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Network of UK centres is needed to deliver genomic technology across medical specialties

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 27 January 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e701
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. 1London

The UK should develop a strategy setting out how the NHS will adopt genomic technology as part of routine patient care to ensure its potential is fully realised, an expert group has recommended.

The Human Genomics Strategy Group was set up in 2010 to monitor advances in genetic and genomics research and to evaluate their benefit to healthcare services in the NHS.

In a report published on 25 January the independent cross government group sets out a strategic vision for how the healthcare system in the UK—and particularly the NHS—can make best use of genomic technology.

“We are currently on the cusp of a revolution in healthcare: genomic medicine—patient diagnosis and treatment based on information about a person’s entire DNA sequence, or genome—becoming part of mainstream healthcare practice,” the group suggests.

It argues the potential for the NHS is considerable, enabling doctors to diagnose diseases and detect variants more precisely and quickly; to tailor treatment to a patient’s exact variant and to reflect their wider genetic make up; and to better identify people at higher risk genetically of inherited disease and a range of common chronic conditions.

Professor Sir John Bell, chair of the …

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