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All-Ireland NCI Cancer Consortium

In 1999, a historic memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed by representatives of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States that established the Ireland-Northern Ireland-National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Consortium, a direct outcome of the United State's involvement in the Belfast Agreement. The mission of the Consortium is to lessen the burden due to cancer across the island of Ireland through cross-border and transatlantic collaborations in cancer research and education. To this end, the Consortium has developed a number of joint programs covering the entire continuum of cancer, including prevention, clinical trials, cancer registries and epidemiology, and scholar exchange. In 2006, the MOU was extended for five more years. It was extended again in 2011 for five additional years and was signed by the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services; Northern Ireland's Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety; and Ireland's Minister for Health.

Areas of scientific collaborations included in the MOU include:

  • Epidemiology and public health (including registration, surveillance, and prevention)
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Nursing
  • Supportive, palliative, and end-of-life care
  • Survivorship
  • Research programs
  • Education and training for healthcare professionals
  • Cancer policy analysis
  • Health economics

Workstreams

In order to carry out its mandate of increasing scientific and public health collaborations between Ireland, Northern Ireland, and the United States, the All-Ireland NCI Cancer Consortium has created five workstreams to provide scientific direction to the Consortium's many programs and activities. Each workstream includes researchers, clinicians, and policy-makers and is led by a Senior Responsible Person (SRP). To ensure co-ordination across the workstreams, the SRPs will participate in a new Planning and Reporting Group, formed to replace the former Strategic Advisory Group.

The five workstreams represent an evolution of the former Consortium Working Groups and are:

  • Capacity Building for Clinical Research
  • Public Health & Wellbeing/Prevention/Health Promotion
  • Nursing
  • Palliative and End-of-Life Care
  • Survivorship