Ireland’s first Brain Tumour Biobank will lead to increased cancer research opportunities

Researchers from RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), with support from the Department of Neurosurgery and Neuropathology in Beaumont Hospital, have begun collecting samples from brain tumours for inclusion in Ireland’s first Brain Tumour Biobank.
Professor Jochen Prehn, Professor of Physiology at RCSI, said “The launch of this Brain Tumour Biobank is a fantastic development for cancer research in Ireland. It is the first biobank of its type in Ireland and one of only a small handful that exist in Europe.”
“In recent years much progress has been made in the treatment and diagnoses of brain tumours however future advances are likely to be made through a greater understanding of the underlying biology.”
“To conduct studies and research into brain tumours it is vital to have access to a wide range of samples from various different types of brain tumours and a brain tumour biobank gives us the opportunity to do that for the benefit of patients,” Prof Prehn continued.
A biobank is a large collection of biological, medical data and tissue samples, collected for research and diagnostic purposes. A patient who is having brain surgery as part of their clinical treatment will have the tumour removed, examined and diagnosed. After this the excess brain tumour tissue will be stored in the biobank.
The brain tumour biobank will become a repository for brain tumour samples which will enable researchers use samples for future clinical studies, to identify and diagnose tumours in other patients and help develop cancer treatments. All samples included in the biobank are anonymised and patients consent is sought in advance of treatment.
“The structure of biobanks fosters cross-collaboration between disease advocacy organisations and research scientists.  They produce a synergy that hastens the research process, making treatments or cures to genetic conditions attainable in the near future. Other biobanks in Ireland for other forms of cancer, such as the breast and bowel cancer have proved to be invaluable to research and developing new cancer treatments,” concluded Professor Prehn.
The Brain Tumour Biobank is part funded by Brain Tumour Ireland.
Natasha Smith, Chair of Brain Tumour Ireland, said “Aside from providing support and information to brain tumour patients, one of our chief goals as a charity is to fund brain tumour research. That’s why we are delighted to provide funding for this new Brain Tumour Biobank.
We know that progressing brain tumour research is really important to many of our donors and supporters.”
“This Biobank is a really important development in brain tumour research here in Ireland and for the future development of novel therapeutics. Brain Tumour Ireland is delighted to support this fantastic initiative and we look forward to continued partnership with RCSI and Beaumont Hospital.”
RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.
Brain Tumour Ireland is a national registered charity working to inform and support brain tumour patients and their families. Brain Tumour Ireland also fundraises for brain tumour research.

RCSI awards contract for €9.5 million expansion of Education and Research Building at Beaumont Hospital to the Stewart Group

RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) has announced that it has awarded the main construction contract for the extension of the RCSI Education and Research Centre, Smurfit Building at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin to the Stewart Group.
RCSI will invest in the region of €11 million in the development of the construction of the 30,000 sq ft three-story extension. The construction value of the project is €9.5 million marking the largest capital investment in the Beaumont Hospital Campus in a considerable period. The project will create approximately 200 jobs over the course of the development. Construction will commence in January 2017 and works are scheduled for 18 months for completion by mid-2018.
The project will incorporate a new student concourse at ground floor to link the existing building, with the new facility. The new facilities will include a series of large flexible multi-functional tutorial rooms on the ground floor, open plan faculty offices and meeting spaces on the first floor and laboratory and research facilities, including write up space, on the second floor. The building will be linked vertically with a feature stairs under a large atrium.
Professor Cathal Kelly, CEO/Registrar of RCSI, said: “Today’s contract signing for the expansion of the RCSI Education and Research Centre, Smurfit Building paves the way for the next level of RCSI investment in healthcare education and research in Ireland and will extend the existing RCSI facilities at Beaumont Hospital to create world-class modern facilities for our students and staff.”
The RCSI Education and Research Centre (ERC), Smurfit Building was first opened at Beaumont Hospital in 2000 and is home to the first academic Clinical Research Centre to be established in Ireland. The ERC forms part of RCSI’s Research Institute which is a multi-site research infrastructure encompassing the research activities of RCSI at the St Stephen’s Green campus and the RCSI Education and Research Centre (ERC) at Beaumont Hospital.
Rachael Stewart, Business Development Director, Stewart Group, observed that “the ERC extension project is an exciting opportunity for Stewart to collaborate on the creation of a future proof, state-of-the-art medical learning facility, which will harvest leading international medical professionals for generations to come. The Stewart brand is synonymous with excellence in our field which is in perfect alignment with RCSI’s unrivalled, international reputation. Stewart employ flexible and dynamic construction professionals who are equipped to rapidly respond to our clients’ needs, which is of particular importance on a live hospital campus.”
Established in 1902, Stewart is one of Ireland’s leading construction companies with offices in Dublin and Galway. The company has expertise in many sectors including commercial, industrial, healthcare, education and pharmaceutical. Project Managers are RCSI, Project Architects McCauley Daye O’Connell, Cost Consultancy Aecom, Service Engineers OCSC and Civil and Structural Engineers CS Consulting Group.
RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide and joint 1st place in the Republic of Ireland in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.