The first patient was recruited to the main phase of the ground-breaking 100,000 Genomes Project this week. The important milestone follows on from the pilot phase of the project which announced the first diagnosis earlier this month.
Michelle Holding, 32, (pictured with her mum Suzanne) was recruited to the project via Saint Mary’s Hospital, which is part of the Greater Manchester NHS Genomic Medicine Centre.
The hospital is one of 11 NHS Genomic Medicine Centres across the country that will lead the delivery of the 100,000 Genomes Project, aiming to transform diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases. The project involves collecting and decoding 100,000 genomes – complete sets of people’s genes and all the DNA in between – that will enable scientists and doctors to understand more about specific conditions.
Michelle told the Manchester Evening News: “This sort of research is going to allow future generations to be diagnosed quicker, to be treated better and more efficiently and that has to be a good thing.
“It’s amazing to think that by doing this I could be helping future generations of people.”
Professor Bill Newman, Professor of Translational Genomic Medicine at The Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine at The University of Manchester and Honorary Consultant at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:
“It was a pleasure to meet the family today in our Manchester clinic who became the first participants in this major study. We discussed with them how we hope to find out the reason why so many young women in their family have developed breast cancer. We have confidence that this new type of genetic sequencing test will find answers to make a real difference for other members of their family and future generations.”
James Peach, Managing Director for the Genomics England Main Programme said: “This is great news for St Mary’s Hospital and the 100,000 Genomes Project. All 11 NHS Genomic Medicine Centres have a track record of providing excellence in genomic services and it would not be possible to maximize the benefits of this project for patients without NHS England and the centres on board.”
Visit the Manchester Evening News to read more and watch a short video interview.