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Summer Research Fellows 2017

on Monday, 14 August 2017. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Breast Centre North West and DCRA

Summer Research Fellows 2017

research students 2017 LetterkennyThis year we are hosting four summer research fellows to undertake exciting work at Breast Centre North West in collaboration with Donegal Clinical Research Academy. Three of the research fellows are being kindly funded through proceeds from last year’s Breast Ball and from Letterkenny University Hospital’s Medical Education Department. The fourth, Katie Bailey, was the recipient of the Professor William Campbell Inaugural Scholarship. Previous research carried out at the Unit has been published in international and national journals as well as having been presented at international, national and local conferences and symposiums. The research fellows, Adibah Badrin, Jack Lawler, Úna Maguire and Katie Bailey are medical students at National University Ireland (NUI) Galway and University College Dublin (UCD). Included in the photo is Alison Johnston, clinical research nurse at Breast Centre North West. Alison’s position is generously funded through community and industry donations.

Breast cancer outcomes in primary relatives

on Monday, 14 August 2017. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Cancer outcomes in primary relatives

Breast cancer outcomes in primary relatives

Breast Centre North West at Letterkenny University Hospital has recently published the results of original research targeting breast cancer outcomes in primary relatives, that is mothers, sisters and daughters, of those with breast cancer. Alison Johnston, Research Co-ordinator at the Breast Unit -funded by community donations from the North West, was pleased with the publication of the article in Molecular Genetics and Genomic Medicine in May 2017. She said the research identified that 30% of primary relatives in the moderate risk group were not initially enrolled in guideline driven breast screening but were consequently led to an education path and enrolled into mammography screening. This has ensured that women at higher risk of developing breast cancer will be exposed to optimal screening programmes.
Ms Johnston said the current Breast Check programme provides an excellent opportunity for women between the ages of 50 and 64 and is currently being expanded to meet the needs just beyond that age group. Ms Johnston said that other women need a more tailored, personalised approach to breast screening and this is what this project is all about. This project has led to earlier detection in breast cancer in a number of patients on the basis of the work already done.
The Breast Unit at Letterkenny University Hospital is keen to ensure that those of moderate to high risk, between the ages of 40 and 50, in lieu of family history have the opportunity for a family doctor consultation, potential access to mammography and review in lieu of their family history at the Breast Centre or another Breast Unit in Ireland. Ms Johnston identified that early detection of breast cancer offers the best outcome for survival in what is a very positive outlook disease generally.
This work has been funded through very generous donations from the community in the North West and Annual Charity Breast Ball. It follows on from previous work identifying the opportunity to improve breast screening for those at higher risk; previously published from the Unit in Advances in Breast Cancer Research in 2015.
Please click here for link to the paper

Breast Centre North West Booklet Launch

on Wednesday, 24 May 2017. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Read it here

Research booklet dcraBreast Centre North West over the last decade has made significant contributions to clinically based outcomes and patient focused research and education programmes.
All the research is funded through community and industry donations. A booklet outlining the research and educational accomplishments of the Unit over the last 5 years has recently been published.
Click image to open booklet ----->

Professor William Campbell Medical Student Research Scholarship

on Thursday, 16 February 2017. Posted in Donors, Latest News, Medical Research

Prof William C CampbellDonegal Clinical Research Academy is seeking applications for the inaugural Professor William Campbell Summer Medical Student Research Scholarship.
Professor Campbell from Ramelton in Donegal has made a generous donation to DCRA to foster medical research on an annual basis. This inaugural scholarship is now open for application.
The scholarship will take place in Letterkenny University Hospital in Co.Donegal and will be supervised by Mr Michael Sugrue (Surgeon)

If you wish to apply please send a covering letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. along with an up to date Curriculum Vitae. Please note, application closes on February 20th 2017.

The value of the Award will be €250/per week for 8 to 10 weeks

Requirement; Medical Student with a history of medical research ( Preference will be given to students from or living in Donegal)

Successful applicants to be notified February 24th 2017

Team at Breast Centre North West win Research Award

on Thursday, 12 January 2017. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Lenus award winners Dec 2016The team at Breast Centre North West received an award at the recent HSE Open Access Research Awards-2016. Lenus, the Irish Health Repository, and the HSE's Open Access Advisory Group host these awards to encourage and reward open access publishing in the health sector in Ireland. Open access to health information has been proven to increase citation, impact and can lead to the translation of research into better outcomes for patient care. The published research paper, which was winner within the National Cancer Control Programme category, is entitled -Failure to engage in breast screening and risk assessment results in more advanced stage at diagnosis- and is attached below.

