NHS England announced eleven centres across the country that will lead the way in delivering the 100,000 Genomes Project.
The 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.
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, the North West coast, Oxford, Birmingham and the West Midlands, Southampton, London, 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.
It is anticipated that around 75,000 people will be involved, which will include some patients with life threatening and debilitating disease. Recruitment to the project will begin from 2nd February 2015.
After samples are collected, they will be sent securely to Illumina who have been procured by Genomics England to sequence the whole genome and to analyse it. Results will be sent back to the NHS for validation and clinical action.
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England’s National Medical Director, said: “This is an achievable ambition which positions Britain to unlock longstanding mysteries of disease on behalf of humankind”.
Professor Sue Hill, the Chief Scientific Officer for England, who chaired the team evaluating the various applicant GMCs said: “The NHS has risen to both the challenge and opportunity of delivering its contribution to the 100,000 whole genomes project in the most extraordinary and unparalleled way”.
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.