Roche Ireland partners with Cancer Trials Ireland (CTI) on delivery of first nationally accessible Molecular Tumour Board following successful pilot programme 

Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd and Cancer Trials Ireland have recently announced a new partnership to deliver the first nationally-accessible educational Molecular Tumour Board (MTB) in Ireland, following a successful pilot programme. The MTB is aimed at improving patients’ lives by identifying the most appropriate treatment options for oncology patients, including innovative new cancer trials, both here in Ireland and internationally. 

This educational MTB aims to support treatment teams by providing insights through multidisciplinary discussions on the genomic findings, their clinical implications, and potential treatment options. 

The new partnership between Roche Ireland and Cancer Trials Ireland follows a successful pilot programme, which was rolled-out between November 2020 and December 2021. During that time, 16 institutions participated in discussing more than 30 patient cases, all with complex genomics or novel biomarkers identified via multigene sequencing reports. Of the cases discussed, 80 per cent of presenters confirmed that the MTB discussions helped to confirm, modify or change the treatment plan for at least one of their patients. 

Speaking about the plans for the next phase of the MTB, Dr Verena Murphy, Head of Research & Business Development with Cancer Trials Ireland, said: “We are excited to take over the management of the Molecular Tumour Board, and we will make this valuable, innovative resource available to the entire Cancer Trials Ireland network. We are planning to collect gained insights to build a national knowledge platform for personalised treatment, which will be of enormous benefit for cancer patients.” 

Also commenting, Deirdre Poretti from Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd said: “With the roll-out of this MTB, we have the opportunity to improve the standard and the practice of precision oncology in Ireland and bring all physicians up to speed on new and emerging topics at the same pace. We hope it will soon become reality that all those with cancer in Ireland will be able to benefit from data-informed, personalised care plans which include access to comprehensive genomic profiling and the latest innovative treatments.” 

Precision oncology holds the promise of improved efficiency, better care and the reduction of ineffective treatments and costs. Speaking about the first nationally accessible Molecular Tumour Board in Ireland, Dr Brian Bird, Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Bon Secours Hospital Cork, commented: “The MTB helps me confidently choose the best targeted therapies for my lung cancer patients based on modern next-generation sequencing of blood and tissue and deal with unexpected findings, like hereditary cancer syndromes in pancreatic cancer. I’ve also learnt the value of testing for the same target using different methods to get a full understanding of how to help the patient.” 

For more information about Cancer Trials Ireland, visit: https://www.cancertrials.ie.