26th May 2023
A new Cancer Research Clinic, the first and only one of its kind in Ireland, has been established at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH). The new Testicular Survivorship Clinic is conducting research to try and discover new treatments for patients who have had the disease.
Those centrally involved in this new clinic include Dr M Raheel Khan (Research Registrar), Prof Ray Mc Dermott (Medical Oncologist), and Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Oncology, Patrice Sheehan. The team started work on the clinic in September 2022 and saw their first patient in October 2022. To date, they have seen around 75 patients.
Improve outlook for patients
Medical staff involved have so far met with patients to examine them, take blood tests and invite them to fill in a targeted questionnaire. If anything suspicious arises out of this initial screening, further tests, scans and (where necessary) follow-up treatment, can be arranged. The team behind the development is hoping the clinic will improve the outlook for patients with the disease.
Testicular cancer is typically diagnosed in a young male population (15 to 35 years) and has a cure rate of 95%, resulting in a large number of patients who become survivors. Recent studies have shown a high incidence of second cancers, cardiovascular events and psychological issues, resulting in higher rates of early deaths, suicide, unemployment and disabilities. This clinic aims to support patients and intervene early if such complications arise. Numerous medical studies, including this TUH study, are being conducted in the US, UK and across some Scandinavian countries.
In March this year, at a stakeholder meeting of Cancer Trials Ireland, it was agreed to establish similar clinics nationwide. A central registry will be maintained in the Trials Unit of TUH. As a result, the TUH cancer trials team will collect and maintain data on patients from all over Ireland.