gilles, Ulrich; Medrano, Francisco J; Ma, Hanyue; FitzGerald, Forrest G; Hasley, William D; Melendez-Davila, Adriel; Liu, Matthew; et al. (2019-02-04)
    Glycan-lectin recognition is assumed to elicit its broad range of (patho)physiological functions via a combination of specific contact formation with generation of complexes of distinct signal-triggering topology on biomembranes. Faced with the challenge to understand why evolution has led to three particular modes of modular architecture for adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins in vertebrates, here we introduce protein engineering to enable design switches. The impact of changes is measured in assays on cell growth and on bridging fully synthetic nanovesicles (glycodendrimersomes) with a chemically programmable surface. Using the example of homodimeric galectin-1 and monomeric galectin-3, the mutual design conversion caused qualitative differences, i.e., from bridging effector to antagonist/from antagonist to growth inhibitor and vice versa. In addition to attaining proof-of-principle evidence for the hypothesis that chimera-type galectin-3 design makes functional antagonism possible, we underscore the value of versatile surface programming with a derivative of the pan-galectin ligand lactose. Aggregation assays with N,N'-diacetyllactosamine establishing a parasite-like surface signature revealed marked selectivity among the family of galectins and bridging potency of homodimers. These findings provide fundamental insights into design-functionality relationships of galectins. Moreover, our strategy generates the tools to identify biofunctional lattice formation on biomembranes and galectin-reagents with therapeutic potential.
  • Circulating microRNAs miR-331 and miR-195 differentiate local luminal a from metastatic breast cancer.

    McAnena, Peter; Tanriverdi, Kahraman; Curran, Catherine; Gilligan, K; Freedman, Jane E; Brown, James A L; Kerin, Michael J (2019-05-10)
  • International Cancer Microbiome Consortium consensus statement on the role of the human microbiome in carcinogenesis.

    Scott, Alasdair J; Alexander, James L; Merrifield, Claire A; Cunningham, David; Jobin, Christian; Brown, Robert; Alverdy, John; O'Keefe, Stephen J; Gaskins, H Rex; Teare, Julian; et al. (2019-05-15)
  • Cervical screening in cases of cervical cancer in Ireland between 2008 - 2018: RCOG Independent Expert Panel Review

    Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) (Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), 2019-11)
  • National Screening Service key performance indicator metadata 2019

    National Screening Service; Health Service Executive (HSE) (Health Service Executive (HSE), 2019-09)
  • National Prostate Cancer GP Referral Guideline

    National Cancer Control Programme (Health Service Executive, 2018-10)
  • Sexual wellbeing after breast or pelvic cancer treatment: a guide for women

    National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP); Health Service Executive (Health Service Executive (HSE), 2018-01)
  • Information for men on sexual wellbeing after pelvic cancer treatment: what you should know

    National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP); Health Service Executive (Health Service Executive (HSE), 2016-11)
  • Breast cancer subtype discordance: impact on post-recurrence survival and potential treatment options

    McAnena, Peter F; Brown, James A; Ramli, A.; Curran, C.; Malone, C.; McLaughlin, R.; Barry, K.; JAL, Brown; Kerin, M. J (2018-02-20)
    Abstract Background Recent studies have shown that breast cancer subtype can change from the primary tumour to the recurrence. Discordance between primary and recurrent breast cancer has implications for further treatment and ultimately prognosis. The aim of the study was to determine the rate of change between primary and recurrence of breast cancer and to assess the impact of these changes on survival and potential treatment options. Methods Patient demographics were collected on those who underwent surgery for breast cancer between 2001 and 2014 and had a recurrence with biopsy results and pathology scoring of both the primary and recurrence. Results One hundred thirty two consecutive patients were included. There were 31 (23.5%) changes in subtype. Discordance occurred most frequently in luminal A breast cancer (n = 20), followed by triple negative (n = 4), luminal B (n = 3) and HER2 (n = 3). Patients who changed from luminal A to triple negative (n = 18) had a significantly worse post-recurrence survival (p < 0.05) with overall survival approaching significance (p = 0.064) compared to concordant luminal A cases (n = 46). Overall receptor discordance rates were: estrogen receptor 20.4% (n = 27), progesterone receptor 37.7% (n = 50) and HER2 3% (n = 4). Loss of estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor was more common than gain (21 vs. 6 (p = 0.04) and 44 vs. 6 (p = 0.01) respectively). Nine patients (6.8%) gained receptor status potentially impacting treatment options. Conclusion Discordance in subtype and receptor status occurs between primary and recurrent breast cancer, ultimately affecting survival and potentially impacting treatment options.

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