Approved list of cancers and their eligibility criteria

The information on this page is taken directly from the “Cancer Eligibility Criteria Version 2.0” document. The aim of this page is to provide an up-to-date list of eligibility criteria for cancer types approved for recruitment.

Download “Cancer Eligibility Criteria Version 2.0” and the “Annex B of the ‘NHS Terms and Conditions For The Provision of Services. Shedule 5 – Service Specification


Unless otherwise specifically excluded, all samples from invasive malignancies are eligible. Samples may be from the primary lesion, or from a metastasis.

  • All participants must receive all usual clinical care.
  • Tumour samples, apart from in allowed circumstances (see sample handling guidance) should be obtained as fresh or fresh frozen and not FFPE and pathways of care to facilitate this collection should be established
  • Access to appropriate high quality DNA from both tumour and germline samples enabling Whole Genome Sequencing is required.
  • Samples must have been processed according to the requirements set out in Annexes F and H, and any other standard operating procedures issued during the Term.
  • Potential participants not wanting to consent for the study or participate in all aspects of the Project should be excluded. The patient may opt out of receipt of secondary findings not relevant to their cancer diagnosis.
  • Recruitment after negative results from another research project – A patient that has had Whole Genome Sequencing as part of another project should not be recruited to the 100,000 Genomes Project (unless otherwise agreed) as this will be unlikely to provide additional information.
  • There is a requirement to provide Essential Sample Data and Core Data, therefore potential participants seen from another centre for specialist care, or where only Samples are received, cannot be recruited unless sufficient data will be obtainable from local centres.
  • All potential participants must be under the care of and be followed up by the NHS in England. Those in England and Wales must have an NHS numbers and those resident in Scotland or Northern Ireland their country equivalent.
  • Patients must have a diagnosis from a WHO/IARC cancer classification
  • Ability to collect the specified dataset within agreed timescales.
  • Provision of informed consent in accordance with the Services Specification, Annex N – consent and patient recruitment and the Genomics England Protocol.
  • Previously treated patients: With the exception of haematological malignancies patients are now eligible who:
    • present with a recurrence of a previously treated tumour (with chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or radiotherapy). This may be a local or metastatic recurrence.
    • have undergone chemotherapy, hormone therapy and/or radiotherapy for their cancer, but fail to respond to this treatment and progress.
    • have received neoadjuvant therapy (treatment before intended surgical resection) for their tumour.
    • have undergone chemotherapy, hormone therapy and or radiotherapy for a previous tumour.
    • Collection of pre-treated tumour samples (e.g. from biopsy) and subsequent treated tumour samples in a time course series will be of particular value.
    • Stored samples can be used providing that all of the following conditions apply:
      1. Samples are Fresh Frozen (not FFPE);
      2. Samples were taken after 1 January 2015;
      3. Patients must have the potential to benefit from inclusion in the project;
      4. Where the stored sample numbers do not exceed 10% of contracted volumes; and
      5. Where all other aspects of the contractual requirements can be met including:

      • Consent for inclusion specifically in the 100,000 Genomes Project;
      • The specified dataset can be collected; and samples have been processed in accordance with the applicable Annexes and sample handling guidance and have passed the relevant QC requirements.

Where collections of DNA / samples exist and consist of more than 20 individuals or were obtained before 1 January 2015 but meet other criteria outlined, permission on a case by case basis can be given by Genomics England and NHS England for inclusion in the main programme, subject to NHS GMCs completing a proforma, available on request from NHS England.

  • Ineligible cancer types (plans are being developed to introduce many of these during the lifetime of the Project):
    • Cervical, vaginal and vulval carcinomas
    • Endocrine malignancies
    • Squamous and basal skin carcinoma
    • Low grade haematological malignancies (see specific guidance below)
    • Malignancies from eye, placenta, heart, peritoneum, male genital tract other than prostate and testis
    • Carcinoma in situ (except bladder) and borderline ovarian tumours
    • Benign tumours
  • Non availability of matched tumour and germline DNA samples.
  • DNA of insufficient quantity or quality obtainable for Whole Genome Sequencing

Where a patient is found to be ineligible on the basis of these criteria after initial recruitment, the patient must be informed that they can no longer be included in the project.

Currently approved cancer conditions

Unless otherwise specifically excluded, all samples from invasive malignancies are eligible. Samples may be from the primary lesion, or from a metastasis. Samples collected at re-occurrence will only be considered for Whole Genome Sequencing if there is a primary sample available: either stored or previously submitted. Recurrent tumours without a primary sample may be submitted where advised in writing.

Approved cancer conditions to date are invasive forms of the following cancer types. Any rare malignancy within these organs are eligible unless specifically excluded.

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Sarcoma (including paediatric and adult sarcoma)
  • Renal cancer
  • Adult Brain Tumours
  • Bladder cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) tumours
  • Testicular cancer
  • Head and Neck Cancers
  • Cancer of Unknown Primary
  • Childhood Solid Tumours
  • Haematological Malignancies as described below

Haematological Malignancies

The following haematological malignancies are eligible:

  • Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) patients who are also being recruited to the AML 18/19 trial
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients who are also being recruited to the Flair trial
  • Newly diagnosed AML and high-risk MDS outside of clinical trials (n=1,000)
  • Myeloma patients who are also being recruited to MUK 9 trial will be eligible when the trial opens for recruitment and after demonstration that collection of sufficient cell numbers for DNA extraction alongside the clinical trial sample requirements is feasible. Further guidance on this will be released.
  • Newly diagnosed Myeloma but only if sufficient CD138+ sorted cells can be obtained from bone marrow for DNA extraction. Documented evidence of purity of cell selection has to be provided for each patient (for example, a digital image of an MGG stained slide of sorted cells and a manual differential count of this slide or by Flowcytometry) (n=500). In line with the guidance for germline contamination, the myeloma cell content has to be at least 80%.
  • Newly diagnosed aggressive B and T-cell Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphomas including DLBCL, Burkitt Lymphoma, Mediastinal B-cell lymphoma and High Grade lymphoma NOS (i.e. new WHO grey zone category), but only if sufficient fresh biopsy/resection material can be obtained (n=500)
  • Patients with an unclassified HM malignancy and unknown diagnosis (for example: MDS/MPD overlap syndromes; uncertain diagnoses where clinical presentation does not fit with pathological diagnosis) (n=500)
  • Patients with CML who are extreme responders based on RQ-PCR values after 3 months of treatment (<1% and >10%) and/or have experienced disease progression. Only pre-treatment samples should be submitted and the patient has to be consented retrospectively (n=80)
  • Children with ALL who have not obtained MRD levels of less than 5% at day 28 bone marrow examination.

Note: It is recognised that clinical diagnosis and clinical trials for these cancers will still have priority but where it is possible to take sufficient material or an additional sample, this can be submitted through the existing NHS GMC pathways and processes for inclusion in the 100,000 Genomes Project.

Except where explicitly included above, the following patients are excluded:

  • Patients who have previously received treatment
  • Stage A CLL
  • CML and MPDs showing standard or good response to treatment
  • FFPE samples from lymphomas
  • Stored samples
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