A NUMBER of people ran in the recent Cork mini marathon to raise funds for breast cancer research being undertaken by Belgooly native Michael Coleman.
The Irish Cancer Society had urged those taking part in the September 25th event to raise funds for Michael’s work.
Since 2010, the Society has spent close to €14m on cancer research, making it the leading voluntary funder of cancer research in Ireland. This investment has supported more than 120 cancer researchers, from laboratory researchers to research nurses to population scientists to work on a diverse range of individual or collaborative projects that will ultimately lead to better ways of diagnosing and treating cancer.
Michael’s research in UCC is focused on understanding the invasion of breast cancer –
the most common form of cancer in females in Ireland. More than 2,800 cases are diagnosed each year, with 353 cases diagnosed in Cork, according to the most recent figures by the National Cancer Registry in Ireland.
One of the major problems with cancer treatment is controlling and preventing the invasion of cancer into other tissues. The research team that Michael is working with are attempting to identify and understand a protein that may help detect the potential for breast cancer cells to become invasive.
‘Understanding how this protein is controlled in cancer may allow future research to develop drugs which more precisely control the spread of cancer,’ Michael explained.
‘This research may also allow for the development of new ways of predicting when a cancer may become invasive, and guide doctors in the treatment of these patients.
‘The best thing about my job is that I get to spend every day learning new things about cancer, which can be gradually built up to a greater understanding of the disease in patients.
‘Research is a key weapon in the fight back against cancer. The generosity of the public plays a hugely important role in funding research which will have a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients into the future.’