Members of the Breast Centre North West team who were recipients of a beautiful piece of commissioned Cavan crystal at the recent HSE Open Access Research Awards. From left: Alison Johnston, Geraldine MacGregor, Vanessa Savva, Nicola Kelly and Clare Duffy.

Failure To Engage In Breast Screening & Risk Assessment.pdf

 

Letterkenny Welcomes Esteemed International Guest Speakers to Annual Symposium.

on Monday, 19 December 2016. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Letterkenny University Hospital’s 6th annual Multidisciplinary Research Symposium was held on Friday 25th November 2016. Three esteemed international guest speakers gave outstanding presentations on cutting edge issues in healthcare.
Firstly Professor Heber MacMahon from University of Chicago-USA, but originally from Co Donegal, relayed the latest advances and diagnostic imaging being used in their hospital in relation to lung cancer detection.
Dr Paul Moran, Consultant Anaesthetist and Trust Lead for Medical Simulation within NHS-UK, conveyed his Trust’s experiences using simulation training labs in relation to human factors and patient safety.
Finally Professor Risal Djohan, Plastic and Breast surgeon and Vice Chairman at Dept Plastic Surgery-Cleveland Clinic USA, gave an insightful presentation on managing expectation in breast cancer surgery: Balancing complexity in cancer treatment and reconstruction.
Letterkenny University Hospital’s active clinical research culture was very evident today with around 50 Medical doctors, Medical students and Allied Professionals participating in the symposium and presenting their research both via oral and poster presentations.

Final year medical student gives honourable lecture at National surgical conference.

on Monday, 17 October 2016. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

MS Michelle Stephanie at Waterford surgical Meeting Oct 16Ms Michelle Choynowski, currently a final year medical student at NUI Galway, has garnered national attention for being the youngest William O’Keeffe lecturer at the XXVIth Waterford Surgical October Meeting earlier this month – an honour typically given to surgical registrars and those undertaking postgraduate training in surgery. Her lecture, titled ‘Re-excision in breast-conserving surgery – a surmountable challenge?’ gave recommendations to reduce re-excision rates and was presented to surgeons travelling from within Ireland, the UK and the USA, including the Gordon Watson lecturer, Dr James O’Connor, who is the Chief of Thoracic and Vascular Surgery & Intensive Care at the second ranked trauma centre in the USA.

Ms Choynowski was invited to give the William O’Keeffe lecture after winning the William O’Keeffe award for best original research at last year’s conference. The prize-winning oral presentation, titled ‘Variability following positive margin breast-conserving surgery: a meta-analysis’, was performed under the supervision of Mr Michael Sugrue, Consultant general and breast surgeon at the Letterkenny University Hospital. Her research, funded by community donations from the North West, confirms the variability in re-excision rates worldwide and the need for international consensus guidelines to better manage patients undergoing breast-conserving surgery and prevent additional operations causing emotional distress, poorer oncological outcomes and further economic implications.


Ms Stephanie Vincent also presented her original research, carried out at Breast Centre North West-Letterkenny University Hospital in conjunction with the Donegal Clinical Research Academy, at this prestigious national meeting. Her study on ‘The Keys to Optimising Breast Wounds: A Meta-analysis’ aims to develop an evidence-based wound care bundle following meta-analysis identifying key risk factors and interventions for breast surgical site occurrences. Adopting a breast wound care bundle may streamline care and help reduce potential complications and cost.

Photo from left to right (Dr Gordon Watson, Ms Michelle Choynowski, Ms Stephanie Vincent and Mr Michael Sugrue) at the XXVIth Waterford Surgical October Meeting.

Ms. Alison Leong Recognised as an Outstanding Academic.

on Friday, 16 September 2016. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Research Student recognised as an outstanding academic at the international level.

Ms. Alison Leong Recognised as an Outstanding Academic.

