New cancer research clinic set up at Tallaght University Hospital

Gary Ibbotson 19 May 2023
Dr M Raheel Khan (Research Registrar) and Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Oncology, Patrice Sheehan

A new Cancer Research Clinic, the first and only one of its kind in Ireland has been established at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH).

The new Testicular Survivorship Clinic is conducting research to try and discover new treatments for patients, who have had the disease.

Those centrally involved in this important new clinic at TUH include; Dr M Raheel Khan (Research Registrar) Prof Ray Mc Dermott (Medical Oncologist) and Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Oncology, Patrice Sheehan.

The team started work on the clinic back in September 2022 and saw their first patient in October 2022. To date, they have seen around 75 patients.

So far medical staff involved in this trial at TUH have met with patients to examine them, take blood tests and get them to fill in a targeted questionnaire.

If anything suspicious arises out of this initial screening then further tests, scans and if necessary follow-up treatment can be arranged.

The team behind this new development are hoping this clinic will improve morbidity and mortality for patients with Testicular Cancer.

Medical Oncologists around the country are very keen to replicate this model in other centres.

Testicular Cancer is typically diagnosed in a young male population (15 to 35 years) and has a cure rate of 95%.

So there is a big cohort of patients who are survivors.

Recent studies have shown a very high incidence of second cancers, cardiovascular events and psychological issues, resulting in higher rates of early deaths, suicide, unemployment and disabilities.

To help them and intervene early if these other complications arise, numerous medical studies including this one at TUH are being conducted in the US, UK and Scandinavian countries.

In March 2023, at a stakeholder meeting of Cancer Trial Ireland, it was agreed to establish similar clinics nationwide.

A central registry will be maintained in the Trials Unit of TUH. As a result, the TUH Cancer trials team will collect and maintain data on patients from all over Ireland.

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