George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust has announced it is to take part in the 100,000 Genomes Project.
The hospital, now part of the West Midlands-wide group of 18 NHS trusts, the West Midlands Genomics Medicine Centre (WM GMC), will use genetic information to revolutionise the way cancer and rare diseases are treated.
The 100,00 Genomes Project, led by Chief Scientific Officer, Sue Hill, involves sequencing 100,000 human genomes, complete sets of people’s genes, plus all the DNA in between, that will allow scientists and doctors to understand more about specific conditions.
The project, announced by the Prime Minister in 2012, aims to transform diagnosis and treatment for cancer patients and those with rare diseases. The target is to design a new genomic medicine service for the NHS, changing the way people are cared for.
Patients with a rare disease, plus their families, and patients with cancer will be invited to take part in the project. After DNA samples are collected, they are then sent to be sequenced and analysed. The analysed results are then sent back to the NHS for validation and clinical action.
George Eliot Hospital’s Medical Director, Dr Gordon Wood said: “We are proud to be involved in such a pioneering national project that will benefit patients with cancer and rare diseases. Understanding the role of DNA in treating and predicting disease is an increasingly important area in medicine and I’m delighted that the George Eliot can contribute.”
Around 75,000 people from across the UK will be involved in the project.The WM GMC will deliver up to 18,000 of the total number of genomes, drawing on its unique population through a collaboration of healthcare organisations. University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust is leading the WM GMC on behalf of all acute trusts in the region, with the University of Birmingham as its academic partner. The collaboration is underpinned by the WMAHSN, which has funded three Genomics Medicine Ambassadors to spread the message across the region.