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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."

Letterkenny Breast Cancer Research Programme success

on Thursday, 07 August 2014. Posted in Medical Research, Press Releases

Letterkenny Breast Cancer Research Programme success

Letterkenny General Hospital leading the way in improving outcomes in Breast Cancer Surgery

July 2014

photo summer research students 2014-smallThree 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.

Summer Research Fellows at DCRA

on Monday, 16 June 2014. Posted in Medical Research, Press Releases

photo summer research students 2014-smallThanks to the proceeds from last year's Breast Ball we are hosting three summer research fellows to undertake exciting work at Breast Centre North West in collaboration with Donegal Clinical Research Academy. Previous research carried out here 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, David Sciascia, Dearbhla Hillick and Eoghan Shanley are medical students at National University Ireland (NUI) Galway. Included in the photo is Alison Johnston, clinical research nurse at Breast Centre North West.