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NHS trusts chosen to deliver ‘world-leading genomics project’

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NHS England has announced 11 new centres across the country that it is hoped will lead the way in genetics research to transform the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and rare diseases.

It is part of the three-year 100,000 Genomes Project, which was launched by the prime minister earlier this year.

The project involves collecting and decoding the genomes of 100,000 people in order for scientists to understand more about specific conditions and potentially transform healthcare.

“This is the start of a unique, exciting journey that will bring benefits for patients, for the NHS and for society at large”

Bruce Keogh

Researchers believe the initiative could lead to improved disease prediction and prevention, enable more precise diagnostic tests and the personalisation of drug treatments to specific genetic variants.

The 11 newly-designated genomic medicine centres represent a first wave in the process, said NHS England. Over the lifetime of the project, its ambition is to have over 100 participating trusts to ensure there is comprehensive coverage across the NHS in England.

The trusts chosen for the new GMCs already have a track-record of providing excellent genomic services and have been evaluated to ensure they meet the requirements to deliver the project.

It is anticipated that around 75,000 patients will be involved, which will include some with life threatening and debilitating disease. Recruitment to the project will begin from 2 February 2015.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s national medical director, said: “Embracing genomics will position us at the forefront of science and make the NHS the most scientifically advanced healthcare system in the world.

He said: “This is the start of a unique, exciting journey that will bring benefits for patients, for the NHS and for society at large.”

Professor Mark Caulfield, chief scientist at Genomics England, said: “The creation of the new NHS genomic medicine centres will play a key role in bringing together researchers, NHS clinicians and trainees to work on whole genome data that has never been collected on this scale before. 

“We have a clear goal of accelerating the findings from the programme back into mainstream healthcare at the fastest possible pace, meaning more rapid results for patients,” he added.

 

The first 11 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
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