The CUH Pathology Department would be delighted with your support of the 650km ‘Ring of Munster’ challenge on the 20th June which will help raise funds for a groundbreaking cancer sequencing machine at CUH. The Pathology Department are calling on the public to support them by doing a run or walk tomorrow anytime/anywhere (within current government guidelines) and record their distance covered on the donation page when donating.

You can also share photos of your walk or run by using #PullTogetherCUHC and tag CUH Charity on Twitter (@CUHCharity) Facebook (@CorkUniversityHospitalCharity) or Instagram (

A diagnosis of cancer is a worrying and often life changing experience for anyone. Many people are unaware of the role that pathology plays in the diagnosis of their cancer and determining the extent of their disease.  Indeed the information provided by Pathology is essential for all decisions made by Oncologists regarding the best treatment strategy for each patient diagnosed with cancer. Pathology departments are staffed by pathologists, scientists, administrative and allied support staff, each playing their individual role in ensuring the highest quality standard of laboratory service. Approximately 80% of the resources and effort of a pathology department is directed towards cancer, however, they also play a critical role in benign diseases also.

The CUH Pathology department is one of the largest accredited laboratories in Ireland delivering cancer pathology services for hospitals across Munster. Dealing with over 60,000 specimens per year from more than 20 different locations, there is a large team of over 100 staff working hard to ensure the right result on the right patient at the right time.

To greatly enhance this service at CUH we need to have the technology to test for multiple genetic abnormalities in each cancer specimen at the same time and this can be achieved via Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). This will allow the laboratory to create a comprehensive molecular profile of a tumour from each individual patient and guide the Oncologist’s decision in their development of a truly personalised targeted approach for their individual cancer therapy.

The Ion Torrent TM Genexus TM Integrated Sequencer is the first Next Generation Sequencer that automates the entire specimen to report workflow within a single day, replacing the average turnaround time presently for this testing of over 2 weeks when it is outsourced.  This faster turnaround time for cancer patients and their families across Munster will have huge benefits. Having this technology to analyse for these cancer mutations is a hugely valuable clinical and research resource, enhance our strong links with our academic partners and collaborators UCC, CIT and Clinical Trials Ireland and will allow ground-breaking research as well as having the immense potential to improve cancer patient quality of life and survival including options for participation in clinical trials.