Information for Clinicians

About Blood Cancer Network Ireland

Where we began

In 2015, a 5-year €2.3million grant was awarded in a competitive grant process to the BCNI from SFI and the Irish Cancer Society. Additional funding from the Irish Cancer Society was also granted to extend the network with the Mater and Beaumont hospitals as associate members. Industry partners have also supported BCNI by providing funding. There are three primary acivities of BCNI - clincial trials, biobanking and patient registration. 

1 Clinical trials for people with blood cancer. A national early phase (phase 1b) clinical trials network has been established and operates as a single, cohesive national phase I unit under the same governance and common standard operating procedures, covering the whole country. The management system and progression path is designed to ensure that patients in Ireland benefit from potentially beneficial new cancer therapies at an early stage. It is attractive for pharmaceutical companies that are developing new treatments to have a single national contact centre giving access to sites in Dublin, Galway and Cork. The early phase cancer trials network works closely with Cancer Trials Ireland and any non – Cancer Trials Ireland sponsored studies will be mentioned at DSSG and publicized so that patients in any hospital can benefit from referral. For more information on BCNI clinical trials please see the clinical trials section of our website here

2 Biobanking for blood cancers. The initial funding allowed for collection of samples in NUIG/UHG, TCD/St James's and UCC/CUH as well as The Mater and Beaumont hospitals. Now we also collect samples from Limerick and Waterford and hope to continue expanding. Initially, the focus for collecting samples was on newly diagnosed myeloma and AML patients. As Blood Cancer Biobank Ireland (BCBI) expands and attracts further funding, BCBI will expand to collect samples from people with all kinds of blood cancer. For more information on BCBI please see the biobanking section of our website here.

3 Enhanced blood cancer registration. The National Cancer Registry Ireland has been funded as a partner of BCNI and now collects extended data relevant to prognosis, management, therapy and outcome of people with blood cancer in Ireland. Patient reported outcomes measures (PROMs) studies have also been designed to further understand relevant outcomes. For more information on BCNI blood cancer registration please see the blood cancer registry section of our website here.

Where we hope to be in 5 years time

1 A national early phase (phase 1b) clinical trials network. Trials up and running with tight control on management of adverse events supported by a healthy inter-hospital referral network involving every haematologist in the country.

2 Bio-banking for blood cancers. All new blood cancers in all hospitals being collected for a national biobank with funded support for every haematology unit. BCNI will work to seek additional funding for this.

3. Enhanced cancer registration. All blood cancers in all sites undergoing enhanced cancer registration in the NCRI. 

For information on open and upcoming Clinical Trials please see our Clinical Trials page