Chemotherapy Robot - Cancer Appeal | St. James's Hospital Foundation Chemotherapy Robot - Cancer Appeal | St. James's Hospital Foundation

Chemotherapy Robot – Cancer Appeal

Chemotherapy Robot – Cancer Appeal

This year, St James’s Hospital Foundation are fundraising for Ireland’s first ever Chemotherapy Compounding Robot, cutting-edge technology in the fight against cancer. The robot automates the process of preparing chemotherapy for patients, allowing greater and more consistent accuracy whilst freeing up staff to become more patient focused.



Why Support St James’s Hospital?

St James’s Hospital treats more cancers than any other hospital in Ireland. The Trinity St James’s Cancer Institute is creating Ireland’s only Comprehensive Cancer Centre already accredited by the OECI. We are uniquely positioned to bring Ireland’s contribution in the fight against cancer to a new level –helping to prevent it, diagnose it early, cure it, and if not, control it.



What can you do to help?

We are asking the community to support our hospital and to make donations big or small to St James’s Hospital Foundation. You can donate now HERE


If you would like to fundraise to raise vital funds for this appeal, contact jamie@supportstjames.ie / call 083 477 7370


Thank you to all our donors, grateful patients, their families and friends and our corporate supporters who have supported our Chemotherapy Robot Cancer Appeal.



How much will it cost?

The Robot will cost €800,000 and we have already raised over €200,000 to date. Every donation big or small will help us get closer to our goal.

    Key Benefits of the Robot:

  • St James’s Hospital will be the first hospital in Ireland to have an Aseptic Compounding Robot and St James’s will become a reference and learning site for other hospitals.
  • The Robot will be consistent – using a different type of technology called gravimetric technology, the robot will no longer require human manual checks, allowing greater and consistent accuracy for our patients. Chemotherapy is toxic to staff so this self-sterilising robot will also protect staff by minimising handling of products.
  • The robot will allow for increased ability to take on clinical trials which is of benefit to patients now and into the future as research will increase our knowledge and ability to treat cancer.
  • It currently takes 3 to 4 months to train a new staff member to prepare chemotherapy treatments. The robot will require only one staff member to operate it and will perform up to 80% of the daily activity of the team who currently prepare chemotherapy for our patients. This will increase capacity whilst also freeing up staff to become more patient focused and allow more involvement of staff in clinical trials.
  • The robot will revolutionise production of chemotherapy from our Pharmacy Department which currently produces 100 individual chemotherapy treatments for patients per day. Cancer diagnosis are increasing ever year and we are treating more patients in our hospital. Having a robot means that we can continue to treat these increasing numbers
  • The robot will be able to provide chemotherapy closer to the time when it is needed, thereby reducing wastage. Currently, staff work up to 7 days ahead of time, which can lead to wastage as patient’s clinical condition, and therefore doses can change, thus it is better to prepare doses as close to the administration date and time as possible.
  • This equipment will reduce reliance on external suppliers. At the moment, if the hospital is short staffed, we purchase compounded products (Chemotherapy) from external suppliers. We currently outsource 12% but at times we have reached over 30% in recent years. This ensures reliability and consistency of supply.
  • The robot will prevent repetitive strain injuries to staff, a frequent issue in compounding units. This will facilitate in consistent staffing levels in a safer work environment.
  • St James’s Hospital is moving towards becoming a digital campus. The Robot will ensure a smooth transition from paper to electronic data for prescriptions and record keeping.

Our Cancer Patients

There are over 40,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Ireland each year. St. James’s Hospital is the largest cancer centre in the country with over 4,000 new cases each year.


Behind each of these numbers is a patient living with cancer.


Many of these patients require chemotherapy at some point through their cancer journey. With your help, their journey can be safer and quicker, with the assistance of a Chemotherapy Compounding Robot.

Patient story


Many thanks to patient Paula Holton for sharing the story of her cancer journey with us.


My name is Paula Holton and I am a cancer survivor and patient at St James’s Hospital. I was diagnosed with stage 111 B ovarian cancer and this is my story.


In June 2011, I went to St James’s Hospital for a routine check-up. I was referred from the family risk clinic as we had numerous cancer diagnoses within the family which prompted us to get checked out.  I was the first of my family to be called and I was very relaxed going to the appointment. I was fit, walking between 3-5 miles a day and was at my best weight.  I had no symptoms other than a pain down the inside of my right leg, which I thought was coming from my back so I ignored it.


I remember clearly that it was a beautiful sunny morning and I was sitting in the waiting area of St James’s Hospital wishing I was at home doing my garden and not sitting here wasting their time. I was called to the doctor’s office and the doctor introduced himself as Dr Waseem Kamran. An abdominal examination revealed a small wall mass. Dr Waseem asked me to wait while he called Dr Noreen Gleeson in. I felt something was wrong but nothing prepared me for the news I was about to receive.


I was told I had a tumour and I would have to have further tests. At this stage I went completely deaf, I could see their mouths moving but I couldn’t hear a word they were saying.  I was in total shock! I drove home but I don’t remember how I got there and when I met my husband at the door, I just fell into his arms.


Over the next few weeks, I had blood tests and all manner of investigations. It confirmed stage 111B ovarian cancer. I prepared myself for a huge operation and was so grateful that I had great support from my amazing family. I was so anxious I just wanted it done!


Dr Gleeson gave me a date and I prepared myself as much as I could. I remember being in the pre-waiting area of the operating theatre and Dr Gleeson came in and told me that herself and the team would take good care of me and not to worry. She held my hand going in as I couldn’t stop shaking. Looking back, I really appreciated that small gesture and appreciated her compassion.


When I came to, I was disoriented but I recognised my husband and sister who were talking gently and telling me I was through the operation and all would be well. I was in St Johns ward and the staff were wonderful. After six weeks of recovery, I went for chemotherapy. While very difficult at the time, I was determined to get through each cycle without missing one.


I focused on the positive. I decided to let my son shave my head as I didn’t want to wait until it fell out, a small gesture but I felt like I was in control. I also had a focus, my very special niece (Aisling) was getting married and I didn’t want to miss her big day, nor did I want her to postpone.


I had my last chemo in December 2011 and I’m delighted to say I made it to her wedding. I can truly tell you that I WOULD NOT be here today without the intervention of Dr Noreen Gleeson, Dr Waseem Kamran (who first diagnosed me!) and all the incredible team who gave me another chance at life.


I got to enjoy seeing my son get married, my beautiful grandchildren (Aoibhe, Jamie and Bobby) being born and we are looking forward to our new arrival in June 2021.


St James’s Hospital Foundation is charity close to my heart and I would respectfully ask, if this was your family or friend wouldn’t you want the best treatment for them? Please read about their Chemotherapy Robot – Cancer Appeal and how it will help patients like me on their cancer journey and consider making a donation.


Dr Gleeson is one of the most dedicated and caring people I have had the privilege to meet. I hope to do all I can to support the incredible work that is being carried out in St. James Hospital. I ask you, if you read my story to please consider donating to this life saving hospital, maybe one day someone you know might need their help.


Thank you

Paula Holton