The Irish Sarcoma Group is the association of specialist clinicians, nurses and supporting professionals who treat people with sarcoma on the island of Ireland.
The ISG was founded in 2014 and holds its annual meeting in November/December
The first patient-focused event was held in December 2015. This gave the general public, patients and their friends and family an opportunity to meet each other and the experts involved in managing this disease.
This website has been developed by Dr Charles Gillham co-founder of the Irish Sarcoma Group. Funding for this website was made available by the friends and family of the late Dara Byrne.
The aim of this website is to help inform the public about sarcoma. Health care professionals will also find some useful information here and guidelines for referral.
The aims of the Irish Sarcoma Group are:
Charles Gillham is a Consultant Radiation Oncologist in the St Luke’s Radiation Oncology Network, Dublin. He graduated from University College London Medical School in 1994 and started his training in clinical oncology in 1998. It was during this, at what has now become the London Sarcoma Unit, that he developed a special interest in sarcomas.
Now, as the Irish lead for Soft Tissue Sarcomas he has co-founded the Irish Sarcoma Group. He instigated the annual meeting as the first step towards his vision of raising awareness and helping develop a service that parallels the best available internationally.
After attaining fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists and completing his training he moved to Dublin in 2004 to undertake an MD at Trinity College. This was followed by a clinical fellowship at the University of Dresden, Germany.
Appointed a Consultant in October 2008 he works at St James’s and St. Luke’s Hospital but provides radiation oncology input to and chairs the St Vincent’s Sarcoma Multidisciplinary Meeting.
He is Chief Examiner in Radiation Oncology for the Faculty of Radiology, RCSI, the Clinical Lead for the St Luke’s Radiotherapy Centre at St James’ and has been the principal investigator on a number of national and international clinical trials.
He is a member of the British Sarcoma Group (BSG) and the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS).
Dr. Mark Doherty graduated from University College Dublin in 2006. He completed Basic Specialist Training in Medicine through the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2008 followed Higher Specialist Training in Medical Oncology in 2015. This was followed by a Clinical Fellowship in Medical Oncology at the Princess Margaret Hospital, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2017 he was awarded a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research at the University of Toronto. Following this, he was appointed as Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, and Staff Medical Oncologist at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre from 2017 to 2020. In 2020, he returned to Ireland to an appointment as a Consultant Medical Oncologist at St Vincent’s Hospital Group. He specialises in the treatment of sarcoma and neuroendocrine tumours. His academic focus is on developing therapeutic clinical trials to answer vital clinical questions, and using observational data to better understand treatment responses. He has published academic papers in important medical journals and regularly attends and presents at international oncology meetings.
Dr Cormac Owens is a paediatric oncologist at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin (OLCHC). He trained at OLCHC, Institut Gustave Roussy, Paris and the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.
Dr Owens is the national lead for paediatric sarcoma and neuroblastoma trials. He is the national PI in the European Paediatric soft Tissue Sarcoma Group (EpSSG) and EuroEWING consortium. He is the director of the early clinical trials programme at the national paediatric haematology/oncology unit in OLCHC. He is the clinical lead of the national paediatric haematology/oncology shared care programme.
His research interests are in clinical trial development, the development of novel therapies for children with cancer and chemotherapy standardisation.
Professor O’Sullivan is a consultant paediatric pathologist working at CHI at Crumlin (formerly OLCHC), which houses the national paediatric oncology-haematology unit. Her specific interest is in paediatric solid tumours and, in the research setting, the genetics, epigenetics and biology of these tumours. Professor O’Sullivan’s group particularly focuses on sarcomas and paediatric renal tumours. They have characterised several novel chromosomal translocations and studied the biological impact these have on cell biology. The work has benefits in terms of diagnosis, prognosis, biological understanding and novel therapeutic development for these rare cancers, which are all too often neglected despite their aggressive behaviour.
Dr. Michael W. (Bill) Bennett is a Harvard trained surgical pathologist, board certified by the American Board of Pathology.
Dr. Bennett trained as resident, chief resident and fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston. Prof Christopher Fletcher, Professor of Pathology, Harvard University, and editor of the World Health Organisation classification of Tumours of Soft Tissue, was Dr Bennett’s officially appointed mentor during his five-year training period. Dr. Bennett completed a three-month surgical pathology fellowship with Prof. Fletcher. Dr. Bennett was appointed as an attending pathologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute prior to returning to Ireland in 2007 to take up a consultant post with the National Cancer Screening Service. Dr. Bennett contributed significantly to the group which oversaw the creation of oncopathology services at Cancer Centre South/CUH. Dr. Bennett has a PhD in cancer biology and is a member of the Cancer Centre South soft tissue multidisciplinary team.
Eric Heffernan is a musculoskeletal Radiologist with a special interest in soft tissue tumours, and practices at St Vincent’s University Hospital where he was appointed as a consultant in 2008.
He did his fellowship in musculoskeletal Radiology in Vancouver General Hospital, during which time he trained in the imaging work-up and biopsy of sarcoma patients, and was involved in weekly sarcoma MDT meetings at the British Columbia Cancer Agency.
Dr McCarty completed her clinical oncology training in Belfast and then spend 6 months with the paediatric and sarcoma team in Birmingham before a further 2 year clinical fellowship in Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto. In 2010 she returned to the UK to take up consultant post in Belfast. Since then she has sought to develop the regional sarcoma service building on the established orthopaedic led practise with greater integration of plastic surgical and retroperitoneal surgical teams. Her involvement with the paediatric oncology service has helped in development of the regional teenage and young adult service. Much progress has been made but there’s still some way to go to ensure her goal is met that every patient with ‘query sarcoma’ has timely access to appropriate care by informed professionals. Being involved in the Irish Sarcoma Group is a great opportunity to advance this and collaborate with colleagues across the country with a similar aim.
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon & Senior Clinical Lecturer
St. Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin
Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dublin
Beacon Hospital Dublin
Gary O’Toole was appointed as a consultant orthopaedic surgeon to St Vincent’s University Hospital in 2004. He is a graduate of UCD (1996) and completed his Internship and basic surgical training in St Vincent’s University Hospital (1996-99).
His orthopaedic training was on the Irish Specialist Training Programme in Orthopaedic Surgery (1999-2004). He then completed two specialist fellowship training programmes. The first in adult hip and knee reconstruction in the Mater Hospital in Sydney, Australia; the second in orthopaedic oncology in Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA. He has an interest in adult arthritis and also has a keen interest in musculoskeletal cancer (bone and soft tissue tumours). He has published in peer reviewed journals on orthopaedic oncology both primary and secondary tumours. He has a sub-specialist interest in soft tissue sarcomas.
Mr. O’Toole is actively involved in teaching and enjoys a position of Clinical Lecturer in the School of Medicine in UCD. He is a member of numerous academic societies. He has presented his work to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the British Orthopaedic Oncology Society and American Musculoskeletal Tumour Society.
Qualifications: MB, BCh, BAO, MRCP, DMRD, FRCR, FFRCSI, MBA
Medical Graduate: University College Cork
Postgraduate Radiology Training: Diagnostic Radiology training at Edinburgh Radiology Training Scheme, Scotland
Previous Consultant appointment: Consultant Radiologist, Forth Valley, Scotland
Current Consultant appointment: Consultant Radiologist Cork University Hospital
Special Interests: Oncology Imaging, Including Melanoma, Sarcoma, Thyroid Cancers , Gynaecology Imaging, Breast Imaging, Womens Imaging, Ultrasound, Nuclear Medicine including PET