NHS England has announced eleven centres which will deliver the 100,000 Genomes Project, aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of certain diseases.
The project will allow conclusive diagnoses for rare and inherited diseases more quickly, and allow the targeting of cancer treatments at the genetic changes present in the cancer.
While some patients will receive direct benefits as a result of the project, others will contribute to the knowledge of the influence of genetics on disease and help further research.
There will be 11 designated Genomic Medicine Centres (GMCs) involved in the project, and it is expected to include 75,000 patients.
The centres are part of NHS trusts, and all but one will see patients with both cancer and rare diseases.
One will only deal with rare diseases, the North East and North Cumbria NHS GMC led by the Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
The rest, which will serve patients with both cancer and rare diseases, are:
• East of England NHS GMC, led by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
• Greater Manchester NHS GMC, led by Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
• Imperial College Health Partners NHS GMC, led by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
• North West Coast NHS GMC, led by Liverpool Women's NHS Foundation Trust.
• Oxford NHS GMC, led by Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust.
• South London NHS GMC, led by Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
• South West Peninsula NHS GMC, led by Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust.
• University College London Partners NHS GMC, led by Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
• Wessex NHS GMC, led by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
• West Midlands NHS GMC, led by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The eventual aim for the project is to get over 100 NHS trusts participating, and further GMCs will be arranged to ensure coverage across the whole of the NHS.
The recruitment of patients into the project will begin from 2nd February 2014 with Illumina, a firm working with Genomics England sequencing the whole genome and analyse it, results then being sent back to the NHS.
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."
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