100,000 Genomes Project

The Royal Marsden is part of an ambitious initiative to sequence the genomes of thousands of people in England, to create a new genomic medicine service for the NHS and transform the way people are cared for.

The 100,000 Genomes Project was launched by the Prime Minister in 2012, in order to sequence 100,000 genomes from around 75,000 people. Participants are NHS patients with cancer and patients with a rare disease, plus their families. These areas have been selected because eligible rare diseases and cancer are strongly linked to changes in the genome. By understanding these changes, there is potential to better understand how the disease develops and which treatments will be most effective.

Eleven genomic medicine centres (GMCs) have been designated to contribute to the delivery of the project by collecting samples. In December 2014, our Trust was designated as the lead for cancer within the West London Genomic Medicine Centre (WLGMC), which includes:

  • Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust (lead site for the WLGMC)
  • Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  • Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

The project is led by Genomics England, a company wholly owned and funded by the Department of Health. We are leading on the cancer element of the partnership, collecting and decoding the genomes from some of the 50,000 cancer patients who are treated at our Sutton and Chelsea sites each year, together with patients from Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals and Kingston Hospital.

If you are one of our patients with cancer and are interested in participating, please speak to your clinician.

Contact West London Genomic Medicine Centre if you would like more information about this programme.

Is this a clinical trial? Will participating improve my treatment?

Many patients and members of the public are familiar with medical research in the form of clinical trials, in which they will receive different treatment if they participate. It is important that we are clear that this project is not a clinical trial and will likely not affect their treatment plan.

Patients should be made aware that donating a sample will contribute to a long-term project which has the potential to improve our understanding and how we treat genetic diseases for future generations. Of course, in the unlikely circumstance that the genetic sequencing provides information that could improve the patient’s treatment; the information will be fed back to the patient’s doctor.

See more FAQs or read about data access and use.