Lobular Ireland

Lobular Ireland is a network of patient-advocates, with lobular breast cancer, working closely alongside a scientific board of breast cancer researchers and clinicians. Lobular Ireland advocates for research into ILC and aims to raise awareness about invasive lobular breast cancer.


A combination of patient advocates, clinicians and scientists have come together to raise awareness of invasive lobular breast cancer.

Siobhan Freeney

Siobhan Freeney is a member of the Susan G Komen, Advocates in Science (AIS) Program and is also a member of the Irish Cancer Society PPI patient review panel.  She has been networking with several Irish and International Breast Cancer organisations and research groups over the last few years including Breast Predict, Precision Oncology Ireland and is a patient advocate for IPPOSI.

Siobhán is the Irish patient advocate for the European Lobular Breast Cancer Consortium www.elbcc.org and founder of http://www.beingdense.com Mammographic Breast Density awareness.

Siobhán was Diagnosed with stage 3C ILC Breast Cancer in 2015.  She had dose dense  chemotherapy, mastectomy, auxiliary node clearance and radiotherapy in 2016.  During treatment she became interested in Breast Cancer patient advocacy, specifically Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer .

“I would like to develop an effective ILC advocacy, to help raise awareness of the unique and complex aspects of invasive lobular breast cancer.”

Kirstie McGhie

Kirsty McGhie, BA (Hons) PG, MA. She is an Artist and Educator who has served on Arts council and Gallery panels in Scotland and Ireland. Her work explores the process of how to depict unconscious states and exchanges that affect the body. This has led her to look at how information is transmitted within organs, cells and neurons. Having been diagnosed with Invasive Lobular Breast Cancer she is interested in increasing awareness and understanding of this disease. She is a member of Patient voice in cancer research.

Ashley Coffey

Ashley Coffey is a mother of two and a public sector employee. She was first diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in 2005. A new primary of ILC and IDC in 2014 and more recently an advanced local recurrence in June 2019.

Throughout multiple surgeries, chemotherapies, radiotherapy, brachytherapy and hormone treatments she has voiced awareness and vigilance through many print and social media outlets.

Marie Keating “out the other side” Irish Healthcare Award winning campaign featured Ashley with other survivors with stories of positivity. The installation was in St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin for the month of October and took pride place in Bloom. Ashley has featured and contributed to National Newspapers, Image Magazine and most recently the Centra campaign.

In the search for answers we are forging relations with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to get the lesser known breast cancer more research, more imagine and making the different characteristics known to all. Lobular breast cancer equates to 10-15% of breast cancers and has similar diagnostic rate to ovarian cancer yet, it remains illusive.

Dr. Elspeth Ward PhD 

Elspeth completed her BSc in Genetics in UCD during which she completed her thesis in Trinity translational medicines institute on malignant mesothelioma. Elspeth went on to RCSI to start her PhD in ER positive breast cancer under professor Leonie Young head of the Endocrine oncology research group. Elspeth’s PhD project investigated the role of SRC-1 (steroid receptor co-activator-1) in mediating DNA methylation in endocrine resistant breast cancer. Elspeth joined the lab in October 2018 to begin work on a project entitled Bet inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for invasive lobular carcinoma. The study aims to investigate the therapeutic potential of BET inhibition in combination with other therapeutics for endocrine resistant ILC.  

Dr. Damir Varešlija, Ph.D.

Damir Varešlija is a Research Fellow and Principal Investigator in the Eondocrine Oncology Research Group and the Department of Surgery in RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences. After completing his BA in Biochemistry with Cell Biology in Trinity College Dublin, he undertook his PhD training under the tutelage of Prof Leonie Young and Prof Arnold Hill. Damir has been involved in numerous translational collaborative projects funded by Breast Cancer Ireland and BreastPredict during which his work was published in several leading clinical and biomedical journals including JNCI, JAMA Oncology, Oncogene and Clinical Cancer Research. His current research supported through Breast Cancer Now, Enterprise Ireland, Breast Cancer Ireland and Irish Cancer Society is focused on endocrine treatment resistance and metastatic breast cancer. Damir has successfully leveraged funding under the Irish Cancer Society Biostimulus Grant to study new lobular breast cancer models. Damir and Prof Young (Academic Lead of the Department of Surgery) have previously collaborated with Darran O’Connor, Triona NiChonghaile and Steffi Oesterreich on their lobular based research programmes.

Dr. Cathy Kelly

Consultant Medical Oncologist at the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital. Dr Kelly is Chair of Cancer Trials Ireland, Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Group and a Clinical Lecturer in University College Dublin.

Professor Darran O’Connor

Prof. Darran O’Connor is a cancer biologist at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. https://www.rcsi.com/people/profile/darranoconnor

Dr. Tríona Ní Chonghaile

Dr. Ní Chonghaile is a cancer biologist and Lecturer in the Dept. of Physiology and Medical Physics at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. https://www.rcsi.com/people/profile/tnichonghaile

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