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CUH Makes History with Revolutionary Radiation Therapy


CUH makes history becoming first public hospital in Ireland to offer revolutionary radiation therapy for patients with liver tumours

Cork University Hospital (CUH) has become the first public hospital in Ireland to offer Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for patients with liver tumours. This groundbreaking treatment, which targets both medically inoperable primary and secondary liver cancers, is set to transform the landscape of cancer care.

Professor Aisling Barry, Chair of Radiation Oncology at UCC and Consultant Radiation Oncologist at CUH, alongside Dr. Sean O’ Cathail, Consultant Radiation Oncologist at CUH, have been pivotal in introducing this advanced therapy. Professor Barry expressed her excitement, stating, “We are thrilled to finally offer this life-changing treatment to patients at CUH. SBRT allows us to deliver high precision, high dose radiation while limiting damage to surrounding healthy tissue. This specialised treatment requires significant collaboration with our radiation therapy and medical physics colleagues, who have been crucial in developing this service. Liver SBRT provides another vital treatment option, and we are proud to be the first public hospital in Ireland to offer it.

SBRT uses high-energy beams to precisely target tumours, damaging their DNA to prevent growth and multiplication. This non-invasive and painless technique offers a relatively short and non-toxic course of radiotherapy. As cancer incidence is expected to rise, therapies like SBRT will play a crucial role in future cancer care. Additionally, SBRT typically requires fewer sessions than conventional radiotherapy, providing significant cost benefits for patients and the health service.


Dr. Dearbhaile Collins, Clinical Director of Cancer Services at CUH, emphasized the importance of equal access to advanced treatments, saying, “We are very proud that CUH is the first public hospital in Ireland to offer liver SBRT. Our dedicated radiation oncology team has worked tirelessly to introduce this treatment option and will continue to do so for the many patients who will benefit. We look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on patients and their families.”

Radiotherapy plays a vital role in cancer care, with approximately 40% of cured cancer patients requiring some form of it. The introduction of SBRT at CUH offers a new, life-changing option for many of the 42,000 people diagnosed with cancer in Ireland each year.

Patients will receive SBRT at the state-of-the-art Glandore Centre, which opened in 2019 and serves approximately 2,000 patients annually. The centre also offers Surface Guided Radiation Treatment (SGRT), which enhances the accuracy and comfort of treatments. CUH was the first tattooless radiotherapy centre in the country, thanks to the SGRT system donated by Aid Cancer Research (ACT).

David Donegan, CEO of Cork University Hospital, praised the efforts of the CUH team, stating, “The Glandore Centre epitomises our future goal for CUH - to be a centre of excellence offering world-class healthcare to the public. The dedication and expertise of our staff make this possible. I congratulate Professor Aisling Barry, Dr. Sean O’ Cathail, Dr. Dearbhaile Collins, and the wider radiation oncology team for making SBRT a reality at CUH. We look forward to the positive impact this will have on cancer care in Cork.”

Patients are expected to begin receiving liver SBRT at CUH this month.

Find out more about the Oncology Directorate at CUH