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Saint Mary’s Hospital recruits first patients to world-leading genomics project in fight against cancer and rare diseases

Saint Mary's Hospital has today recruited the first patients to the 100,000 Genomes Project, making it the first NHS Genomic Medicine Centre in the project.

The hospital is one of eleven centres across the country that will lead the way in delivering the NHS England project, a three-year project will transform diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases.

The initiative involves collecting and decoding 100,000 human genomes - complete sets of people's genes - that will enable scientists and doctors to understand more about specific conditions.

The project has the potential to transform the future of healthcare.  It could improve the prediction and prevention of disease, enable new and more precise diagnostic tests, and allow personalisation of drugs and other treatments to specific genetic variants.

It is anticipated that around 100,000 people will be involved, 5,000 of which we expect to see at Saint Mary's.

Some participating patients will benefit because a conclusive diagnosis can be reached for a rare and inherited disease more quickly, or because a treatment for cancer can be targeted at the particular genetic change that is present in the cancer. But for a number of patients, the benefit will be in the improvement in our knowledge of the influence of genetics on disease and how it is expressed in an individual, how other people can be helped with similar diseases in the future, and how different types of tests can be developed to detect changes beyond the genome.

The 11 designated Genomic Medicine Centres (GMCs) in this wave 1 selection process are based across the country, covering areas including Greater Manchester, Merseyside, Oxford, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Southampton, Cambridge and the East of England, Exeter and the South West Peninsula, and the North East. Over the lifetime of the project NHS England's ambition is to secure over 100 participating NHS trusts.  A further wave of GMCs will be procured to ensure that there is comprehensive coverage across the NHS in England.

The GMCs have a track-record of providing excellence in genomic services and have been evaluated by NHS England to ensure they meet the requirements to deliver the project.

Professor Bill Newman, Professor of Translational Genomic Medicine at The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

"It was a pleasure to meet the family today in our Manchester clinic who became the first participants in this major study. We discussed with them how we hope to find out the reason why so many young women in their family have developed breast cancer. We have confidence that this new type of genetic sequencing test will find answers to make a real difference for other members of their family and future generations."

Ends

Notes to Editors:

The first wave of 11 designated Genomic Medicine Centres are:

  • East of England NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

  • South London NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.

  • North West Coast NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Greater Manchester NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

  • University College London Partners NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

  • North East and North Cumbria NHS GMC - designated GMC for rare disease only.

Led by The Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Oxford NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

  • South West Peninsula NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Wessex NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

  • Imperial College Health Partners NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease.

Led by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

  • West Midlands NHS GMC - designated for both cancer and rare disease

Led by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.