Alison LeongResearch work carried out at Breast Centre North West by Ms Alison Leong (Research Medical Student) was a Highly Commended Entrant in The Undergraduate Awards of 2016. Her paper, entitled "Variations in Abnormal Nipple Discharge Management in Women- a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis" performed in the top 10% of all submissions in the Medical Sciences category 2016 programme; this identifies her as an outstanding academic at the international level. This year the Awards received 5,514 submissions from students in 243 universities across 40 countries. Alison will now attend the Undergraduate Awards Global Summit, a unique invitation-only event that will gather all the international Highly Commended Entrants and Winners together in Dublin, Ireland for a 3 day event.

undergrad awards

24th Sylvester O’Halloran Scientific Symposium.

on Thursday, 31 March 2016. Posted in Latest News, Medical Research

Research from DCRA Presented at Sylvester O'Halloran Symposium.

Mary Gallagher SylvesterResearch from the Breast Centre North West-Letterkenny University Hospital in conjunction with the Donegal Clinical Research Academy was recently presented at the 24th Sylvester O’Halloran Scientific Symposium. Mary Gallagher, a 4th year medical student, identified significant variation worldwide in the completeness of breast cancer excision at the first index operation the patient undergoes. On average one fifth of ladies having breast cancer surgery around the world have to return for re-excision. Breast Centre North West and Letterkenny University Hospital have achieved consistent results of less than 10% of patients having to undergo second and further surgery. This reduced re-excision rate is a result of teamwork within the Unit, combining a number of novel techniques developed at the Hospital and in conjunction with Radiology and Pathology. It benefits the patients and reduces resource requirements. 

Kin poster presentation Sylvester aMr Kin Ng, Senior Registrar at LUH, identified novel techniques to assist in reducing the amount of breast tissue excised. Mr Michael Sugrue, Consultant Breast and General Surgeon, said that this is very exciting and will allow us to determine patients’ views of outcomes.
Two other 4th year medical students, Alison Leong and Adrinda Affendi, also presented their work at the meeting. Alison’s poster presentation was a meta-analysis of nipple discharge probabilities and diagnostic accuracy of investigations. The variability of breast implant loss from implant-based reconstruction surgery was the topic presented in Adrinda’s poster. All of the 4th year medical students were summer research fellows at the Unit and their posts were funded through local contributions from people in the North West.

4th Annual Multidisciplinary Research Symposium Takes Place.

on Monday, 07 December 2015. Posted in Medical Research, Press Releases

Letterkenny University Hospital’s 4th Annual Multidisciplinary Research Symposium was held on Friday 27th November 2015. It was a hugely successful event showcasing the extensive range and quality of multidisciplinary clinical research being undertaken at the hospital. The judging panel had a tough job adjudicating as the calibre of research presented on the day was of an extremely high quality.

Two invited guest speakers delivered stimulating lectures on their specialist areas.  Dr Sam Huddart, Consultant Anaesthetist NHS Foundation Trust, Redditch UK, gave a stimulating talk on ‘Quality improvement and emergency laparotomy. Dr Petrousjka van den Tol, a Consultant Breast Surgeon from the University Hospital of Amsterdam Holland, shared her work on ‘New developments in Dutch Breast Cancer Surgery’. All the prizewinners (pictured below) were presented with their medals by Dr Sam Huddart and Dr Petrousjka van den Tol. MultidisciplinaryResearchSymposium

 

Pictured: Mary Byrne, NUIG,
receiving her 1st place medal for best medical students’ oral presentation. Mary’s research, centred on the bacterium-Yersinia entercolitica, was entitled ‘Is Yersinia entercolitica as a cause of community-acquired diarrhoea in the west of Ireland underdetected? A comparison of selective culture and molecular detection.

MultidisciplinaryResearchSymposium2

 

 

 

Pictured: Dr Sinead O’Gorman, Consultant in Emergency Department, accepting the 1st place medal for best medical students’ poster presentation on behalf of Eoin Farrell. Eoin’s poster related to the ‘Development of a model to predict bed requirements for patients requiring admission from the Emergency Department’.

MultidisciplinaryResearchSymposium3Pictured: Dr Ashfaque Memon - Reg with Dr Miranda receiving his 1st place medal for best NCHD oral presentation. Dr Memon’s research was on ‘Thromboprophylaxis in patients with atrial fibrillation admitted by the medical team’. Best poster in the NCHD category went to Dr Michael Casey- SHO with Dr Keatings- who carried out an audit on emergency oxygen administration in Letterkenny University Hospital.

