Cancer in the 100,000 Genomes Project

The 100,000 Genomes Project aims to improve cancer care for NHS patients. We aim to improve treatment and outcomes through personalised medicine.

These pages contain information for GMC staff about the cancer programme including; sample handling guidance, eligibility statements, example whole genome analysis and latest updates on our experimental work.


Cancer can be described as a genomic disease. It is caused by changes to DNA which lead to cells dividing uncontrollably. By comparing the DNA sequence from a patient’s tumour and healthy cells, we can provide insight into the exact nature and genomic changes that are associated with an individual’s cancer. The results can be used by clinicians to help with both diagnosis and treatment choice. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) can also begin to show which patients are unlikely to respond to a particular treatment – saving unnecessary medication and toxic side effects.

Genomics is helping to deliver precision medicine – with a real impact on patients and their health outcomes. By the end of the programme we expect to return WGS results to participants in a clinically meaningful timescale. During the early stages, most patients taking part will not benefit personally. But taking part will improve our understanding of cancer and improve care for the future.

Information for GMC Staff

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