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St. Vincent’s University Hospital Awarded European Centre of Excellence for NETs

19th June 2017

Today, St. Vincent’s University Hospital along with the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG) and NET (Neuroendocrine Tumours) Patient Network commemorated the awarding of the a European designated Centre of Excellence Certificate for NETs care, to the St. Vincent’s Neuroendocrine Tumour Service and becoming the 39th Centre of Excellence in Europe and the only hospital to be awarded the recognition for this particular type of cancer care in Ireland.

The award was made in March of this year at a conference of the European umbrella organisation of NETs experts (European Neuroendocrine Tumour Society [ENETS]) in Barcelona, Spain.  Professor Dermot O’Toole, National Clinical Lead in St. Vincent’s University Hospital,  Gastroenterologist in St. James Hospital and Professor in Trinity College Dublin in conjunction with the NET team members from St Vincent’s University Hospital with Mark McDonnell, Chairman of the NET Patient Network marked this important award in a ceremony held at St. Vincent’s University Hospital.  In attendance were; Minister for Health, Simon Harris TD, National Cancer Control Programme Lead Dr Jerome Coffey, Mary Day CEO Ireland East Hospital as well as NETS and Cancer specialist Surgeons, Endocrinologists, Oncologists, Radiologists, Histopathologists, colleagues, staff and patients from across the Ireland East Hospital Group.

Prof Dermot O’Toole, National NETS Clinical Lead commenting on the significance of this award said, “This is an important milestone for patients with so-called rare cancers; it is important to note that rare cancers taken together make up approximately 20% of all malignancies, and their rare nature and often complex diagnostic and therapies requires dedicated specialist centres in looking after these patients. Indeed, ENETS, are a very proactive group dedicated to NET patient care recognised how the creation of dedicated services with a centre of excellence model could help improve patient care and management and have made important progress in this field. The model of Centres of Excellence created by ENETS has in fact been adopted by the EU in its’ development of European Reference Networks for rare diseases including cancers; this is a work in progress and is gathering momentum.

NETS Patient Network Chairman, Mark McDonnell said;

“This is a significant milestone in the development of NET services. The next stage is to ensure that NET patients in all parts of the country are given speedy and automatic access to this national NET Centre of Excellence.”

A multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach is standard practice at the St. Vincent’s Centre of Excellence. The policy has been consistently promoted by the NCCP for all Irish hospitals dealing with cancer.  Input from a range of experts – oncologists, surgeons, endocrinologists, radiographers, radiologists, specialist nurses and other disciplines – is used to collectively decide on the best approach to dealing with each patient.  The NCCP designated  St. Vincent’s University Hospital  as a National reference group or NET in 2014 in  collaboration with satellite NET centres in Cork and Galway.

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