MultidisciplinaryResearchSymposium4Pictured: Alison Johnston, Research Nurse at Breast Centre North West, accepting the 1st place medals for best Allied health professionals’ oral and poster presentations. Alison presented the results of a research project carried out at Breast Centre North West, this study looked specifically at evaluating the current assessment and screening of primary relatives of breast cancer patients.

Letterkenny University Hospital’s re-excision rate in conservative breast cancer is one third the national average. A low re-excision rate must be a balance between oncological, functional and cosmetic outcomes. Better Outcomes for Breasts (BOBs Project) is a new exciting, objective patient-outcomes monitoring tool developed at the Breast Unit. The breast nurse specialist Geraldine MacGregor and Alison Johnston, research nurse, were delighted that their poster describing the development of this new outcomes tool in women undergoing breast conserving surgery  was 1st place winner in the Allied health professionals category.

Letterkenny University Hospital wins National Research Prize

on Friday, 23 October 2015. Posted in Medical Research, Press Releases

Good News for The Breast Unit at Letterkenny University Hospital.

The Breast Unit at Letterkenny University Hospital, Breast Centre North West, was recently awarded with the William O’Keeffe prize in surgery at the Waterford Surgical meeting in conjunction with Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland held on the 17th October 2015.


Michelle Choynowski was awarded the William O’Keeffe prize for best original research and October 2015 Michelle JavidJavid Ghomashi was awarded best prize for poster presentation of original research.

Mr Michael Sugrue, Breast Surgeon, was delighted with the outcome; he was particularly pleased as these two summer research students, 3rd and 4th year medical students at NUIG, were in competition against Surgical Registrars and those undertaking thesis and Masters in surgery. Michelle Choynowski’s work looked at variability and re-excision rates nationally and internationally following breast conservative surgery. This research was prompted by the desire to avoid repeat surgery in patients undergoing conservative breast surgery. Mr Michael Sugrue is particularly pleased as Letterkenny University Hospital has one of the lowest re-excision rates in Ireland and has been to the forefront nationally and internationally in providing one stop surgery to avoid re-operation. Currently the hospital’s re-excision rate is under 10% compared to 33% nationally.

Javid winning poster presentation 2015Alison Johnston, Research Co-Ordinator at the unit who is funded by community donations, said that Javid Ghomashi’s work had been pivotal in the new Better Outcomes for Breasts (BOB) Project being undertaken at the hospital. Javid’s work had identified the variability in lymphedema internationally and came up with a range of new measures which have been implemented at Letterkenny University Hospital; all patients now undergoing conservative breast surgery are entered into the BOB Project with careful monitoring of their functional and cosmetic results. Breast Centre North West has received awards over the years but this award is particularly pleasing. Mr Sugrue said that the community funding had allowed research to take place at the unit and this year six summer research fellows contributed to an exciting research programme. Their information and data will be presented at the annual Hospital Research Day on 27th November 2015, the same day as our Breast Ball.

New Break Through Research

on Tuesday, 26 May 2015. Posted in Medical Research

New breaking research from Donegal Clinical Research Academy in the Breast Unit North West has identified that patients who failed to attend for BreastCheck or be screened for high risk family history have a delayed presentation in terms of cancer size and stage. Alison Johnston has presented this data at the European Society of Surgical Oncology in Liverpool and it was recently published.

Johnston A, Curran S and Sugrue M. (2015) Failure to Engage in Breast Screening and Risk Assessment Results in More Advanced Stage at Diagnosis. Advances in Breast Cancer Research, 4, 53-62. doi: 10.4236/abcr.2015.42006.

Alison Johnson Research Presentation

on Thursday, 30 October 2014. Posted in Medical Research, Press Releases

Alison Johnson Research Presentation

"Alison Johnston Research Nurse at the Breast Centre North West in Letterkenny Hospital presented her community funded research at the 34th European Society of Surgical Oncology in Liverpool UK this week. The project identified the need to ensure high risk women undergo screening and family history risk assessment . Her presentation was very well received and was the only Irish presentation at the convention."