Cancer doctors involved in a life-saving trial which has reduced the time patients must wait for genetic testing from two years to just four weeks are hoping it can secure funding to be made permanent.

The trial at Cork University Hospital (CUH) has been described as a “game-changer” in the fight against cancer

It has already fast-tracked testing for more than 80 patients and, with confirmation of extra funding, it will continue for the rest of this year, testing a further 30 cancer patients a month.

Professor Mark Corrigan, a surgical oncologist at CUH, said: “We are very excited about this. Reducing the time it takes to identify what form of cancer we are dealing with through swamped national services, from two years, to just four weeks in Cork, is massive.

“If we can determine what specific genes are contributing to a patient’s cancer, we can use that information to modify their treatment.

“Extra funding is extending the pilot until the end of this year but we want to expand and develop it well beyond that. It is having a transformative effect on cancer care.”