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What Will My Support Do?

Every euro you raise will go toward our €150k goal, which given the impact that Covid-19 has had on our fundraising this year, is the amount that we desperately need to continue funding our Barrett’s Oesophagus Registry & Bio-Bank as well as the continued running of the landmark Neo Aegis Clinical Trial.

What is Barrett’s Oesophagus Registry & Bio-Bank

The Barrett’s Oesophagus Registry, is an essential database that was established in 2009 to meet our aim of combating Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma (OAC) through early detection. To date, over €1.6 million in Lollipop Day funding has gone towards keeping the Registry alive, employing five full-time Registry personnel and linking five national hospitals: St. James’s, St. Vincent’s, Beaumont, Mater Misericordiae, Dublin and Mercy Hospital, Cork.

Since 2009 over 6,500 patients have been recorded on the Barrett’s Registry. Though not cancerous, Barrett’s Oesophagus is a condition that is frequently a precursor to full-scale Oesophageal Cancer. The Registry helps the medical professionals identify at-risk patients earlier and track their progress using endoscopies and bioscopies. Cellular changes such as dysplasia and or cancer can be diagnosed much earlier, meaning Oesophageal Cancer can be addressed in its early and most treatable phase.

The data manager records and monitors a range of follow-up data for all Registry patients across all five hospital sites. Barrett’s patients who show progression in their disease are offered Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) therapy, a highly effective Halo procedure that eradicates diseased tissue and allows healthy new tissue to regenerate.

The Barrett’s Oesophagus Registry is now part of the UK Radio Frequency Ablation Registry that covers 26 hospitals of which St. James’s Hospital Dublin is the third largest contributing centre.

OCF donations also fund a National Barrett’s Bio Bank that operates in tandem with the National Barrett’s Registry. Tissue and blood samples from consenting Barretts patients are collected, stored and used for vital patient-focused research that is helping medical professionals to better understand what factors drive progression to Oesophageal Cancer. Three scientific studies which have utilised this national biobank have been submitted for publication and are currently under review.

Thanks to your funding, scientists can now draw upon this invaluable collection in excess of 800 tissue and more than 600 blood samples collected at St. James’s and Beaumont hospitals.

However, given the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on our fundraising this year, we have not reached the goal required to continue funding this programme and are seeking your support through the 5050OCF campaign to raise €150k that will allow us to continue funding this crucial, life-saving service.

What is The Neo Aegis Clinical Trial

The Neo Aegis Clinical Trial is a major, international clinical trial led from Ireland by Clinical Trials Ireland that has recruited 377 people with Oesophageal Cancer, a third of whom [136 (34%)] are based in Ireland.

The trial seeks to establish the best available treatment for patients presenting with advanced but potentially curable Oesophageal Cancer, and compares chemotherapy alone combined with surgery against a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy prior to surgery.

The study has cemented two ‘standard of care’ treatment options for Oesophageal Cancer as ‘equivalent’, thereby keeping treatment options open and viable for patients with Oesophageal Cancer depending on regional and national networks.

Importantly the outcomes have been excellent in both treatment arms. This result is particularly important bearing in mind the differing availability of treatment options in different regions nationally and internationally.

The findings of the The Neo Aegis Clinical Trial were recently presented at the world’s most prestigious and competitive clinical cancer research conferences (ASCO 2021), which will pave the way for a publication in one of the world’s most eminent medical journals.

Prof John Reynolds says:

“It’s a major achievement for Ireland to lead a major international cancer trial and for so many Irish patients to participate and hopefully benefit.  It highlights how a synergy of Cancer Trials Ireland with two major charities, the Oesophageal Cancer Fund and the Irish Cancer Society could enable a high quality trial that provides important data that will inform practice in Ireland and globally.”

That is why your support and participation in the 5050 OCF campaign is so crucial.