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Cancer patients’ have their DNA sequenced

16th March 2017
Blog, News

Patients’ at King’s College Hospital have their DNA sequenced to help develop personalised treatment plans as part of the ‘100,000 Genomes Project’.  

Three cancer patients at King’s College Hospital are among the first eight in the country to have their DNA sequenced as part of the Government’s ‘100,000 Genomes Project’.

King’s College Hospital is one of four major hospitals taking part in the project, as part of the South London Genomic Medicine Centre which includes King’s Health Partners as a founding member. The project involves collecting blood and cancer samples from some patients and their relatives to help increase understanding of certain cancers and rare diseases. The ultimate aim of the project is to develop more targeted treatments, which are tailored to the individual patient.

At present, cancer patients are largely treated with the same drugs, which work for some but not for others. By using genetic sequencing, clinicians will be able to separate people with similar diseases into much narrower groups and target treatment based on their genetic code.

Dr Guy Chung-Faye, Consultant Gastroenterologist at King’s College Hospital, whose patients are among the first to have their DNA sequenced for the project, said: “Although the first complete human genome sequence was published 15 years ago, with the introduction of the 100,000 Genome Project we are now testing on a much larger scale, and in the future we aim to make this part of routine cancer care.”

“By drilling down to a patient’s individual DNA code, we can start to pinpoint the mutations that caused the cancer. Over time, this will lead to the development of precision treatments, which will revolutionise cancer care.”

One of the patients to have their DNA sequenced was Farzin Farzaneh from Dulwich. Farzin was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2015. Talking about his involvement in the project he said: “I know the information provided by sequencing the DNA in my tumour may help to optimise my own treatment if it comes back.”

“More importantly, the information obtained could help identify whether my children will be at greater than average risk of developing cancer. If this happens to be the case, they could then be monitored more closely, and early detection would offer them more effective treatment options. The information obtained by the 100,000 Genome Project may turn out to be of direct benefit to me and to my children, and to help create a legacy for generations to come.”

Click here If you have a rare disease or cancer and are interested in taking part in this revolutionary study.

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