Navigating precision oncology - IPHA

Navigating precision oncology

Precision oncology is about bringing more accurate diagnoses and treatments to cancer patients. Roche is a pioneer in personalised medicine. It wants to change the way cancer patients are treated in Ireland. By creating an ecosystem of partners in the Molecular Tumour Board (MTB), Roche is advancing personalised healthcare and the development of breakthrough oncology medicines. Although genomic biomarkers help to personalise oncology treatments, precision oncology is largely unused by doctors. The healthcare system should be moved closer to personalised healthcare. In December 2021, Roche and Cancer Trials Ireland, an independent cancer research organisation, signed a collaboration that will evolve the MTB by collecting data based on the patients discussed during the MTB sessions. That is helping to build a cancer database. Internationally, evidence suggests that more patients who take part in MTBs are assigned to clinical trials. MTB-directed therapies clinically benefit patients in many cases. Our film explores the science behind new precision oncology treatments and brings to life the human impact of medicines innovation.

Who’s In Our Film?


Deirdre believes that personalised healthcare which looks at things like data, therapeutics, and genomics, is the future of cancer treatment. She’s also passionate about partnering with Cancer Trials Ireland in the creation of the Molecular Tumour Board an endeavour that could hopefully allow cancer patients access to all the medical expertise in the world.


Larry is the National Clinical Lead on CAR T cell immunotherapy in Ireland. A ground-breaking form of treatment that trains the body’s immune system to fight cancer for itself. Until recently, this treatment was only available overseas, Larry and his team at St James’ were a pivotal part of bringing it to Ireland.


Pat was diagnosed with Stage 4 non- Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2021. He unsuccessfully underwent different types of chemotherapy before being offered CAR T cell therapy in 2022. A recent scan officially determined Pat was cancer free and in remission. After a long and difficult stretch, he feels like he’s got control of his life again.


Verena and Cancer Trials Ireland are excited to take over the management of the Molecular Tumour Board, and to make this valuable, innovative resource available to the entire Cancer Trials Ireland network. The plan is to collect shared insights and build a national knowledge platform for personalised treatment for the benefit of cancer patients everywhere.


Tanya, also a registered nurse, is the founder and director of the SJK Foundation, a charity that promotes awareness, education, and research into cancer of unknown primary (CUP). Tanya started the foundation after her sister died of cancer of unknown primary at 31 and realised that very little was known about this type. She plans to change that.


Sandra supports the allocation of clinical trials into Ireland, enabling Medical Consultants to support their patients through the provision of compassionate use and access to new innovative drugs that aren’t currently available. For Sandra the fight against cancer is closer to home than most, her family has personally felt the benefit of access to new clinical trials.


Elizabeth has been the CAR T service Co-Ordinator in St’ James’ Hospital for the last three year where she leads on service development in Ireland, Her team are delivering this innovative treatment to patients, where she’s responsible for co-ordinating treatment pathways and overseeing the continued development of the CAR T programme.