As a leader in complex care and specialist services, the Mater Hospital has developed broad expertise in the treatment of advanced cancers.

What is advanced cancer?

A diagnosis of advanced cancer indicates the disease has spread from the original site, or has suffered a recurrence. Advanced cancer is also known as:

  • Secondary cancer
  • Late-stage cancer
  • Metastatic cancer
  • Stage 4 cancer
  • Recurrent cancer
  • Complex cancer

As advanced cancer is unique to each patient, it must be treated in a tailored way. For some patients, cancer might be advanced when first diagnosed, however, advanced cancer can develop during, or after, a patient’s initial treatment.

The development of innovative care pathways and new treatments for patients with advanced cancer means that not all patients with advanced cancer will die from the disease.

Complex treatments and surgical interventions can keep advanced cancer under control for prolonged periods of time and offer the possibility of a cure.

At the forefront of treatment innovation and research, the Mater Hospital has the expertise to treat the most complex cancers. We relentlessly pursue the best outcomes for our patients.

Our multidisciplinary teams ensure that patients with advanced cancer are cared for with individualised treatment plans.

Treating Advanced Cancers

We offer a wide variety of novel treatments and interdisciplinary care for all patients with advanced cancer. These interventions include:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • Targeted therapy options

We understand that patients diagnosed with advanced cancer have different goals for their care. At the Mater Hospital, our specialist medical and surgical teams are on hand to explore all options available to patients diagnosed with advanced disease.

Advanced Cancer in Ireland

Cancer rates in Ireland are expected to rise and, by 2025, 30,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed, including 10,000 cases of advanced cancer.

Recent figures suggest that:

  • Nearly 90% of patients in Ireland with early-stage cancer will live beyond 5 years
  • Only 10-20% of those with advanced cancer will reach the 5 year milestone
  • Patient outcomes improve when patients with advanced cancer are treated with cytoreductive surgery (surgery to remove all or most of the cancer)
  • Approximately 50% of advanced cancer patients treated with cytoreductive surgery will live for five years post-treatment

Given the unique characteristics of advanced cancer, some patients may not respond to treatment or may not be candidates for surgery.

At the Mater Hospital, we endeavour to discuss all cases of advanced cancer within a multidisciplinary team which includes surgical expertise. As a result, our teams can identify patients who are suitable candidates for surgery and give those patients the best chance of survival.

At the Mater, we provide specialist opinions for patients on whether their cancer is suitable for surgery.

Surgery for Advanced Cancer

As a leader in cancer care, the Mater Hospital is at the forefront with a multitude of capabilities in the surgical treatment of advanced cancer.

Our expert surgeons, who have trained in renowned centres worldwide, provide complex surgical techniques which specifically target advanced cancers. As a result, we know what treatments work best for individual patients and deliver effective, precise and personalised treatment.

At the Mater Hospital, our surgeons work in multidisciplinary teams to remove cancerous tumours and provide care in a modern and well-equipped facility. Examples of the technology we use include:

  • Image-guided navigation of tumours
  • Robotic surgery
  • 3D reconstructive technology for complex tumours
  • Robotic and fluorescent dye technology
  • HIPEC, to target microscopic tumour after cytoreductive surgery for peritoneal tumour.

Related services