Cancer 2.0 Initiative : Integrating long-read sequencing technology and multimodal data

The Cancer 2.0 initiative will introduce new technology to support earlier, faster diagnosis.

Since the launch of the 100,000 Genomes Project, researchers and clinicians have partnered with Genomics England to collect and analyse genomic and long-term clinical data (from health records) to gain insight into the nature of genetic changes that drive cancer evolution.

In the next evolution of our cancer programme, we are introducing two new technologies into the clinic and into research: Long-Reads & Mythylation Sequencing Programme and Multi-Modal Programme.

This initiative will support better outcomes for the 300,000+ people per year who get diagnosed with cancer by bringing shorter waiting times (from weeks to days for complex cancer cases) and helping clinicians to deliver more personalised treatment to their patients. It will also create a world-class research asset for the UK Life Sciences sector: combining imaging, genomic, and clinical data together.

Long-Reads & Methylation Sequencing Programme

We will be evaluating the clinical and operational impacts of using Long-Read & Methylation sequencing for cancer patients. This new technology can reveal large-scale rearrangements in tumour DNA, as well as epigenetic changes that can alter gene expression.

The hope is that this new information will deliver more rapid diagnosis, provide accuracy to support clinical treatment decisions and open up clinical trial opportunities for patients.

Multi-Modal Programme

We will be enhancing our database in cancer by curating radiology and pathology digital images alongside the genomes of our ~15,000 solid tumour patients, making this the largest multi-modal cancer dataset in the world.