The West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre (WMGMC) recently consented their 10,000th participant to the 100,000 Genomes Project.
The pioneering project is supported by the WMAHSN who funds three Genomic Ambassador posts to drive recruitment across the region.
The project aims to sequence 100,000 genomes (all the information in our DNA that makes us who we are) from around 70,000 people. Participants are NHS patients with certain cancers and patients with rare disease plus their families.
The aim is to create a new genomic medicine service for the NHS – transforming the way people are cared for. Patients may be offered a diagnosis where there wasn’t one before. In time, there is the potential of new and more effective treatments.
The project will also enable new medical research. Combining genomic sequence data with medical records is a ground-breaking resource and will potentially lead to increased understanding of disease and its causes, with better diagnosis and treatment as a result.
The WMGMC is made up of 16 NHS Trusts in the West Midlands, which are all currently recruiting. The WMAHSN-funded ambassadors – Charlotte Hitchcock, Dr Christopher Clowes and Sean James -link the north, centre and south of the region with WMAHSN and the project’s lead delivery partner, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The West Midlands Genomic Medicine Centre will draw upon the region’s diverse population to provide up to 13,000 of the 100,000 genomes from 17 participating acute NHS trusts (local delivery partners) within the region.
Patient Breda Daly recently signed up to the pioneering project via Heartlands Hospital, becoming the 10,000th participant. The genetic make-up of patients’ cancerous tumours is compared to their own healthy blood, as variations between the two could improve knowledge about the causes of cancer, which may lead to the development of new personalised treatment and drugs.
Nationally, over 50,000 Genomes have now been sequenced.
For more information on the project, visit www.westmidsgmc.nhs.uk.