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Genome project aims to transform treatment of cancer and rare diseases

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4972 (Published 01 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4972
  1. Rebecca Godlee
  1. 1London

Patients with cancer and rare diseases will make up the first 40 000 people in the United Kingdom to have their genome sequenced over the next four years in an ambitious government plan to facilitate extensive new scientific research and medical development. The research is likely to speed up diagnosis of diseases and lead to targeted therapy that will, for example, reduce side effects associated with chemotherapy.

The prime minister, David Cameron, announced on 1 August that £300m (€380m; $500m) was being invested in the 100 000 Genomes Project, new research launched last November to decode the human genomes of 100 000 people.1

Tom Fowler, director of public health for Genomics England, which is to deliver the project, said that the research carried out on rare diseases could increase diagnosis rates by up to 60%. The Wellcome Trust …

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