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West of England Genomic Medicine Centre

15 June 2016

A partnership made up of NHS provider organisations in Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham and Gloucestershire, universities, the West of England Academic Health Science Network, Health Education South West and NHS commissioners has been designated the West of England NHS Genomic Medicine Centre (WEGMC).

The centre is part of a three year project to transform diagnosis and treatment for patients with cancer and rare diseases. This involves collecting and decoding 100,000 human genomes that will enable researchers to understand more about specific conditions and could allow personalisation of drugs and other treatments to specific genetic variants. Eligible patients will take part in a test to be processed at Southmead before being sent nationally for sequencing. Some patients could benefit from a quicker conclusive diagnosis for a rare and inherited disease or cancer as treatment may be targeted at a particular genetic change.

Prof Ruth Newbury-Ecob, based in the Clinical Genetics Service at University Hospitals Bristol, specialises in rare diseases and is working to develop new genetic testing, translating research findings into NHS services for patients across the UK.

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