Intended for healthcare professionals


Cameron announces £100m for “unlocking the power of DNA data”

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 11 December 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e8413
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

Up to 100 000 patients in England with cancer or rare diseases are to have their entire genome sequenced over the next three to five years, the prime minister announced on 10 December. And £100m (€125m; $160m) of new money will be earmarked for sequencing, for training geneticists, and for improving NHS systems to make best use of the new data.

“By unlocking the power of DNA data, the NHS will lead the global race for better tests, better drugs, and, above all, better care,” David Cameron said. “If we get this right, we could transform how we diagnose and treat our most complex diseases, not only here but across the world, while enabling our best scientists to discover the next wonder drug or breakthrough technology.”

Sally Davies, the chief medical officer, said, “Understanding and harnessing genetic information offers huge potential to target effective treatments and develop new treatments and cures. Single gene testing is already available across the NHS, ranging from diagnosing cancers to assessing patients’ risk of suffering side effects from treatment.

“At the moment these tests focus on diseases caused by changes in a single gene. This funding opens …

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