Brain Tumor Ireland funding contribution to new Biobank in CSM/RCSI

With the support from Brain Tumour Ireland, the RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine (CSM) along with the Departments of Neurosurgery and Neuropathology in Beaumont Hospital are delighted to establish a brain tumor biobank in RCSI and Beaumont Hospital. In the future, every patient undergoing brain tumour surgery will be given the opportunity to consent to have their tissue included in the biobank. This collaboration will enable the CSM RCSI Principal Investigators, Dr. Brona Murphy, Dr. Amanda Tivnan and Prof. Jochen Prehn and their teams to analyse and develop novel therapies for the treatment of brain tumors.Brain Tumour Ireland is delighted to support RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) in the establishment of its brain tumour biobank, which will encourage research aimed at individualised treatments and increasing survival rates for brain tumour patients.By collecting brain tumour cells from patients, the biobank will enable new and targeted therapies for brain tumours to be examined in the lab using these cells. Only patients who consent can have their tissue used in the biobank, and only tissue surplus to diagnostic requirements can be biobanked.Speaking on behalf of Brain Tumour Ireland, Chairperson Natasha Roche said: “Brain Tumour Ireland is extremely pleased to be supporting this important biobank with such a prestigious educational and research institution as RCSI.“This achievement is only made possible by the many kind donors who have raised money for us over the first three years of our existence, and we thank them most gratefully.“It is our hope that the research supported by this biobank will lead the way for new and targeted therapies for brain tumours, and individualised treatments for patients. This is crucial in achieving increased survival rates for those diagnosed with a brain tumour.” Prof Jochen Prehn, Director of the RCSI Centre for Systems Medicine and Science Foundation Ireland Investigator, said: “We are very excited about this instrumental support provided by Brain Tumour Ireland. The biobank will enable us to analyse the molecular composition (or ‘building stones’) of brain tumours, and to use this knowledge to develop much needed, novel therapies for the treatment of brain tumours.”





RCSI led ‘ANGIOTOX’ project selected for presentation at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting; Feb 11-15 2016 , Washington DC.

A symposium entitled ‘Improving Cancer Patient Care: Trade-Offs Between Efficacy and Toxicity’ based on work performed within the RCSI led AngioTox initiative ( has been selected by the European Commission for presentation at the prestigious AAAS Annual meeting to be held Feb 11-15 2016 in Washington DC. The recently concluded AngioTox project led by Dr Annette Byrne (Snr. Lecturer, RCSI Dept of Physiology and Medical Physics) and supported by the European Commission Industry Academia Partnerships and Pathways program, focused on the analysis of side-effects associated with the clinically approved ‘angiogenesis inhibitor’ class of cancer therapeutics, which function by inhibiting tumor blood vessel growth. Data generated within the project has provided evidence for a novel medical imaging approach for the early identification of patients at risk from cardiovascular side-effects following treatment with angiogenesis inhibitors. These data have also been presented at The New York Academy of Sciences Angiogenesis 2014 conference and the European Institute for Molecular Imaging 2014 Annual Meeting. During the AAAS conference Angiotox collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania (Dr Bonnie Ky) and VU Medical Centre Amsterdam (Dr Maria Rovithi) will also discuss new data, which will aid in the early detection of side-effects in cancer patients treated with angiogenesis inhibitors. AngioTox research partners include University College Dublin, VU Medical Centre Amsterdam, and industry partners Oncomark Ltd, Pathology Experts, Bayer Technology Services, F.Hoffman La Roche & Genentech

Congratulations to Dr. Manuela Salvucci

We are delighted to announce that submission of ”Translational application of a mathematical model of apoptotic caspase activation provides a prognostic biomarker in stage III colorectal cancer” has been selected as one of the two EACR Prize Winners and has been awarded the EACR Junior Award. This prize is €500 and free registration to attend the Anual EACR meeting this year on Thursday 25 and Friday 26 February in the Kingsley Hotel,Cork.

Congrats to Dr. Zaitun Zakaria

Congratulations to Dr.Zaitun Zakaria who was selected to give an oral presentenation at the Clinical Neuroscience Conference on the 13th of November 2015 at the RDS in Dublin. Her presentation was entitled ”Patient-derived glioblastoma cells show significant heterogeneity in treatment responses to the inhibitor-of-apoptosis-protein (IAP) antagonist Birinapant” Zakaria Z, O’Brien DF, Byrne AT, Prehn JHM.
Dr. Zakaria also presented at the 2nd Annual Neurological Surgery Symposium, RCSI, Ireland (Oral presentation, 17th July 2015) where she presented the
”Combination effect of Temozolomide and Birinapant in in vitro and in vivo intracranial GBM model” Z Zakaria, Murray D, O’Brien DF, Prehn JHM.

Dr. Zakaria also was sucessful at publishing her results in the British Journal of Cancer the paper is entitled ‘Patient-derived glioblastoma cells show significant heterogeneity in treatment responses to the inhibitor-of-apoptosisprotein antagonist birinapant’
Z Zakaria1,2, A Tivnan1, L Flanagan1, DWMurray1, M Salvucci1, B W Stringer3, B W Day3, A W Boyd3, D Ko¨gel 4, M Rehm 1, D F O’Brien2, A T Byrne1 and J H M Prehn*,1.

British Journal of Cancer (2015), 1–11 | doi: 10.1038/bjc.2015.420

Angiopredict Final Plenary Meeting

The Angiopredict consortium held its final plenary meeting in Dublin on 3 December 2015. There was a packed agenda with scientific updates and discussions about publications, presentations and exploitation. We also had an opportunity to plan for final deliverables and reports. The meeting was very productive and the team looks forward to the busy, final weeks ahead. Many thanks to project partner Oncomark for hosting

Breast-Predict hold second sucessful scientific advisory board meeting

The BREAST-PREDICT team met with members of their Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) on the 11th of September 2015 in UCD. Approximately 45 researchers met with four out of seven members of the Scientific Advisory Board to discuss key developments from year two of the centre’s research programme and to gain advice on future plans. The Scientific Advisory Board members in attendance were Prof. Robert Clarke, Georgetown University, U.S.A.; Dr. Jason Carroll, Cambridge Research Institute, U.K; Prof. Richard Kennedy, Queen’s University Belfast, U.K; and Prof. Liam Murray, also from Queen’s University Belfast.

Ten researchers presented updates on the five different workpackages, sixteen early-stage researchers displayed posters and five researchers presented oral posters to the group. This was followed by an informative discussion session in which members of the Scientific Advisory Board provided feedback to the BREAST-PREDICT team. Overall this was a very enjoyable and productive meeting and we look forward to future discussions and feedback at the end of year three.

Irish Assocaition of Pharmacologists

Congratulations to Dr Alice O’Farrell , Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept of Physiology and Medical Physics & Centre for Systems Medicine (PI Dr Annette Byrne) who won Joint First Prize for best oral presentation at the Annual Irish Association of Pharmacologists conference held at University College Cork on Oct 16th for her presentation entitled “Cardiac Metabolic Pathway Remodelling in Response to Sunitinib Malate”.