Anthony Foley with Maureen O’Grady, Dr Linda Coate and Breda Fallon
A CANCER patient has said taking part in a clinical trial at University Hospital Limerick was “a last option for me but one which has allowed me to see my children grow up when there was a time I was being told that would never happen”.
The patient spoke to highlight International Clinical Trials Day, which took place on Friday, and to encourage patients to sign up for suitable trials.
Supporting the campaign is Munster head coach Anthony Foley, who is a member of the board at the Mid-Western Cancer Foundation.
He said was “delighted” to support the cause.
“It is heartening to see that patients and staff at the cancer centre in UHL are taking part in the fight against cancer in this region and around the world. It is part of an international effort to understand and treat cancer, to increase survival rates and quality of life.
“All cancer drugs start out as experimental and the benefits of clinical trials are obvious in exposing patients to drugs that are otherwise unavailable,” he enthused.
The patient, Marie, who is a mother-of-two, was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010.
Maureen O'Grady, Clinical Nurse Manager, Clinical Trials Unit, Cancer Services, UHL said that new and effective approaches “cannot be developed without cancer trials.
“All cancer treatments used today were once tested through a cancer trial. Cancer trials allow access to new drugs and treatments and help us increase our knowledge on the best way to deliver these treatments. By taking part in a cancer trial patients help to test new ways to detect and treat cancer,” she added.
Dr Linda Coate, Consultant Medical Oncologist and Director of the Clinical Trials Unit, Cancer Services, said: “Currently in Cancer Services, UHL, we have 290 patients under our care participating in 35 trials.
“We act as an Irish referral site for a number of exciting therapeutic trials.”