Cancer outcomes in primary relatives
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Breast 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 ----->
Donegal 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)
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
The 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.
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.
Ms 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.
Research Student recognised as an outstanding academic at the international level.
Research 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.
Research from DCRA Presented at Sylvester O'Halloran Symposium.
Research 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.
Mr 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.
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.
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.
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’.
Pictured: 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.
Pictured: 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.
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 Javid 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.
Alison 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.
Calling for all Clinical Abstracts
Entries will be accepted from all Clinical Researchers, Nursing & Allied Professionals who have recently undertaken a Research Project.
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 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."
Letterkenny General Hospital leading the way in improving outcomes in Breast Cancer Surgery
Three medical students / summer research fellows linked to Letterkenny General Hospital, the Donegal Clinical Research Academy and University Hospital Galway have undertaken work to identify new potential techniques to reduce the volume of breast removed during conservative breast cancer surgery.
The three students, photographed with Clinical Research Nurse Alison Johnston - Dearbhla Hillick, Eoghan Shanley and David Sciascia – have been funded through public donations from members of the public in the North West.
Under the supervision of Alison Johnston, Clinical Research Nurse and Mr Sugrue, Lead Clinician and Consultant Breast Surgeon at LGH, the students have identified new techniques of breast volume measurement leading to patent filing and acceptance of their work at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Meeting in San Francisco.
Mr Michael Sugrue commented, "Letterkenny Hospital has one of the lowest re-excision rates following breast conservative surgery in Ireland and one of the lowest in the world. The findings of the students' research are significant and I'm very happy with the progress the research programme is making".
This is the third consecutive year that the Letterkenny Hospital Breast Unit has undertaken a research fellowship programme for the summer, with a small stipend for the research fellows funded through generous donations from the community.
Letterkenny Hospital is a satellite to the designated cancer centre in Galway and is making a significant contribution to advancing clinical breast research in Ireland.
Mr Michael Sugrue and the team, with Dr Duffy, Consultant Oncologist; Dr McGowan, Consultant Radiologist; Dr O'Dowd, Consultant Pathologist; Dr Salib, Consultant Radiation/Oncology and Geraldine MacGregor, Breast Nurse Specialist, have established one of the first courses in the world for teaching multi disciplinary breast cancer care to health professionals.
This exciting one-day programme is being organised by the Donegal Clinical Research Academy and will take place next month. Three international guest speakers will attend including Dr Sandra Brennan from Sloan-Kettering in the United States, Petrousjka van den Tol from the Netherlands and Professor Koji Yamashita from Japan.